I suppose this is my first SvN post, so by way of an introduction I thought I’d share a bit about creating the animated 37signals logo.

When I first came on as “the video guy,” I wanted to think about how to brand 37signals’ wide variety of content with an interesting and unifying bumper. We hadn’t had to deal much with incorporating our logo into video, so it was time we gave it a bit of motion.

37signals is all about building things—from building a business to building software. I wanted the logo to “build” itself to reveal the design. 

I actually landed on the basic animation that would become the final product early on, but kept trying more and more complicated versions. I spent a week teaching myself new 3D software and countless hours tweaking every frame to get it just right, but as these things often go, we ended up back with a simple, clean design. The way the logo “builds” itself feels natural; it’s hard to imagine it moving any other way.

Not that it wasn’t worth it to challenge myself—I certainly enjoy learning new software and techniques, but it’s a good lesson to learn. More often than not, the simplest solution is often the best.

The chimes were a lucky coincidence. I needed some audio to give the animation a little more life. Using GarageBand and hitting four random keys on my keyboard, I came up with the chimes as a placeholder until someone with musical talent could get their ears on it. Like many things around here, it just worked—so we left it in the final version.

Here are a few of the different iterations we tossed around.