The Crowdz Rebrand
Recently, Crowdz carried out a major re-branding exercise in preparation for our product launch. After considering a number of seriously talented design firms, we settled on Two Bridges Design from Denver, Colorado. Wells Collins, head honcho at Two Bridges Design, and team were a pleasure to work with during the entire process. And true to our expectations, they delivered a rebrand solution that was insightful and perfect for our journey forward as a new FinTech company. Knowing many may find the whole rebrand and creative process somewhat of a mystery, we thought it our readers might enjoy a tour of how it happened. What better tour guide than Wells Collins himself
Our goal at Two Bridges Design was to create a full identity system for Crowdz: a Fintech company tackling the future of business payments with an all-in-one platform that makes sending, paying and selling invoices a lot easier. Crowdz also aims to give financial independence to SMEs (small to medium-sized enterprises) by creating faster payments and more working capital from their invoices. The brand must cater to the AP/AR professionals who are looking to improve efficiency, and to CFOs who need better cash flow to improve their bottom lines. Adjectives to describe the brand include: revolutionary, evaluative, innovative, confident, reliable, sophisticated, and fresh.
From Old to Jung
When starting a brand redesign, it’s always helpful to personify the brand. This is best accomplished by looking to archetypes. Archetypes are based on Swiss psychologist Carl Jung’s theory that humans have a basic tendency to use symbolism to understand concepts. Jung identified 12 archetypes. Each archetype has a powerful identity with its own set of characteristics, values, attitudes and behaviors. As consumers, we connect with or relate to the personality and aspirations of the brand archetype. We found that Crowdz can be tied to two different archetypes: the Ruler and the Sage. The Ruler has traits of a leader, someone responsible and organized, and a role model in the community. The Sage also applies by being knowledgeable, a trusted source of information, thoughtful, analytical, and a mentor or advisor.
We began the design process with a wide array of sketches, both tactile and digital. The solutions started very broad, exploring a multitude of stylistic approaches. We find that quantity leads to quality – the more rough ideas we can get down on paper, the more educated and thoughtful the final solution becomes. Our initial concepts ranged from an abstract monogram “C”, an iconic silhouette icon to represent crowd-funding, to a custom hand-lettered wordmark.
The abstract “C” concept was created with a single weight line that represents the uninterrupted flow of money. The logomark is not filled in to show transparency and the line formed a partial square to symbolizes the blockchain backend that provides security and speed. However, we decided that the mark wasn’t unique enough to become memorable.
The second direction was a custom typographic wordmark. The fully connected mono-line script represented the fast, smooth unending flow of cash that Crowdz can provide, and the connectivity of bringing together invoices for better rates. While the wordmark has the benefit of instant brand recognition, the lettering didn’t have a way to scale down to a single iconic logomark.
The third direction, and ultimately the winning mark, focused on the fact that there is strength in numbers. We highlighted a few species who are known for working in a pack to reference a “Crowd”. These animals live together to be more efficient. A few of these species included pods of dolphins, flocks of birds, and colonies of ants. We even considered penguins, but it wouldn’t fly. We landed on dolphins, who live together to be stronger, faster, and more efficient hunters as a group, similar to how Crowdz uses many companies to get better lender rates. The mark is circular, which represents the constant flow of cash, as well as the dolphins’ ability to work together to surround schools of fish. Power of the pack! The primary deep purple color sets the tone for the color palette that gives an edge to the traditional industry and works well on both dark and light backgrounds.
Along with an elegant logomark, we used brand illustrations that play a large role in setting the tone of the company and service. The illustration style has three-dimensional views, but created with simple, flat linework and large pastel color shapes. The brand icons follow this same visual language with simple outlined icons and offset color floods.
We’ve worked hard to create a flexible brand system. The scalable logo mark and clean type-based layouts are meant to give the brand room to grow while remaining grounded. Thoughtful execution of the brand’s visual identity moving forward is crucial and we’re excited to see how Crowdz customers respond to the rebrand!