It all started with an orange drip.
It’s been almost three years since Percolate was brought into the world with a logo that loosely played on the notion of percolating coffee. The drip at the front represented the content inspiration our technology surfaces for a brand marketing team. Since then quite a lot has happened: We’ve grown a company, culture, and, importantly, a product that focuses on helping brands create content more efficiently and effectively.
As we’ve evolved as a company and product, our identity has mostly stayed put, picking up definition and flourishes along the way, but maintaining it’s core structure and patterns. As we reached this next stage of our development, a stage that involves us defining and building a new category of software, we felt like our identity needed to be upgraded alongside. Ultimately, there were some things working well in the system and areas where we could be stronger and use the opportunity to take a more sophisticated approach to better reflect where we are today and where we are going. So with that in mind we challenged ourselves to take the design of our brand system forward.
Today, we reveal that new system that takes our identity to the next level. We’ve created a system that has dialed down intricacies and dialed up flexibility to allow us to truly operationalize our brand: Giving our team confidence to create incredible on-brand communications that let people know about a thoughtful technology company called Percolate.
This also fits into our broad product philosophy. After all, if the things we build should continue to grow (no feature we ship is ever completely final), why should a brand system stay stagnant? At the end of the day we don’t expect it to move as much as the product does, which changes weekly, but we do think the identity of a technology company needs to be more flexible than average and that’s what we’ve gone for.
With that all laid out, let’s dive into the design. Since most of you are marketers I’m betting you’ll find it interesting. Here are the 7 things you need to know about our new brand system:
1. Kubrick would have approved
The first thing you will notice is the new logo. It’s all orange, unapologetically bold and set in a typeface called Futura. We’re excited about how the logo pushes our primary brand color and reinforces our iconic drip here. What you might not notice at first glance are some small customizations to the l and t we made to balance the form. If the typeface looks familiar it will be because typographer Paul Renner brought it into the world in 1927 and since then Futura been instrumental in building some pretty significant brands, and rumor has it that it was also a favorite of a film director called Stanley Kubrick.
2. Going all in on Orange
The optimism of our company could probably be distilled down to the color orange. It’s a color that has distinguished our look from a market of blue tinted companies. It became clear early on that it was important for us to take orange further with our evolution of the brand. You’ll see new primary applications and stationary lead with orange to provide that first touch point for customers, partners and potential employees. You’ll also notice we have introduced a new secondary typeface in Sentinel, it sets up an elegant contrast with our logotype that will revealed more throughout this post.
3. Layers change the pace
If you’re following the color science theme in this post you’ll be pleased to hear that our optimism has been boosted with the addition of a secondary color palette. Four colors across maroon, purple and blue add further imagination and trust to our brand communications and products. We like using color to change the pace of our presentations so you’ll see the colors there, also it’s given us a stronger dynamic range on illustrations, patterns and editorial elements.
4. Tools for building products
Part of designing our brand system was about providing our team’s guidelines on how to execute the new Percolate . So in the last couple of week’s behind the scenes we loaded up some tools with our new styles to do this; from the keynote theme which guides our presentations, our image editor application for creating social images and our product style guide which our designers and developers use. We also updated Welcome to Percolate, the website for all things Percolate which is now a great place to find our new logotype, fonts and desktop wallpaper patterns.
5. All the screens
Being a technology company we were pretty excited to take the new system to our software products. Our customers will see a new look Percolate from today and for everyone else, you can see a preview in the imagery across this site. The move here was updating our style guides to integrate the new typography and colors across our web and mobile products. We also finally got round to building out an icon font based on our new style, basically this ensures the quality of display across all devices and makes our job as designers and developers much easier when pulling stuff together.
6. Collaboration brought new perspectives
There is approximately 1673 miles between us and our design partners Berger & Föhr in Colorado. For 6 weeks there were no in person meetings, just plenty of skype email conference call activity. It was important for us from day 1 to work with people outside the company to bring a new perspective to our brand evolution. Our partners, Todd and Lucian had no emotional baggage with Percolate and they managed to construct a thoughtful dialogue from initial research questionnaires through to design concepts and iterations to push our team and take the system to places we hadn’t imagined.
7. Building culture
Design can do more at technology companies than help create great products and marketing materials; design can help build your culture and make your team proud to be part of what the company is creating. From the start of this project ‘make awesome stuff for the team’ was definitely part of our brief. Today you’ll see the first signs of this with our new t-shirt designs and wallpapers for desktop and iOS.
And that’s 7. Hopefully that’s given you a good overview of what’s been going down. We dubbed today Day Zero internally; the business cards have been handed out and I’m surrounded in new T-shirts, but this is just the beginning. This system will be brought to life with stories that have yet to be told about the future of marketing technology and the products we will build. TV visualizations up next will be a nice place to play.
The last thing I would like to say is we’re hiring the best designers you know, so tell your friends. I had to get that in right? Yeah I thought so too.