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Do you like Retire by 40’s new logo?

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Do you like Retire by 40's new logoHey Everyone,

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.

retire by 40 old banner

It never displayed quite right. The size was too small for the current site. The banner got resized automatically and looked a little pixelated.

Retire by 40 old logoThis was the old logo. I’m not so enamored with the tilted 40 anymore.

 

First idea

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.

DIY logos

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

test logo 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.”

 

 

 

logoPeople 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.

 

 

logoMrs. RB40 didn’t like the color gradient on this one. She thought it was too complicated.

 

 

 

Alien logoThis 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.

logoThis has $ in it.

 

 

 

 

logoMany 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.

 

logoThis 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.”

 

 

 

logoThis 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.

v1 logo

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?”

v1 logoThe logo works very well in a circle, though.

 

 

 

 

Fortunately, my fear disappeared when I opened v2. This is almost exactly what I envisioned.

Retire by 40 banner

I asked to change the ocean to blue tone to match the site better. Here is the final result.

retire by 40 logoDo 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.

 

Final logo?

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.

Retire by 40 logo1) 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!)

 

Retire by 40 logo2) Bigger text and smaller image. I’m using this one for now.

 

 

RB40 logo3) I like this one, but it could be confusing to new readers. What’s RB40?

 

 

Retire by 40 logo4) 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.

 

logo5) Should I go with no text? This is cool, but I think we still need the text.

 

 

Retire by 40 logo6) I could go with the simple one I made on Canva. But this feels like going backward.

 

Which logo do you like best?

View Results

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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 

I really hope you like our new banner and logo. It's been on my list for a long time and I finally finished part 1 of the site redesign. Check it out.
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Joe started Retire by 40 in 2010 to figure out how to retire early. He spent 16 years working in computer design and enjoyed the technical work immensely. However, he hated the corporate BS. He left his engineering career behind to become a stay-at-home dad/blogger at 38. At Retire by 40, Joe focuses on financial independence, early retirement, investing, saving, and passive income.

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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{ 61 comments… add one }
  • Financially Free October 11, 2018, 1:21 am

    Congrats on the new logo design Joe! Creating a logo is a creative and interesting process.

    I’m with you on design no. 2. If you choose to go with this one, I’d probably get the top-banner updated to black text to match the square logo.

    • retirebyforty October 11, 2018, 9:48 am

      Thanks! I darken the text in the banner a bit.

  • Michael @ Financially Alert October 11, 2018, 1:45 am

    Hi Joe, cool new logo! I’m digging it.

    I do like #2 the best, but I don’t care much for the font.

    Good luck as you finalize your rebranding. 🙂

    • retirebyforty October 11, 2018, 9:48 am

      The font is more polarizing than I thought. How interesting. 🙂

  • Dave @ Accidental FIRE October 11, 2018, 2:53 am

    I love the font on the new logo Joe, it’s unique and I definitely feel like you should keep that as a highlight. Perhaps the designer from Fiverr should include an avatar version with the job?

    Thanks for the shout-out and sorry we weren’t able to come to a consensus!

    • retirebyforty October 11, 2018, 9:49 am

      I like the new font too. I think the e is neat, but it seems to be very polarizing.
      Avatar? You mean a mascot of some sort?

      • Dave @ Accidental FIRE October 11, 2018, 6:40 pm

        For the avatar I mean text and logo combination (I’m using the term avatar the same as logo). I would think the designer would have done that for you but it seems they just did the header and you had to rearrange to get the logo. I do like the way you arranged the text, looks like the best option to me.

  • Bernz JP October 11, 2018, 3:37 am

    Voted for #5 and I agree with you that you will need a text. Maybe a small “retire by 40″text that goes across the bottom part of the water/beach.

    • retirebyforty October 11, 2018, 9:49 am

      I will try that out, but I think the text will be too small to read. Thanks.

  • Xrayvsn October 11, 2018, 4:31 am

    I honestly like the one your brother likes. And you are right, it would make a great t-shirt (another side gig). Of the other choices you mentioned, I like #2.

    It definitely is a nice refresh no matter what you choose.

    • retirebyforty October 11, 2018, 9:50 am

      I’ll keep that one in case we ever make a t-shirt. 😉

  • Nicoleandmaggie October 11, 2018, 4:32 am

    I can’t figure out the quiz. I like the one your brother liked. I hate the e’s on the one the designer made.

    • retirebyforty October 11, 2018, 9:51 am

      The e is very polarizing. I was able to download the font so I could put the tail back if needed. 🙂

  • FullTimeFinance October 11, 2018, 4:50 am

    I vote two. I like the darker blue with it all by the way. Ironically our new logo came in last night.

    • retirebyforty October 11, 2018, 9:51 am

      I like your new logo. It’s a good theme for your site. Nice job.

  • Tara C October 11, 2018, 5:20 am

    For some reason I can’t vote, but I would go with #2.

