We’re taking a break from personal finance today to talk about Retire by 40’s minor redesign. Do you like our new logo? I have been planning to redesign the site for a few years already. But there were always other things higher on the priority list. Yes, I’m still overwhelmed with things to do even after 6 years of early retirement. I also know that redesigning a site can take a ton of time so I was hesitant to start. The last time I redesigned Retire by 40, it took 6 months! That’s way too much time to spend on a cosmetic update.
This year, I’m taking a more modest approach and dividing the redesign into 2 parts. I want to do the first part this year and probably will hire someone to help with the 2nd part next year. Here are the things I want to accomplish this year.
- Move to HTTPS. I did this in May. This was actually pretty easy. It took a while to research and a couple of support calls, but I got it done quickly with no downtime. Siteground is a great hosting company and I highly recommend them. They were very helpful.
- New banner and logo. The old banner looked muddy and dated. The muted color also felt a little depressing. I wanted a cleaner look.
These were my modest goals and it’s done. Woohoo! It feels great to cross this one off the list. Next year, I’ll update the theme and the site should look even better.
Today, I’ll share our new logo and show you the design process.
*I need your help at the end of this post. The logo redesign isn’t quite done and I’d love your feedback. What I’m trying to say is, don’t click away in the middle of the post. 😉 Thank you in advance!
Old banner and logo
Here is the old banner for reference.
It never displayed quite right. The size was too small for the current site. The banner got resized automatically and looked a little pixelated.
This was the old logo. I’m not so enamored with the tilted 40 anymore.
Designing a logo is tough! How would you design a logo for Retire by 40? My first instinct was to stick with the relaxing retirement theme. Early retirement is a good thing and I want people to relax when they first arrive at Retire by 40. I’m not hanging out at the beach all the time, but life is a lot less hectic after I retired from my engineering career. So my first criterion is to convey that concept.
My idea was to have a beachy logo, then I’ll append the “Retire by 40” later. I consulted Dave at Accidental FIRE and he was very helpful. However, his vision didn’t quite align with mine so I had to keep looking. Dave is a graphic designer on the side.
Next, I decided to speed it up and hire a designer from Fiverr while I experimented with DIY logos.
Brian (Lazy Man and Money) alerted me to a sale at DesignEvo. For a limited time, you can use a coupon to design and download a logo for free! Apply this coupon at checkout for the BASIC package – DEP00CNET. DesignEvo is pretty cool. You can pick a clipart and then find a good font that works with it.
Check out my DIY designs
This was my brothers’ favorite logo. Mrs. RB40 and I thought it was too formal. Also, the image felt somewhat generic to me. It made me think ”logo on a t-shirt.”
People didn’t like the font on this one. I thought it was unique and fun. The image isn’t bad either. In the olden days when I was cheap, I’d probably go with this one. Now, I don’t mind spending a little money on better design.
Mrs. RB40 didn’t like the color gradient on this one. She thought it was too complicated.
This was my favorite DIY logo. I love it! There are aliens (FIRE is an alien concept) and a kid (SAHD tie-in.) I even threw the $$$ in the tagline. Nobody liked this one, though. 🙁
More DIY logos
Here are a few more logos that I tried. These didn’t progress far.
This has $ in it.
Many bloggers thought the beachy theme was too tropical. Portland is the opposite of tropical so they thought I should incorporate rain and clouds somehow. Thanks for the suggestion, but I think I’ll stick with the beach theme. It’s aspirational. Also, Retire by 40 is not a local blog. I’m writing for a global audience.
This one was just a fun logo I quickly made for Suze Orman. In case you can’t read it, the tagline said “Back to work by 50.”
This one was a really simple logo I made on Canva.
Professional graphic design
Okay, my DIY logos aren’t the best. Let’s see what the graphic designer from Fiverr came up with.
I ordered the middle of the road standard package. This included 2 initial concepts and high-resolution files.
Here is v1.
Honestly, I didn’t like it at first glance. The palm tree didn’t look quite right on top of the b. The 40 didn’t really work for me either. I was thinking “Oh crap, did I waste $52.50?”
The logo works very well in a circle, though.
Fortunately, my fear disappeared when I opened v2. This is almost exactly what I envisioned.
I asked to change the ocean to blue tone to match the site better. Here is the final result.
Do you like it?
I think it’s just about perfect for what I’m trying to convey. However, I still have a little more work to do.
The problem with this logo is the “Retire by 40” text. I need the text to be legible at 88×88, the tiny resolution that most sites use. This is where I need your help. The designer delivered a nice logo, but it’s too small to read at 88×88. I need to do some slicing and dicing to make it legible.
Please let me know which one you think is the best option.
1) Here is the logo I got from the graphic designer. I think the text is too small. Also, it’ll get cut off in a circle. (Twitter!)
2) Bigger text and smaller image. I’m using this one for now.
3) I like this one, but it could be confusing to new readers. What’s RB40?
4) This one is similar to the old logo. It’ll be familiar to regular readers and friends. I like it, but what do I do with the new banner up top? The font won’t be consistent.
5) Should I go with no text? This is cool, but I think we still need the text.
6) I could go with the simple one I made on Canva. But this feels like going backward.
Whew, that’s it for today. See how much time redesigning something takes? It’s not a simple process.
Lastly, if you don’t like the beachy logo, please give me a suggestion. What image do you think would work better for Retire by 40?
I hope you enjoyed a peek behind the curtain of the blogging business.
Thank you so much for your support!
If you’re looking for help, check out Fiverr. You can hire people from all over the world to work on your project. Here is my link – Sign up with Fiverr and get 20% off your first order. You can browse the logo design category and see what style you like.
Starting a blog is a great way to build your brand and generate some extra income. Check out my handy tutorial if you’re thinking about blogging – How to Start A Blog and Why You Should.
For 2018, Joe plans to diversify his passive income by investing in US heartland real estate through RealtyShares. He has 3 rental units in Portland and he believes the local market is getting overpriced.
Joe highly recommends Personal Capital for DIY investors. He logs on to Personal Capital almost daily to check his cash flow and net worth. They have many useful tools that will help every investor analyze their portfolio and plan for retirement.
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