Since my time with Idea42 we have rebranded two times. The first was a complete overhaul to the brand of idea42 (logo, typography, colors, website, etc). The second was a lighter rebranding to just shift directions based on where we were as a company. Below, I split the work in to these two sections, beginning with the second and most recent rebranding.
At some point in early 2017 Idea42 had some major changes take place. Since the company had been alive for several years by 2017 we had to adjust our goals and plans so that we could get our company where we wanted it. After several years of business, there were some ideas originally adopted that needed to be changed. This change of direction also indicated a time to reevaluate our marketing strategy and how we presented our selves to others. Since Idea42 is pretty small, the website is usually the first impression prospects receive for Idea42, because of this the website was the first to change.
Check out the live page here: idea42.co
When I came on board with idea42, I immediately recognized their unique management style, youthful attitudes and cut-throat sense of humor. All of these characteristics helped fuel a very interesting culture that owners Todd and Ryan have cultivated since the beginning. I felt that as a hired creative, their brand could use some changes to help communicate just who they are and the dynamic that they bring to the industry. At the time, they were utilizing a basic bootstrap template for their site, rocking mostly generic sans-serf types, cheesy stock photos and a logo that was done from a friend for free.
Diving into Idea42's branding, their mark was an important part of their identity. At the time, it pretty much was their logo. There was nothing necessarily wrong with their existing mark that was created by one of their friends, I just felt that it didn't quite represent the culture that the guys had cultivated. The old mark (picture to the right) seemed too generic and early-90's corporate-y, which was opposite of how Idea42 is.
So I stayed true to the design while modifying the idea to fit who they are. The new mark (shown directly below the old) is a friendly rendition of the original. I utilized very round shapes and soft corners, representing the playfulness of the company. Some of you nerds out there might be thinking: "Is the 42 a Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy reference?", and you would be right! Their whole company is pretty much a giant HHG2G reference, which speaks to how they run their company. I sought to celebrate this with adding the sweet saturn ring around the logo. Which in turn also speaks to other ideas around their company.
The brand colors were already a green and dark gray, both owners seemed to like that color palette, so I stuck to them. However, the green chosen was kinda dingy and since we're a brand that almost entirely lives online, there wasn't much of a reason to limit ourselves to the colors availble through CMYK. So, I brightened up the green, choosing one that doesn't only convey modern software but also one that looks good when on a gray background.
I wanted to so badly make the hex value for the green be #1dea42.. but that tone of green was just a bit too neon, it would have been as jarring as a strobe light when place ontop of the gray. So, I settled for using a different tone green. However, I did manage to get our gray value hex to be: #444442 which I thought was pretty clever!
When it came to the typography of the logo itself I wanted to basically make the same changes that I did to the logo mark, keep true to their vision while improving the emotion to better fit the company. Before I came onto the scene the typeface that they used for their logo had a area 51 kinda vibe, which I thought that I hated initially. I went through testing a bunch of the typical trendy typefaces, thinking that I was doing the typography justice. However, as I returned to similar typefaces (similar to the area 51 original) I realized that something typical and trendy wasn't helping their brand. I ended up landing on a rounded version of Bebas Neue, which I believe encapulates the brand, not only be keeping the area 51 vibe (why do I keep calling it that?) but also by translating the culture through typography.
As far as supporting typography goes, I wanted to stay away from similar forms as the logo typeface while keeping the consistency of playfullness. After testing many combinations and studying how they interact with eachother, I fell in love with the Google Font "Poppins." Poppins was everything I wanted in a headline font, playful, intuitive, and human. Combining that with the body font Roboto for it's extreme readability was a homerun.
Pre-rebranding the Idea42 website was mostly a placeholder for when they had more time to invest in a better one. It was your standard bootstrap theme, with cheesy stockphotos, and generic copy. Like the rest of the rebrand, I sought to design the website in a way that would reflect the culture of the company. I achieved this through an easy/intuitve layout, casual copy, and small easter eggs that are both rewarding to the viewer and reflective of our playful attitudes.