The hardest logo for any agency to design is its own. But that doesn’t keep us from trying. (Or maybe that’s why we keep trying.) Anyway, here’s a quick look back at the evolution of the HZ logo.
Unfortunately, we can look back no further than the turn of the millennium. We all remember exactly where we were when Y2K struck, taking down the first internet and disrupting digital systems around the world. Lost in the chaos were all traces of the original HZ logo—even the Syquest backups. It was a dark, dark time.
When the lights finally came back on, they revealed this:
A nifty overlapping of the block letters H and Z, this logo was most effective as a die cut, with the four notches creating the letterforms out of a rectangle of metallic sage against a navy blue background. That’s right, metallic sage.
As the agency continued to grow, that one block grew to four:
The navy survived, the sage got mossy, and brown and orange joined the party. Four very different colors working together—representing HZ’s integrated team of creatives, interactives, executives, and accountives.
Around that same time, we developed a set of icons to further illuminate the nature of our work:
That’s messaging, targeting, designing, and developing. Or maybe it’s texting sweet nothings, staring at the blank screen, covering up, and dreaming of ice cubes at the end of the day. Not sure.
In any event, midway through the Aughts the blocks underwent a color shift:
The brown got deeper and the navy took to the wild blue yonder. The orange got burnt and the green went pale. Something to do with election results? Possibly.
Then the four blocks got together to make one big block:
The blue and the green recovered some assertiveness. This was also the beginning of the end for D and G, although they didn’t know it yet.
As the first decade of the new millennium drew to a close, HZ continued to grow—and the blocky logo began to grow stale. Time for a change:
From upper- to lower-case. From Zurich to Helvetica Neue. From separate blocks to a simplified sequence. And from four colors to one: youthful, juicy, bouncy orange. Oh, orange, you were always our favorite.
One more move brings us up-to-date: