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Redesigning Ourselves: From a Two-Man App Agency to a World-Leading Innovation House

     
By on December 4, 2019 - 5 Minutes

The last time we updated our corporate design, Barack Obama was still president of the United States. The UK still hadn’t held its Brexit referendum. iPhones went no higher than a 7 and 5G internet was still at early testing.

In other words, it was a really long time ago. And, for Mobile Jazz, it feels like aeons.

Since we last updated our website and branding in early 2016 we’ve grown from a small two-man app development shop to a multinational engineering and design agency, building software for cars, supersonic jets and life-saving medical devices. Three years ago we were still messing around with augmented reality and machine learning; now they’re essential tools in our armory. Our in-house remote logging platform Bugfender has gone from a garage project to a fully-fledged entity, with 12 million installs and 400 million daily requests.

So really it’s high time we improved our corporate literature. But given the demands we’ve imposed on the design process, this has proved a big ask. We want to project the image of a unique, fearless company, and it’s taken us at least a year to create a blueprint that reflects that.

But now the new branding is ready to roll. So in this article we’ll talk you through the various steps that have gone into the overhaul, and the principles we’ve tried to implement. Even if you don’t like our new design (no worries by the way, everyone’s entitled to their opinion) we hope it shows our thought process and provide useful insights for anyone looking to design, or redesign, their branding.

Step 1: A Sharper Color Scheme

We’ve long known that we’re not using the right colors for our branding. Even our own team have told us that. They’ve said the color scheme, almost entirely light blue, showed an immature, uninspiring business which doesn’t care about creativity. Not exactly the image a design company wants to project.

So we’ve tried to create a color scheme that grabs the reader’s attention while at the same time conveying a sleek, sharp image. A company which is at once daring and mature, one which produces mould-breaking ideas yet can also be trusted on major projects.

Comparison between the old and new color palette

The new color scheme is based on a dark blue background and has a series of much brighter gradients shooting off it, creating a striking contrast and reflecting the variety of the projects we work on. The whole effect is more compelling and trustworthy (at least that’s what we think).

Step 2: Change The Typography

This one kinda went hand in hand with the colors. Our headings and logotype previously relied on the Montserrat typeface, which was certainly clear but was dull, too. In fact it didn’t convey any personality at all.

So we decided to replace it with Barlow, which we feel is bolder and more enticing. This might seem like a small change to some readers, but in the hyper-competitive design space, it could be a crucial one-percenter.

To make the new logotype ‘pop’ even more, we wanted to make it bigger and more visible, while balancing the weight between the typography and the imagotype. We also wanted to create a clear space between the two words of our name, as they’d been together on our old design — even though we’d registered them separately.

Step 3: Cut the Talking

In modern marketing, talk is cheap. Everyone in the world brags about how great they are, regardless of whether it’s true or not, so the words have lost all value.

For our new website, we decided to keep the text to an absolute minimum. We wanted the visuals to explain who we are, what we do and how we work, rather than using a lot of content to convey the same messages. Instead of telling people what we do, we wanted to show them.

The old version of the About Us page
The new version of the About Us page

For the small amount of textboxes we created, we thought it’d be good to insert a series of bold statements, setting out our company philosophy and attributes. We feel they give a strong impression of the way we work and what we strive to achieve.

Step 4: Let Clients Do The Talking

To back up the statements described above, we wanted to include some of the comments our clients have made about us. We’ve been fortunate to receive lots of very positive feedback about our work and our growth has hinged on word-of-mouth recommendation.

If clients speak on our behalf, we feel this is more relevant to readers. Instead of being bombarded by the marketing nonsense we talked about earlier, they get an independent take from companies that have actually dealt with us.

The Results

By our reckoning the design overhaul has taken us a total of 400 hours. But we feel it’s been time well spent.

We’ve gained a better understanding of who we are and learnt how to communicate that to the outside world. We’ve actually got bolder and more confident along the way, too. Most importantly of all, we’ve now got a promotional presence that’s scalable and can be adapted to suit the evolving technology landscape. As we continue to grow our design business, we’re confident that our branding can keep growing with us.

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Pablo Garcia Roca
Pablo García studied graphic design at degree level and has been working on UX and UI for many digital platforms.

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