© 2018 by Craig Caron.

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SBG Growth

Logo design for financial services business

In late 2017, I started working with SBG Growth to develop a logo for their small but mighty financial services company. SBG Growth is a San Francisco-based business that invests in branded consumer companies at an early stage. In addition to providing funds, they work actively with startups to help them grow the business (some of their past success stories include the Cece's Veggie Noodle Co. and Wild Friends Foods).

Though the metaphor of connecting business growth and plant growth is predictable, SBG Growth consciously invests in many natural food companies, I decided it was acceptable to embrace the cliché in this case.

I dug around a few books about gardening and discovered that acorns take 6 - 24 months to mature, which in many cases is the timeline of SBG's involvement with a company. What a perfect symbol! To me this idea was the obvious winner, though I also presented other logo concepts involving other seeds and sprouts. In each logo, the seed points up-and-to-the-right in a visual nod to how positive growth is represented on a line graph.

SBG Growth's founder, Robyn Lawrie Rutledge loved the acorn concept. I created a few variations on the original, testing the effect alternate typography had on the logo's character.

At the same time, I also tested the limits of another concept, which involved a more systematised logo that employed the seed visual in a more abstracted way by using curves at the top

Ultimately, the acorn was the stronger idea.

 

At this point I worked to refine all the superficial (but crucial) details of the logo, finessing the letterforms, the space between the letters and asking questions like how curvy and “cracked open” should this acorn should be?

Like many of the startups they represent, SBG Growth is a young, flexible company and one that is still in the process of developing their brand. There was no need for a bulky set of visual guidelines. In lieu of that, I created this Brand One Sheet, which establishes standards for the logo, but isn't overly prescriptive.