keySpark Branding Redesign

10 June 2016 | Branding

Background

How do you redesign a design firm?

KeySpark is a group of talented web developers based out of Peterborough in Ontario, Canada. The opportunity they had was open for designer to fully rebrand the user’s experience. I was able to help them hit their early goals of business through design and have since been working with the group of talented individuals part time.

The group started early of 2016 and grew all throughout the year. My role was to come in and create the website design for the agency as well as create a new brand identity for them to continue to build upon.

Skills used: Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Photoshop, Sketching

Scope

  • New Logo with Brand Mark (including multiple variations)
  • Brand System
  • Icons and/or Illustrations
  • Supporting copy and interactions

Research

How do you design a design agency?

Coming into a team of developers as a lead designer, I was overseeing the transition to a new site design. What this meant was I had been tasked with building a design system from the bottom up. I wanted to leave the IP from the last designer alone and build something that could be “ours” as a newer and refreshed team.

Because the company was newly minted, a fresh-off-the-press sort of manner, we were able to take more risks in building a strong statement as a web firm. We didn’t have much brand equity guiding the redesign so I started by doing some research on what was going on around the video game tech space. These people needed websites. I visited a lot of indie game makers channels and sites and noticed a repeating trend of a “cobbled together” feel. It reinforced Tyrel’s message that they don’t have the time to get a proper site up and it was bogging down the overall feel of the industry. Every now and then we ran across some sites that were well put together and it seemed to be a success channel for them.

I wanted to have our company have the ability to give that same effect.

Development

The original thought and work on the logo The original branding done for the keySpark team.

Because there was a lead designer before I took his place, a lot of the preliminary work was given already to have a direction to go. Though conferring with the founder, he didn’t feel like we quite hit the brand’s image all the way yet. He and I worked through a series of questions to determine what he was truly looking for in the brand.

I started working harder to get something that could carry over into other areas of the brand as well. First we had to start with the logo.

Preliminary designs for the KS logo

Tyrel had a specific idea in mind when he had the original logo done. So when we moved to the conception sketches, I took a good look at some examples for the level of quality that he wanted to portray. I determined the droplet flame to be the best representation of a company that is emerging. In the top right of the droplet is a little spark that fits in the angled center of the design like a key. A true play on words, though subtle enough to let the image be strong by itself.

The sketch was preliminary and allowed me to leave some of the heavier lifting in Adobe Illustrator.

The KS logo progression

Icons

The designed icons for the brand categories Icons used in production The icons that I finalized for production.

After the logo was done, I started to use the idea of polygonal throughout the rest of the brand starting with the icons and then into the assets to be used for the site. We kept the idea of blue and orange for the brand colors because, ironically, it’s used throughout the video game developer scene. So I chose the layout and colors and built the icons to support our services.

Final Concept

After everything was done with the branding. I needed to start working on the website design for the agency. I started to use more of the assets and colors in the brand guide to build a system to base the website off of.

Images

The brand guide for the redesign The brand ideas for font and basis of the redesign Original KeySpark Logo desktop image of the for the final concept of darianrosebrook.com the initials and icons for the keyspark logo desktop image of the for the final concept of darianrosebrook.com The brand ideas for font and basis of the redesign The brand ideas for font and basis of the redesign The brand ideas for font and basis of the redesign

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