One of the fun things about being a graphic designer is the opportunity to learn about new segments of business you never knew existed. Creation of the Stora Security logo was one such opportunity.

Over the years, I’ve worked on projects for automotive, restaurant, hospitality, legal, start-up, non-profit and luxury retail clients. Each client, and each project, presented its own unique set of challenges. While I had worked on branding projects for tech-based companies in the past, Stora Security was something completely different. Stora was the first information security consulting firm I had heard of.

The easiest way to understand what Stora does is to say it like this — it’s kind of like legalized hacking. Companies with sensitive data hire Stora Security to aggressively test their online safeguards against would-be cyber attacks. Once a thorough check of all systems is complete, Stora reports the findings to their client so they can improve the safety of their data.

The founder of Stora Security, Jason Ostrom, asked Small Hat Studio to work on a new logo that visually represented both the offensive and defensive characteristics of cyber security. However, Jason had additional input, making the project even more interesting. The name Stora is the Swedish word for “large” and Jason wanted the design to reflect a Scandinavian aesthetic — simple concept, elegant execution with strong geometric typography.

Initially, I developed several options that incorporated the national colors of Sweden, elements of the Swedish flag, Norse mythology (for example, Thor’s hammer and a stylized Viking helmet), and concepts of offense and defense. Jason decided that the option with the Viking helmet was the most intriguing, but the helmet was too stylized. Plus, it kind of looked like an executioner’s mask. He wanted to see additional explorations for the Viking helmet and how it might look inside a shield. After creating alternative helmets with different shapes, eye holes and horns, I found the one that did the trick and we had our logo!

A sample of the helmet explorations created for the Stora icon.

What I love about the Stora logo is the simplicity. The type is clean and timeless. The icon is strong and memorable, and it works with or without the type.  Finally, the icon represents a combination of offense and defense — the helmet is aggressive in its appearance while still being a piece of protective armor.

I can’t wait to work on additional pieces for Jason. Until then, I think we’ve safely started Stora down the right branding path.

The final iteration of the Stora logo in all its glory.

The final iteration of the Stora logo in all its glory.