Read the story of redesigning a brand for a Brazilian startup and how it impacted on many areas of the startup's business.
In collaboration with a senior designer, we redesigned the startup’s brand.
In addition to the logo design, I designed, mocked it up, and printed the business cards, and I created the animations for the logo promotional video that was released in the day of the brand's 4th anniversary.
Co-Founders, Designers, Engineers, Operations
After Effects, Cinema 4D
The startup was founded by three friends who started their business working from a book store in Brasilia. They had a logo concept but no time, so they quickly created a logo to be able to launch their MVP/Business.
The startup grew in number of clients and employees after a few years. I was hired as a new designer along with a senior designer at the time, and we suggested to the founders to redesign the logo as opportunity to create a unique brand for the startup and increase the reach to new clients and projects.
We started the process looking for logo/brand references and creating a board to share with the team. We looked up for designers we admire and companies' logos we were inspired by.
We thought we were on the same page and we started to sketch ideas on paper and sharing with each other twice a week, at least.
We first tried to redesign the old logo typeface, but after trying a few options, we decided to move on and try to create a unique type specially for the logo.
We started designing on our sketchbooks individually and sharing our work during our standup meetings with the founders giving their feedback.
Sometimes we just shared the idea on paper, sometimes we shared potential good ideas on Illustrator, so we could print it on paper and see how it would look like.
We continued to design many logo variations after each meeting. We had almost an entire wall full of options printed with many sketches and potential designs, but we were not happy with the results we got at that point.
We felt like we were stuck on the road and we did not know the direction to go.
I suggested a methodology that I learned in the Design for Motion class I took at Savannah College of Art and Design. The methodology was created by Austin Shaw, my teacher at that time, and the methodology was divided into 6 steps. The team decided to give it a try.
We worked on this methodology with the founders to get a better understanding of what the word "Start" meant for them and for us.
It was a great experience to work directly with the people we were designing the brand for.
The design process is divided in exercises that led to the creation of the logo concept.
We wrote anything about the word "Start" for 10 mins non-stop. The goal is to be able to write your first thoughts about the word
We highlighted and selected words from the Free Writing step and made one or more lists using the words
Using the keywords listed previously, we made connections between the word Start and other words
By connecting the words, we could align on what the word "Start" means for the entire team. Then we wrote a brand concept
Having a concept helped to organize a moodboard with brand references and inspirations that made sense for everyone
Along the process, we had conversations with the founders to understand their visions, the idea of starting the startup together, their motivations, and expectations. It was important to listen to how the startup and the founders learned over the years.
The name of the startup is a combination of the English word Start and the expression “Aê”, which is a Brazilian expression that adds energy and determination to what is being said. You can pronounce it start-ah-eh.
The founders told us how was the entrepreneur for them. It felt like a non-linear journey that they liked to represent it with photos of stairs.
For them, the image of stairs is symbol that represents an opportunity to anyone to start to make their ideas real. They took step by step towards their goals and the directions can vary along the way. Sometimes they took a step down, sometimes they took a different direction that was previously planned.
The entrepreneur journey is a human, creative, delightful experience.
My designer coworker and I started to create options that could represent the simple design easy to read and easy to remember (design for humans) and that would show the delightful entrepreneur journey.
During this stage, the founders wanted the symbolism of the stairs represented on the logotype, so we were working on the symbol as well.
We had symbol variations that were more aligned to the company's history and culture than the previous designs we were trying to design with no direction.The founders chose the symbol first, then the custom typeface.
The new logo has a meaningful concept for the startup and it has a brand new look'n feel.
The results of this project initiated many other projects related to the brand. The startup updated the design of the Startae website and stationery, and created new t-shirts, stickers, and more.
Before the launch date, the team took photographs with the "S Wood Symbol" and posted on social media as a teaser of what was coming next. It was an exciting moment for the startup and all the remote employees were onsite when we launched the new brand.
Learn how the redesign of the onboarding process impacted on the company's grow and sales.