Electric cars are arguably the future. BMW, Nissan, and, perhaps most notably, Tesla, are all leading a transport revolution which, when paired with the rise of renewable energy, could be a key contributor to a greener tomorrow. So it was exciting to hear that Portsmouth was getting its very own electric car hire specialist, Volt-Age, who approached us to design their logo.
Custom type with consistent width, sheared angles, sharp corners and soft bends, and a striking yellow bolt cutting through the negative space between two of the characters. All of these elements work together to create a mark which feels fittingly cutting-edge but also unique enough to stand out in an increasingly saturated industry.
That is to say, many logos repping electric vehicle firms embody the very literal concept of cables and plugs forming the outline of a car. While there’s nothing wrong with this trend, it’s important for a brand to cut its own tangent, and one good way to achieve that is by stripping things back to strong iconography. Not quite abstract, not quite literal — a cute little midway point.
Sometimes, I’ll sketch 20 logo ideas over a few days, land on something, and have it ready to ship digitally within a couple of hours. The Volt-Age logo was the complete inverse! I sketched what you see below almost immediately, and then spent a few days refining every little bit of spacing until everything felt like it was standing up by itself.
Electric blue and livewire yellow don’t solely relate the logo’s colour scheme to an everyman imagining of electricity — they’re also a nod to Pompey colours. The old club crest, the Emirates-sponsored repaint of the Spinnaker Tower, etc. Volt-Age is a nationwide-reaching service, but it’s always nice when brands’ logos blow a kiss to the hometown.
As you’ll see in the sketch, my original idea was to have the bolt forming the crossbar glyph of the ‘A’, but I didn’t take that idea too far before throwing it in the trash.
Here are a few other concepts I drew up during breaks from refining what became the final logo:
And here’s the final logo mocked up on a hybrid car: