The goal of this project is to create a logotype that will be used as a Snapchat geofilter, and only for Snapchat users within the area of California State University of Sacramento area. A Snapchat geofilter is a location-specific graphic overlay used on photos & videos taken through the social media app, Snapchat. The logo must reflect certain geographical aspects, cultural aspects, and shared experiences of Snapchat users in the CSU Sacramento region.
The logotype must also retain its effectiveness through the various obstacles and limitations that the platform presents. Snapchat is an app that is native to smart phones, particularly iPhones and Android devices. Since the geofilter will likely cover one-fifth or less of the device’s screen, it’s important to limit the amount of fine details and to focus on a creating a high-contrast logo. I must design effectively for reduction to a small size, while taking into consideration the high resolution of Retina displays & HiDPI screens. Snaps can be as short as 1 second and as long as 10 seconds, depending on the choice of the user. This requires the geofilter to be clear enough to convey the context of the location in as little as one second.
Along with the aforementioned needs and goals for this project, are several limitations imposed by Snapchat’s rules for submission:
- All graphics used must be 100% original.
- Don’t cover up too much of the screen.
- Make sure it’s relevant to the location and something that people will want to use.
- Select a public place, neighborhood, landmark, venue or other location where people are likely to gather and send Snaps.
- Businesses are not currently eligible for Community Geofilters. Absolutely no logos or trademarks.
- Must be a 1080 x 1920 pixel PNG file. It should also have a 149 pixel buffer on the top and bottom, to protect the important parts of the design.
Along with these limitations, I must also adhere to creating a great, long-lasting logo. This is done by adhering to the following traits of a great logo:
- Legible & Readable
- Have an Appropriate Level of Distinction
- Be Reproducible to a Small Size
- Utilize Positive and Negative Space Well
- Have Substantial Line Weight
- Have Cohesive Flow and Continuity
- Logo Shown in a Positive Light
- Use a Single Color
- Be Versatile
- Be Enduring
The target demographic for this project is teens and young adults who use Snapchat within the CSU Sacramento area of Sacramento, California. Though 45% of Snapchat users are between the ages of 18-24, it’s presumed that “Snapchat’s audience skews even younger than that, since comScore’s survey ignores everyone under the age of 18” (Kafka via Recode). However, it is known that 71% of Snapchat users are under the age of 25, with nearly a super-majority (70%) of them being female (Smith via DMR).
Based on the intersection of the demographics of Snapchat users (13-24) and students of CSU Sacramento (17-24), the target demographic is people within the ages 17 and 24. These people likely share photos and videos with their friends on a daily basis, and are likely to be at the forefront of many progressive and innovative ideologies.
This posed a challenge to make the geofilter relevant to people within the CSU Sacramento area, while also making it compelling enough for Snapchat users to use this geofilter on their photos. These users are particularly keen to notice playful design, popular culture, and trends. Additionally, this posed the need for me to present a geofilter that borrowed aspects of trending design in order to engage the forward-thinking attitude of the user. Some of these aspects included: dominant lettering, vibrant colors, and flat-style illustrations.
A script style was chosen for the lettering to embody the spirit of higher education and academia at CSU Sacramento. I added many playful aspects to the lettering to appeal to the younger demographic:
- Playful letter interactions with the “S”s and “T”s.
- Rounded-off corners to offset the professorial nature of the lettering
- 20-degree forward slant to add a dynamic sense of motion.
- Green border creating a fun sticker-like effect.
When designing this geofilter, I took many things in account to make sure it would be relevant to the students of Sac State. The campus is in Sacramento known as the “City of Trees” and has over 3000 trees on the campus. This is the main reason why I made the crossbar of the “T”s a tree branch with leaves, and gave the piece natural flowing curves. I also pointed the leaves on the crossbar up and to the right to show the piece in a positive light.
The color used is the same green of Sacramento State’s primary school color (PMS 343 C, CMYK: 89, 19, 72, 60, Hex Code: #115740) to make the geofilter even more relevant. Sacramento State’s secondary school color is gold and could have been implemented in this geofilter to have a stronger connection to the school. After some experimentation, the addition of gold significantly reduced the clarity of the lettering. It was decided that I would only use the school’s dark green and white to maximize contrast of the design and help with reduction.
Free Guide on Geofilters
If you’re interested in learning how to create geofilters that people love to use, you can sign up at snapchatfilterdesign.com to get a FREE guide on creating geofilters.
I’m also producing a video course covering the practical steps as well as the timeless design principles that go into creating Snapchat geofilters. As a subscriber, you’ll also be the first to know when the video course is available.