Dodo Pizza rebranding. Simple and playful identity
Dodo Pizza (in Russian ‘Додо Пицца’) is an IT-driven retail company that has set an ambitious goal: to build a global pizza chain based on unorthodox management practices and the principle of unprecedented transparency. In 2016, Dodo Pizza became the biggest pizza chain in Russia (in terms of quantity of pizzerias), leaving Domino’s and Papa John’s far behind. Today Dodo Pizza comprises more than 240 pizza points (corporate and franchise). The design department contacted us with an ambitious task to develop a new logo for the company. The word mark (dodo) was initially the key element of Dodo Pizza's identity. Our task was to create lettering and to make it work well together with the symbol. Apart from that we also suggested ideas for the new identity of the brand.
Dodo Pizza rapidly grew into a large company. They wanted their new logo to look more serious and classy, referring to our typeface Chimera as a catchy example, they wanted their letters to have a personality as well. The initial dodo was way too detailed to be used in smaller sizes. There were a few unsuccessful redesign attempts before. As a result they decided not to change the character of the bird dramatically. Already using a simpler cropped version of the bird for the icons, they chose to keep the original dodo with just minor corrections. But the main problem was that the new symbol did not work well with the old letters and did not give the right impression of the brand. The first attempt to change the lettering has already been made by the Dodo design department. They put the letters from two lines into one. Which is what they had to do on the facades of the restaurants as well. The old logo used to have a mix of lowercase and uppercase letters. This did not stand out in a two-line composition, but it immediately became obvious when put in one line. These slanted letters felt too dynamic, too wobbly and too childish.
Letters as key elements of the identity
In our second proposal we focused on trying out various constructions of the letters to find a personality: the original logo tried to counterfeit the Italic not being one. What would happen if we removed the childish roundness of the outlines, using Italic constructions — which are generally more rounded? This could be a good compromise for the new logo. Within the Italic we tried different versions of the Cyrillic [д]. We suggested going for a more unusual one with an ascender. It could become a new distinctive element of the identity. But client's verdict was: ‘We don’t want to go that far from the existing logo’.
Letters as images
What if we wouldn't focus on the logo but more on creating a playful typographical identity around it instead? We developed a new flexible idea allowing endless possibilities of using letter shapes. A bold round typeface became our main module. These are the forms you can easily experiment with — you can use them as a pattern, as a frame, apply it to layers, etc. For each new season or event, a new story may be created, which will at the same time still remain within the frame of the brand. You can change both the logo, and for example, the style of the typeface or of the layering. On one hand the letters still are recognizable, on the other hand — they already try to evolve into an image. And we finally got a «YES» from the client!
Finalisations and simplification: killing our darlings
Our favourite was the bold funky lettering which you just saw above. Still we had to admit that it didn't work well together with the symbol (following image). After drawing the logo in both Light and Black we tried different combinations of them and chose the best one to fit in with the symbol. The abbreviation DODO was very important for the branding. That is the reason we have been discussing a lot whether Cyrillic and Latin versions of the logo should be used separately or DODO should be in Latin in both of them. At the end we convinced the client to have two versions of the logo — one in Cyrillic and one in Latin. Mixing scripts is not cool! We chose the weight that works best with the symbol (the lightest). As a result the lettering turned out neutral. Though we are hoping for more playfulness in the identity in the future.