  • Tom @ Dividends Diversify October 11, 2018, 5:38 am

    I voted for number 2 Joe. I really liked your first DIY too. Fun stuff. Tom

  • Financial Samurai October 11, 2018, 5:44 am

    I like the first one under DIY with the yellow and black too. Very nice!

    But yes, the new logo looks nice as well.

    You don’t need to have the writing in the button pic.

    For example, the Financial Samurai mask is stands alone and is recognized as FS.

    • retirebyforty October 11, 2018, 9:53 am

      I’ll keep the text for now. I might get rid of the text later once everyone is more familiar with the logo. Thanks for your input. Your logo works very well with your site. My logo is a little more generic so I think it still needs the text.

  • Mrs. Groovy October 11, 2018, 6:50 am

    I chose 4 but only because I agree with NicoleandMaggie about the e’s which I don’t like. It looks like a style created just for the sake of it. So really, I’d choose 2 but with regular e’s.

    • retirebyforty October 12, 2018, 10:35 am

      I’ll have to seriously think about putting the tail on the e. Wow, I guess this is what happens when you mess with the fundamental. 🙂

  • Felipe October 11, 2018, 7:04 am

    Nice options and thanks for including us. I vote #2. I like the style of the letters for some reason, but agree #1 is too small. Number 3 I get everything is abbreviated, but I prefer the whole word.
    Funny you mention Suzie Orman. I usually sort of like her but her recent statement did irritate me. I like your humor…

  • ksil October 11, 2018, 7:11 am

    I haven’t read the other comments but the thing that turned me off, right off the bat is the e’s that are cut off. Is that supposed to imply something? It strikes the eye as jarring. I also think the beach concept for a Dude from Portland Oregon is a bit odd. I don’t have any other suggestions though. Sorry.

    • retirebyforty October 12, 2018, 10:36 am

      That’s how the designer delivered it. It’s just style, I believe.
      Well, we won’t be in Portland forever. I’ll live in a beach town someday. 🙂

  • Margaret October 11, 2018, 7:45 am

    The sunset image is great, but the text is meh. Suggest you play up the circular aspect of the image by curling the “Retire By 40” text at the bottom (from 6 o’clock toward 3 o’clock), either overlapping the water or just outside the blue edge.

  • Susan @ FI Ideas October 11, 2018, 8:11 am

    I voted for #2 and agree with several others that the e’s look odd. But maybe that’s the point? You have to cut things out to retire early. Okay, too subtle. Besides, you can also be in the “make more money camp” and go with extravagant e’s. I realize now that my logo, which I love and bought from a designer on Etsy, does not scale and is lost on cell phone users. Oh well, I love it anyway.

    The Suze Orman logo is a hoot. Back to work by 50!

    • retirebyforty October 12, 2018, 10:38 am

      Thanks! I like the Suze logo too. It’s funny.

  • Randy Parker October 11, 2018, 8:27 am

    I really like the new logo. For the small version, I strongly prefer #2.

    Have you considered making the circle with tree, sun & water the zero in 40?

  • Aaron October 11, 2018, 8:28 am

    Congrats on your refresh Joe! As a designer (by day / PF blogger by night) haha – I think it’s important not to have too much going on in a logo. Fonts are also important as they can derail a logo real fast. Like others, I almost prefer the one your bro liked but your current one is nice too. I may recommend that you get rid of that vertical line in the banner between the icon and type as it doesn’t really add much to the logo. Also the “e’s” are a bit troublesome and tend to detract from the look – instead of add to it. Seems abrupt when next to your circular icon.

    Of course everyone has an opinion and designers can be overly-critical. 🙂 Thanks for asking.

    • retirebyforty October 12, 2018, 10:39 am

      Thank you for your input. I’ll try putting the tail back and run it by my testers. 🙂

  • Dan K October 11, 2018, 8:36 am

    Nice colorful logo. I like #2 the best

  • Angela @ Tread Lightly Retire Early October 11, 2018, 8:55 am

    You’ve gotten lots of feedback already, but being such a long time reader I like sticking to the new logo that’s still reminiscent of the old. Keeping the colors and font similar helps a lot, while updating it to a more professional look.

  • Mr. Tako October 11, 2018, 10:01 am

    I like the new logo Joe! It looks really professional! It makes me think I need to get a proper logo made (or something). But then again, $52 is like what my blog makes in a year… so it might just be a big waste of money for me.

    • retirebyforty October 12, 2018, 10:40 am

      There are some cool octopus logos at the DIY sites. You should check it out.

  • Mrs. 50 October 11, 2018, 10:03 am

    They all look refreshing. But I think I like #2 so I’m going to vote for that. Branding and logo designing are tough. I still don’t like mine and want to change when the time comes.

    Good luck with your rebranding!

    • retirebyforty October 12, 2018, 10:40 am

      You probably should get a good logo sooner than later. I waited too long. Changing after 8 years usually isn’t a good thing. People get used to how things look. 🙂

  • Pennypincher October 11, 2018, 10:13 am

    My thoughts as well-refreshing! The mom, dad and Jr. one made me laugh and smile, but I do think your first choice, the very top logo says it best. I will miss your old one, it was so dreamy and conveyed a feeling of- ahhhhh, finally, retired!

