Behind the Brand P2: Choosing a Logo
About six months passed before any more progress happened. In January 2014 the idea resurged and I became real fired up to do something about it. Perhaps it was having now spent time in Boston, which drew an even starker contrast with NYC. I had time to think it through, and called up my brother Colin to describe it in detail. Colin is a talented artist, especially with drawings, so my hope was that he could help me turn the vision into reality.
Fortunately, next stop seemed to be a pretty catchy name but the capitalization and spacing questions needed to be worked out as well as the overall design. At the same time I wanted to make the logo pop, and rather quickly the answer became clear to me as a plane icon. But which one to use? I started fiddling with some options.
Fortunately again the answer seemed to be right in front of us in the form of the plane icon shown on almost all road signs. As a side note, part of the reason I chose this specific plane design was its simplicity. Neither a gifted artist in drawing nor especially handy (at the time, now I’ve learned!) with Adobe Illustrator, I wanted to make sure the logo could be easily adjusted. The result is below.
In the end, I was convinced (and still am!) that one-word brand names are simply the best choice for a company. They are easiest to remember. Period. I had chosen to drop the “e” from “next” because the domain name was available in that form, not because I wanted to do the typical "cool" startup name.
Having grown up as a surfer (thanks to my brother Colin!), the font design was actually something that jumped into my head as a skater or surfer feel, and Colin helped me think about it in the several dimensions. For some reason, (I still don’t know why) italicized font was something I was set on – probably to denote motion. We spent several days testing different fonts and I finally settled on Broadband Oblique. In looking at this font I wanted to make sure people could still distinguish two words and pronounce “Next Stop,” but the words also needed to stand out in a bold way. NxTSTOP seemed to show this the best.