A modern and inviting brand is important in the era of social media and technology. As all of us here at TFDi Design continue to push the limits of flight simulation with both smartCARS and the 717, we figured it would be a good time to finally give our public appearance a new beginning.
The first step at creating a fresh look for TFDi Design was to create a color combination that was inviting while still sticking to a red. After careful tweaking of RGB values, we decided on a deep red and dark gray (and white if/when needed).
Next, we had to come up with a logo that the entire staff was happy with and that we thought the community would like. From the beginning of the design process, we knew that we wanted to maintain some form of a ‘swirl’ as a sort of tribute to the original icon that has been with the company since its inception.
After some rough concept work in Photoshop, we came up with the design below.
This was nice, but it didn’t quite cut it for us. After some more trial and error, we found that creating a circle and cutting the above shape out of the circle left us with a rather interesting design.
The staff was sold. The basic shape of this icon was very much liked by all members of the team. With the design decided, we created a vector version of the icon that is more symmetrical than the concept/mock-up.
Now that we had a clean/vector version of the final icon, we added text and began trying different color combinations before we finally decided on the final version of the logo shown below.
With the new color scheme and logo ready, we set to work designing and coding a brand new website. Our previous website, although it did its job, was definitely beginning to show its age. From the outside, it was clunky, more difficult to navigate than we’d like, and not laid out in a way that fit where we want to take the company. We started the process by upgrading our content management/billing system to the latest version and repairing the current outstanding issues.
Then we began the front end work. The design started by us scrapping the previous design we tried and building on similar ideas (much like we did for smartCARS 2 – which also ended up being for the better). Once we knew what we wanted to do, we started coding it.
Today’s society is becoming more mobile powered than ever before and it was about time we responded. We reached into the mobile software world with smartCARS Mobile and it was only fitting that our web technology joined it. We designed every page to maintain the adaptive/responsive experience it needed to be not only viewable, but enticing and productive, on a mobile device. We modified templates of the content management system itself, as well as adapted its responsive elements into third party modules we’ve implemented.
We ensured that breadcrumbs are accurate and present where applicable, menus react to device size to showcase content, and that graphics are effective and immersive across all viewing experiences. Careful consideration was given to color choice, content location, interactive effects, and responsive adaptations.
We re-evaluated our core principles relating to how our content is laid out to create a more user-friendly experience. Menus aren’t as deep, links are more logical, and navigation is far more intuitive. We’ll be working on improving our knowledgebase content over the coming weeks, as well, to offer a more robust and helpful library.
Upward and Onward
This is not just a new website for us. It’s us taking the next step toward sculpting TFDi and demonstrating our growth as developers, business managers, and community members. Our logo’s colors represent our ideals – the red is the passion, the fun, and the creativity that fuels our work. The black represents the business, logic, traditions, and guidelines that we follow and set that keep us traveling in the best possible direction. The shape of our logo, the swirl, which was originally loosely based on the appearance of the center of a jet engine (with the cone painted white), is still present, representing our commitment to our roots and morals.
We’re confident that we’ll be able to continue to not only meet, but exceed both our expectations and our customers’ expectations as we continue to progress. We all look forward to the year of the 717 and beyond.