  • Tawcan October 11, 2018, 11:53 am

    Nice Joe. I like #2 the best. The text stands out more for me with that one.

  • Wes October 11, 2018, 12:50 pm

    Admittedly, the Alien one really makes me laugh (in a good way!)

  • Lily | The Frugal Gene October 11, 2018, 12:51 pm

    Oh I chose the first one even though it’s a little small – I like the color scheme the best. I like #2 too but the black color is too…stark/dark. #1 has that nice dark blue which goes with the orange to create contrast. Overall, the designer did a great job I think!

    I also liked the first design you DIY yourself! I don’t know why people didn’t like that one. I did.

  • Jon Sharpe October 11, 2018, 1:21 pm

    I went with #5. I like having a proper logo with no text that people can begin to identify with your site. Then for the banner, you can add the text next to it like you’ve already done.

    Similar to the approach taken by Financial Samurai or Be Net Worthy!

    Good luck!

    • retirebyforty October 12, 2018, 10:51 am

      I’ll probably transition to #5 at some point. I’ll let the readers get used to the image slowly. 🙂

  • Jim @ Route To Retire October 11, 2018, 4:44 pm

    I like both the first and second one. I don’t think the text is too small on the first one, but I definitely get the Twitter circle thing.

    I’m trying to keep up with you, Joe – once we get back from our vacation in November, I’m bringing my cousin on board to help me with my site. Her job is building brands and she’s also a graphic designer so hopefully she can give my site a little life. We worked a trade where I spent hours helping her and her husband with giving them some direction on their finances. I like when things work well like that!

    — Jim

  • Dulcie October 11, 2018, 7:31 pm

    I don’t think you should change your logo. It is just fine the way it is!

  • TJ @Half Life Theory October 11, 2018, 8:12 pm

    Congratulations Joe! Looks like you hit the nail on the head on this one. It’s very clean, and I think it represents your site well!

    I actually like the Alien DIY version as well…. very unique. AND I also like the professional option #1. I wouldn’t have been mad at that one either

  • Helen October 11, 2018, 8:53 pm

    Hi Joe, the logo echos the spirit of retirement: ocean, sunshine (or rainbow), and palm tree. It’s cool.

    Just for your information. I’m not sure what the issue is, my browser Chrome doesn’t display your old logo image or the DIY logo images. I can see your new logo. It could be the issue with the Firewall in China, as I’m currently in China. Anyway, just let you know.

    • retirebyforty October 12, 2018, 10:52 am

      Ahh… Sorry! Some of the images are served from Google Photo. That’s probably the issue. Enjoy your trip!

      • Helen October 13, 2018, 3:56 am

        You are right, Joe. Google is not available in China.

  • Stephen @ theFIRElane.com October 11, 2018, 9:39 pm

    I really like the new logo. The site feels more modern as well with the logo change.

  • Caroline October 12, 2018, 5:46 am

    I like the one your brother likes, even if it feels more generic.
    From the list I guess it would have to be #1.

  • Lazy Man and Money October 12, 2018, 6:52 am

    Thanks for the mention. It would have been cool if that logo deal worked out in the end, but I love that you were able to create some fun stuff like trolling Suze Orman.

    I love the new logo… but… (there’s always a “but”, right?) … was it too much money for the designer to finish the “e”s? LOL. I’m joking… a bit.

    I like the minor theme design as well. Now if only I can convince you to install a subscribe to comments plug-in ;-).

  • Steve @ familyonfire.org October 12, 2018, 11:51 am

    These all look great very professional. Just make sure you don’t end up too much like the NBC Today show.

  • Abigail @ipickuppennies October 12, 2018, 1:25 pm

    I guess I’d go with # 1 (from the last list you provided). I’m not a huge fan of the funky e that it uses, but otherwise it looks good.

    Hope this helps!

  • Mike October 12, 2018, 2:42 pm

    I actually have no real preference. Weird I know. But no preference at all.

  • GYM October 12, 2018, 11:13 pm

    Great choice- it is the best logo out of all the designs!

    Yes the first one does look like a ‘logo on a T-shirt’ one of those souvenir travel T-shirts you can find on a road stall.

    I also chose #2 which I think most others chose too!

    Looks great!

  • Ms ZiYou October 13, 2018, 10:23 am

    I love seeing all the different logos Joe – even the rainy Portland one!

    And I so think you made the right choice – love the new look 🙂

  • Sharon October 13, 2018, 8:11 pm

    I like option 2

  • Hiep October 13, 2018, 11:47 pm

    Hi Joe,

    why not do #5 but add your logo in the water area?

  • Financial Orchid October 14, 2018, 2:23 pm

    Great new logo. I like the RBF font. More modern and updated than the previous. The image is not bad either. I can get used to it. Thanks for tagging me on Twitter for feedback!

    Here comes a modern, refreshed, updated RB40!

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