See My Freight is an ongoing project to revolutionize the trucking industry through innovative solutions that solve common pain points in the industry. This project is led by long-time members of the trucking industry. During their decades of experience they saw issues in their everyday procedures and decided to create and offer a solution.
Because of the nature of an ongoing project, details of the product UI/UX will be kept under wraps until the product is fully launched.
When the project owners approached idea42 with their idea to solve trucking pain points through software I immediately felt that they had a real passion behind their idea. As the discovery process took place they mentioned the need for other services outside of UIUX and development. They mentioned that they had a few designers take a shot at their identity but wondered if that was something I could offer. They ended up giving me a shot (spoiler: they went with my work) and I was super excited. This was an opportunity to not only guide a new passionate company through product design and development but I was also given the chance to translate their passion into a visual brand. A match made in heaven
Some early sketches and concepts
Initially existing on the appstore, See My Freight (SMF) needed a distinctive icon/mark that would both relate to the trucking industry and the software/tech world. We wanted to bring a fresh perspective to an industry that tech has seemed to leave behind while not alienating the current industry professionals. As I researched existing companies in the trucking industry, it became apparent that their brands were strikingly similar. Nearly all of the trucking companies were extremely masculine. Not only were these companies perceived as masculine through their colors and shapes but also in their blunt copy style and overall brand presence. There are a few ways that I leveraged SMF's brand mark to unite these 2 worlds (trucking and tech).
Some would say that the color blue is overused, especially in the tech world. I would tend to agree with that statement but this is also the exact reason that I chose a mostly blue color scheme for the branding of SMF. The owners of SMF have explained to me several times that although we need to cater to the shippers, the product's success is really based on the truck driver because if they refuse to use it.. it'll never take off. The challenge is that these drivers are typically not-so-tech-savvy. Everything needs to be familiar to them from the get-go. The brand mark was no exception. I chose blue because of its familiarity (considering so many other trusted brands utilize a mostly blue color scheme). Psychologically, blue emits a feeling of security and trust, so that helps too!
On top of the color creating familiarity, I also utilized a pattern or texture in the background of the mark. This simple grid-like pattern has a few purposes. One, to relate to the industry - a grid or stacked-like layout is a pattern seen throughout the industry from stacked packages, traffic, trailers, and time tables. Besides relating to their industry it also emits a sense of logic and intuitiveness.
By now you have probably realized that the overall shape of the mark is a location pin that is commonly seen in GPS UI (google maps, Apple maps, Waze, Mapquest, etc). Although it's obvious that this use of shape is practical given the application (considering one of the main parts of the product is a GPS service), it also builds on the familiarity factor. The arrow with streamline speaks to the innovative spirit of the product and gives the sense of moving forward, or just moving in general. The specific shape of the arrow was chosen to reflect the arrow that is often found in GPS UI to mark the user's current location, so in this case psychologically showing the user moving.
The typography is very important for the SMF branding (isn't it always though?). I knew I needed a homerun typeface combo to really hit this branding package out of the park. The headline font needed to represent both the trucking and software worlds. After all, this whole branding project is really about marrying two worlds that have seemed to have forgotten each other.
I tried countless combinations to try to get the typography to sing the way I wanted it to.. and then I ran into 'Rubik' - a typeface by Huber & Fischer. Rubik coupled with Google's Roboto font was an amazing discovery. Rubik was originally designed for a Rubik's Cube Exhibition. It was intentially created to mimic the shape of a rubik's cube. The letter forms are blocky with a subtle rounded edge and each of the capitals are specifically designed to fit in a cube of the rubik's cube. I believe this is why this typeface stood out to me so much. Each letter form is designed with a square in mind, the square being an extremely important shape and characteristic of trucking and shipping. The rounded edge ads just enough of a modern-tech-vibe to be the perfect typeface to marry these two worlds.
The SMF marketing page was a ton of fun to design and develop! The objective was simple - interest the viewer with a small amount of details on the product (don't want to giveaway all of the awesome ideas quite yet) and get them to sign up for the newsletter so they can stay up to date on the product. A secondary goal was to just give SMF a place to live on the web, a reference point
Unfortunately due to NDA's I am unable to share information about the product UI/UX. However, stay tuned because when the product launches I will share everything that I can!