Announcing Our New Logo and Look: A Mature Evolution

Nikki Porter

4 min read

Mar 28, 2019

Announcing Our New Logo and Look: A Mature Evolution

Big Nerd Ranch logo changing

Big news! We’ve released an updated visual brand identity, which includes a new logo, colors, and typography. You’ll see the new look anywhere we’re out in public, like our website, social media, events and very soon you’ll see it in all of our products, as well. What is the genesis of this change? Why Now?

The Beginning

Big Nerd Ranch found early success in developer and designer training – from books to immersive boot camps – and the holy grail of teaching complex concepts in a way that their students could retain and apply it to real products. So it wasn’t long before developers and designers across the world raved about Big Nerd Ranch’s thoughtful books and boot camp experience.

Over time, the developer and designer training market became saturated with companies that all seemed to make the same promise to emerging developers and designers. Some overpromised with guaranteed job placement. Many under-delivering, causing a downward spiral in the integrity of the training market. In addition to in-person training, the online options were everywhere and, in many cases, free. Big Nerd Ranch was not excluded from the negative impact of an overcrowded market.

Luckily, although class sizes were shrinking, loyal alumni continued to pull us along in their career trajectory – from junior contributor to the principal architect. The trust and credibility Big Nerd Ranch built with boot camp alumni and book readers were igniting the company’s relationships with mature organizations also seeking training for their teams. So training relationships also grew into partnerships where our engineers built digital products independently or alongside clients’ embedded teams. In fact, indisputable giants within the tech space continue to partner with Big Nerd Ranch today.

Why Change?

A change was inevitable. Responding to the demands of the market, Big Nerd Ranch began partnering with start-ups and technology teams within mature corporations. The consumer ecosystem of boot camp alumni and book readers that Big Nerd Ranch was used to, suddenly changed.

  • Business clients’ needs were different
  • Legacy success metrics no longer applied
  • The competitive landscape looked more polished
  • Industry events were on a much greater scale

After validating its value proposition, Big Nerd Ranch turned its focus to its brand – its reputation. It was critical to understanding if the company’s existing visual identity system resonates or alienates the new business audience without compromising the emotional ties that alumni have with the well-known logo of a cowboy hat with a propeller on top. But before deciding on the aesthetics, the leadership team had to invest in a 9-month corporate strategy session led by third-party consultants. It was important to gain alignment on which direction the company wanted to grow and how to operationalize it.

The Process

Big Nerd Ranch selected their Atlanta neighbor, Matchstic, as their Brand Identity consultant to facilitate this 12-month process of dissecting Big Nerd Ranch, the competitive landscape, and the market as a whole. After diligent research, leadership retreats, weekly leadership meetings, third-party consultants, and client focus groups and surveys, the leadership team at Big Nerd Ranch felt confident they landed on the right look and feel.

Big Nerd Ranch has evolved into an organization much more mature than it was 12 months ago. To support this mature evolution, we’ve updated our visual identity system to something our alumni and long-time advocates will recognize and continue to embrace while giving us a bit more buttoned up presentation to our business clients. The propeller has been lowered and transformed into an infinity symbol which is associated with perfection, duality, and empowerment. We deliver perfect code which is released in dual form. We empower our alumni and clients with the skills and confidence needed to develop beautiful code.

Logo description

The thicker typography makes a bolder statement. And the color system has been tweaked to a warm palette to represent the warmth and empathy of our team.

New color wheel

While our developers write best-selling books and have access to some of the most exclusive technology hubs on the planet, they are also authentic and kind. Our engineers are teachers-at-heart and want to protect the integrity of our digital future. They break out of their shells to take the stage to lead talks, manage community meetups and volunteer their time and skills in a variety of capacities.

Our New Look: A Mature Evolution

Big Nerd Ranch’s new look is a visual way of making the following statements to the industry:

We have shifted our position in the market to include a b2b audience.
Our training reputation is fundamental to our success – that’s why we’re different.
Big Nerd Ranch didn’t endure the test of time, we capitalized on it.
While we’ve buttoned up a bit, we intentionally look different from our competitors.

various logo options

We don’t want to look like everyone else because we aren’t like anyone else. Our consultants can go deeper than most because of the comprehensive research and market validation required from authoring books, as well as the industry-wide insight gained from training and engaging with top corporate developers from all over the world.

Keep an eye out for more updates––including a brand new website–as we leverage our training reputation to build brilliant digital products with start-ups and mature organizations.

Angie Terrell

Reviewer Big Nerd Ranch

Angie joined BNR in 2014 as a senior UX/UI designer. Just over a year later she became director of design and instruction leading a team of user experience and interface designers. All told, Angie has over 15 years of experience designing a wide array of user experiences

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