How I designed a successful sub brand in a corporate environment
Hi there, I’m Mor, a Senior Visual designer at HPE UX design studio, a dynamic group of UI and UX designers That lead the User Experience design vision at HPE Software around the world.
In this short article I will share insights on how I created a successful sub-brand for the UX studio in a corporate environment. And give some tips about branding in general.
My target was to design a modern and minimalistic visual language with a fun vibe for the UX studio. That reflects the innovative cutting-edge design that is created by our talented team.
I defined the target in 3 attributes:
Consistent – the selected logo needs to look like a part of the HPE visual language, but still be unique and memorable
Differentiated – differentiate the studio from other groups, and position it as an innovative, professional and creative team
Flexible – Needs to be Flexible enough to fit all kinds of formats such as: website, facebook page, presentation, video etc.
After defining the main target, I started to create a mood board of images that relate to the visual world that we are designing for.
Something that I learned along the way, is to try and avoid current design trends. Your brand should develop its own unique flavor, based on the target audience that will interact with it.
A good brand have a conceptual idea behind it and not just “easy on the eyes”.
Brainstorming with others on the team is a great way to think about solutions that are outside of the box.
Defining the main concept:
To define the right concept I needed to find the answers to the following questions:
What is the purpose of the products we design? What is our mission as UX designers?
After all, we design for users, and users are humans. Good user experience reminds us that there is a human touch in every interface. A beautiful and delightful product will put on smile on their faces.
Or in short, Good user experience makes people smile.
After I got this insight, I started to design a logo that represents the concept.
This is the result:
The final logo is clear and crisp,
The smiling U letter (that sometimes winks) connects to the human touch in the digital world, similar to the way we use smiley in social media. The square format relates to the green rectangular logo of the HPE.
The logo system
Flexibility is the key when working on visual language at the enterprise level.
Today some of the biggest brands let go of strict brand guidelines and start experiment with different colors and visual languages.
See for example Google doodles that changes its logo each day,
Or Fubiz new Identity that replace its animation each time the website loads.
The logo system evolved within the digital era we are living in, when everything keeps changing rapidly and new technologies emerge every day. Today, more than ever, the brand has to be elastic enough to fit to unlimited number of formats and resolutions.
Google uses doodles to change its design language every occasion.Credit: http://www.google.com/doodles
I chose to use the aspect of “Logo system” while I created a visual language of changing cover photos at the UX studio Facebook page. This way we can expand the conversation about the brand, and bring it back to life in various flavors.
UX studio Facebook cover photo – playing with variations on the logo.
The challenge with creating a sub-brand is the various number of formats and resolutions, Here are some examples of the Implementations that we did with the logo, from a mail signature to a conference identity.
HPE R&D Day main stage
“UX Hackathon” 2016 visual design. http://www.hpeuxhackathon.com/
A good brand needs to convey a good story that will differentiated it, and help it stay on people’s minds.
When designing a sub-brand in a big enterprise it’s important to find the balance between differentiation and consistency.
In real life brands evolve and change all the time, always think about how to create a brand that will be flexible enough to integrate in various implementations.
In the end of the day, creating a sub brand is a continuous process. The brand keeps changing rapidly long after the logo and the visual language was chosen, so the most important thing is to stay true to the concept, and enjoy working on it.
Keep smiling 🙂