Visual design language for an up-and-coming analytics startup
tldr:I worked with varying members of our marketing and product teams to devise the cornerstone concept, then built a brand and visual language that we could all stand behind
RJMetrics (acquired by Magento Commerce) is a data analytics solution that helps online businesses consolidate and visualize data for easy analysis/collaboration. Our brand and style at the time looked like something out of a Microsoft PPT. More importantly - the brand and mark were relics that no longer (or maybe ever) resonated with our team/culture. I worked with varying members of our marketing and product teams to devise the cornerstone concept, then built a brand and visual language that we could all stand behind.
We started by stating our goals for the new brand and what we wanted it to represent. This process included a mix of experimentation, qualitative surveys, endless sketches and a series of hackathon's worth of lessons.
tldr: we borrowed a concept from Platonic theory (solids) to represent the power of patterns
Framing the problem in a simpler way - we wanted to equate ourselves with understanding. To get to that, we turned to the history of science (data) and empiricism. During this quest, we found Plato and his solids particularly fascinating. More on the decision and leading factors can be found here.
Essentially, the thinking was that plato was using shapes to express an understanding of something far more complex than he could represent. We aimed to mirror that concept, only instead of understanding patterns in nature, we represented finding patterns in business.
Once we had the core idea in mind, all eyes turned to execution. The goal was to create a mark (and initial style-guide) that was modern, distinct, precise and scalable.
No branding process is without it's set of challenges, and this was no different. We went through dozens of iterations, and released our initial solution, followed quickly by a bit of a lesson in internationalism. In the end, however, this last lesson led us to the final mark, which became the cornerstone for our style-guide and ushered in a new look that could truly stand the test of time.