From the Team: What's in the Logo?

My name is Judith (people call me Juju), and I’ve been working with the Lána crew for 3 years (I joined the team when they were planning sustainable fashion runways shows at Undress Runways).

When the Undress team first made the move into the fashion share economy, we decided to do it under the Undress banner. This made sense to begin with — after all, we’d collectively spent 6 years building a loyal community, reputation and social following under the Undress brand. However, as we started to develop our platform and share our new project with the world, we realised that a venture this big was going to need and ample amount of space to carve out its own brand and exist independently from Undress Runways.

So, in September, we decided to rebrand. Enter, Lána.

‘Lána’ — means ‘lend’ in Icelandic. We wanted to give ourselves a name that transcends beyond the English language and will work when we are a global company. We needed a simple name that could be pronounced universally and represented the essence of our company; lending.

Edda, who heads up Lána, is Icelandic, and has taught us that it’s rare for Icelandic words to sound good in English. But Lána was perfect.

We had a week to rebrand the company, design a logo and pick our colour pallette. If you’ve ever worked in marketing or design, then you’ll know that that’s a slick turn-around time.

Have you ever looked at logos and wondered what their meaning is or what inspired the design?

My favourite kind of logo is one with a complex idea behind it and a simple, clear visual representation of this idea. For example, Sony Vaio (Visual Audio Intelligent Organizer) is known for their technology. Their logo represents the integration of analog and digital technologies. The letters ‘va’ look like an analog wave, while the ‘io’ resemble the numbers 1 and 0 to represent a digital signal or binary code.

The Lána brand is fun, confident and stylish. I wanted to develop something that encompassed those values, but would also look professional and would stand out as sophisticated in the space that we exist in.

The logo incorporates two triangles one inside the other. The outer triangle represents the Lána community; Owner, Borrower and Lána. The inner triangle forms a stylised ‘L’ and doubles up as a *fist pump* as a nod to our upbeat, optimistic nature. (Once you see the fist pump, you can’t not see it — right? There’s been many long nights in the office that have resulted in the Lána logo being overlaid on top of some famous people giving fist pumps. Maybe one day we’ll share some with you).

Let’s break it down.

There were multiple elements that point towards this idea of ‘movement’. This was the main concept I explored in my design process. We see ourselves as a company that is progressive and always moving forward. We are quick on our feet and enjoy living a fast-paced life. Lána also gives users more freedom to move: financial freedom and the freedom to wear anything they want. We are on-the-go people. The triangle lends itself well to this concept of movement as it guides the eye left, right and centre.

In many cultures the reference to the triangle includes some religious undertones: body-mind-spirit (holistic/conscious living, which is one of Lána’s core values) or past-present-future (we see Lána as the future of fashion).

The logo doesn’t work alone in creating the Lána visual identity. It works alongside the images, fonts, colours and even the language we use.

To put things simply, I like to imagine Lána as a friend who’s setting up a Tinder profile for the first time, and needs help with her profile picture. Does this picture show her good side? Does her face look too symmetrical in this shot? What emojis should she use in her description? (Yes, emojis are important). Luckily for me, I don’t have to write the description for her profile — writing isn’t my strong point. I leave that to the copywriters. The last thing I want is for Lána to have amazing photos with an off putting bio like “tbh I just want to get some free chipotle out of this”.

So, that’s how we got to what Lána looks like today.

Will this logo work forever? Maybe, maybe not. The Undress logo has changed ever so slightly, multiple times over the years as we’ve evolved and became a more sophisticated brand. We’re always open to revisiting our branding and tweaking it if we see a reason to. I just hope that next time that happens I have more than a week to get it done! (I’m kidding — I mean, if we didn’t give ourselves the tightest deadlines in the world, could we even consider ourselves a startup?)

If you’ve got thoughts on our logo, leave us a comment below! I’d love to hear what you think.

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