a closer look at source{d}’s rebranding

On this article we cover the process that sparkled source{d} rebranding, what we achieved so far, and what is the road ahead of us.

Molto vivace

We’re now moving fast on design as well. We have a design team of two, but we strongly believe that the design team is composed of every single member in our company.

We’re very excited about the tools we’ve been building, and now is the time for design to jump onboard. The goal is humble: it’s not about how fast you ship, but how fast you learn - while shipping.

First things first

We aim to create and continually foster the design culture of shared ownership. We believe design must be sustainable over time, with the emphasis of ethics over aesthetics: a creative practice where design systems are crafted for the needs of the present without compromising the future. We think twice about the life-cycle of the digital artifacts we give birth to.

With this in mind, we’re at the infancy of source{d}’s rebranding. The initial quest was the personification of our brand: to create a Brand Persona. It was a collaborative accomplishment where settled for a shared understanding of how we saw our brand; this is essential as is paves the way to the first design artifacts of what later becomes the brand design system.

All aboard

It was warming to see all folks excited and speaking out loud about their beliefs and the passion that drove them during the initial research we conducted. “Honest work for fun on funny things” is a glimpse on what sparkled the team spirit.

As part of this quest towards a more tangible and collective understanding of the brand, we ran batches of interesting (not to say fun) exercises, like asking our people… What animals would be representative of our brand? What are some of traits they have and how both relate? The kind of discussions or outcomes you get from it? “I don’t think a Nile crocodile is serious. It should smile :)“. After you read many of these, aggregate and find the shared aspects, things get interesting!

We believe that design is a team sport. It happens when there is such a knowledge management, transfer and openness within a team that it raises the standards of the critical environment. Design must capacitate everyone involved with the power to surface the value of collective truth, driving the momentum far and near the birth of design’s written word towards its visual translation.

Cookin’ on three burners

Genuine design happens when we acknowledge that design without rationale is a mere aesthetic exercise. Moreover, the urge for better experiences is hinged on better people not on better design. Bringing it all together, we genuinely praise people above all.

The visual translation started fueling with qualitative data, quantitative data and our company culture. We first started looking for some typography options, and in the process, we stumbled upon Free Font Ballon by the incredibly talented Aga Magdziak.

After a couple of minutes we found out that there was more to Aga than meets the eye. Along with the typeface, Aga created a huge set of visual artifacts that caught our attention. We like to think of what we discovered as open source design, and we deeply believe in it. In the end we came up with a design lexicon - a branch of knowledge - that empowered us to create the Brand Persona, and it was data-oriented all the way.

Claws that can grab a dinosaur

With a lexicon, we had all we needed to create the Brand Persona’s visual translation. After vivid care on content analysis we chose to give birth to {d}ali, a quite special parrot.

A parrot has the distinct characteristic of easily learning languages, and that pretty much stroked our agenda. Then, we had to make sure that our Brand Persona personality and traits would reflect on {d}ali aesthetics. Its claws translate our brand’s trustworthiness, its tail translate our brand’s enthusiasm and {d}ali’s head is all about being genuine, mainly because it gathers characteristics from several parrots, each one reinforcing our rationale.

This is how {d}ali was born.

Better together: getting the community closer

We deeply believe in co-creation. Our pathway towards innovation is not to simply share our evolution, but rather to evolve together with the community one step at a time.

We have the honest attention to the group, along with an extreme care of the individual. Like in good typography, we care about our community not being as a group of important people, but an important group of people - by choice.

So please, feel encouraged to check the results from the Brand Persona: source{d}’s Brand Persona and {d}ali’s Lexicon. Share your thoughts on our Slack Community

One, two, buckle my shoe

This is just a first milestone. Now there is a myriad of brand touchpoints to evolve and help us to produce a design system to move with more speed and consistency. We hope to reflect our brand unique values and personality traits on all of these community touchpoints to make everyone’s experience better.

If you relate with our endeavour, you will for sure find this David Scott article pretty much useful, as we did.

For further reading about our design philosophy, please take a look at our Graphic Design Guide.

This post was written by Ricardo Baeta. Follow him on Twitter: @ricardobaeta.