Background on R for the Rest of Us
is a business that teaches people to use R, a programming language for data analysis and visualization, and does consulting work for organizations. I use the branding for the consulting side of things as well, but most of my public-facing work is related to teaching so I’d like to keep the focus on that for this process.
I often describe the prototypical R for the Rest of Us customer as “someone who wants to learn R but is scared of it.” R was originally developed for statisticians and has a reputation for being hard to learn. The main thing I try to do is make R less scary and more approachable for people. The personality of R for the Rest of Us is extremely friendly, helpful, and non-judgmental.
The persona I have in mind for a typical customer is this: a 40-something woman with a Master’s degree who does applied social science work. She has typically used some other tool for data analysis (e.g. Excel, SPSS, etc) and has heard about R, but is scared of how hard it will be to learn. She doesn’t consider her quantitative skills to be super strong and has never programmed so worries that R will be too hard for her.
All of my branding and messaging is designed to convince people that 1) yes, you can learn R, and 2) it’s worth the effort to learn it.
Other similar businesses (e.g. ) focus a lot on the technical side of things, ignoring the social-emotional components related to learning R. They tend to have a very masculine feel. I want something that feels softer and more welcoming, recognizing the emotional strength it takes to decide to learn R.
Goals of Branding Design
My goal is to flesh out the branding for R for the Rest of Us. Overall, I’m happy with where the branding is now, but I want to get a professional to take it to the next level.
I designed the logo that I use for R for the Rest of Us (SVG version ). It’s three hexagons nested within each other. I chose hexagons because they are a motif that R users employ. R works on the idea of “packages,” which are kind of add-ons that you use to do specific things with R. Packages often use a “hex sticker” as their branding You can see multiple examples of hex stickers in . If you look at the gallery you’ll see that most of the design of hex stickers is rudimentary at best (it’s basically programmers using MS Paint).
When I designed the R for the Rest of Us logo, I wanted it to use hexagons as a call-out to the R community, but I wanted it to be much simpler and more elegant than most hex stickers. I also wanted it to be just a logo to people not already using R (i.e. you don’t have to understand that R packages use hexagons to understand why the R for the Rest of Us logo uses hexagons).
In everything I’ve done so far, I incorporate hexagons. See, for example, a social media card I’ve used with hexagons in the background.
My main goal at this point is to think about how I incorporate the name R for the Rest of Us with the logo. For the most part, I just use the logo, but that’s because I haven’t come up with a good way to use it with text.
I use for all R for the Rest of Us branding. I really like the font, though when I’ve tried just typing R for the Rest of Us next to the logo, it’s a bit boring.
I’d like to think about ways that I can use the logo with text in different places, such as Twitter, YouTube, as well as in videos that I make.
I have used the light blue as my main color, but I have a full palette . I’d like to keep the branding as simple as possible so that I can use different colors where appropriate. For example, if I’m partnering with an organization that uses purple, I’d love to be able to use my logo/wordmark in that organization’s purple to match their branding.
I also want to make sure that the logo can continue to work without the wordmark and vice versa. I’d also like it to work with a horizontal and vertical orientation depending on where I use it.
I want to keep things minimal. Something like , for example:
Because I find Inter a bit boring on its own for wordmark text, I’d like to think about ways to make it more visually interesting. Here are some ways I’ve thought about doing this.
I like how they use text vertically in the word line-up . Another way I’ve thought about doing this is incorporating the three lines that show up in the hexagon logo into type. Something like :
Here are a few other logos I like: