We're a group of 7 Ruby on Rails developers in need of a fresh approach to branding. We have a bland website and a dull logo (after all, we're programmers), and are looking to increase our strength in the development market.
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We typically cater to San Francisco based startups that need both development and consulting to bring their ideas to life. We all operate remotely ('remote agility'), and thus are able to cater to a national or global market. As we begin promoting ourselves to both software developers and our market, we want to ensure that our brand is both recognizable and strong.
We don't want the typical 'bubbly web 2.0' look, but we want something sophisticated. Not anything that looks like some typography was thrown together in Photoshop at a moment's notice.
1) Something that screams strength and robustness
2) An icon that wholly represents us, that can be used when including our long company name isn't an option
3) Easily recognizable at events, on tshirts, business cards, etc.
4) Possible sources of inspiration: Mass Effect, 300 (the movie), shields