LOCAL 402 | collaboration + café Branding Project
A fictitious startup needs branding created, from logo to a color palette, to business cards, to products.
The Creative Brief
Background Summary: LOCAL 402 | collaboration + café is a startup in the process of finalizing their business before opening to the public. They are a company that values providing “an environment that supports and fosters collaboration, creativity, and community.
Overview: A logo needs to be developed for Local 402. The logo will also need to be used on a business card and member’s card mockups. Both of which should be 3.5 inches by 2 inches. The business card may be two-sided, while the members card will have a mag-stripe on the back.
Drivers: Local 402 needs to create a visual identity that allows it’s members to develop a sense of community and to separate itself from the competition.
Audience: Anyone seeking an effective space to meet or work.
Tone: Professional community
Message: Fostering collaboration, creativity, and community.
Visuals: New York style, urban, modern, professional.
Details: The logo needs to have a mark and logotype. The final size must fit within a 5 inches x 5 inches square. The color palette needs to work in CMYK, RGB, and Hex colors – in short, across all media and mediums.
Targeted Message: A workspace that gets you out of the coffee shop with the benefits of collaboration, creativity, and community.
Logo and Color Pallet
As I worked to develop a sense of branding and visual identity for Local 402 | collaboration + café, I wanted to start by researching coworking in general, and how to build a sense of community in particular.
Coworking provides opportunities for people who may work in isolation an opportunity to be around others who may share similar values as themselves. These people may be freelancers, independent contractors, or those who travel a lot. The community that develops from a coworking location may very well be more important than the facility itself. source
Coworking can provide a greater sense of satisfaction. This is the result of people that feel they do not need to create a traditional office persona, but rather they can be themselves. Being in an environment that has greater diversity of minds and businesses, it’s also possible for people to develop a sense they are important. A culture of helping each other out also develops as each person has the potential to bring a unique set of skills into the mix. Coworking also provides a sense of more job control. Many coworking spaces are accessible 24/7 allowing members to decide how long they wish to work. source
Being in a coworking space is a very dynamic, flexible experience. The expertise that could be sitting just a few seats away is extraordinary. There’s also the possibility to bring in new talent to your own business venture as a constant stream of new minds enter the coworking space. source
Colors can invoke a psychological response in people. Green has been linked with “broader thinking and more creative thought”. It also has connotations to nature and regrowth. source
Light blues can create a relaxed, friendly feeling in people. Dark blues can however create a sense of sadness. Purple is usually seen as creative and is associated with royalty and wealth. source
Useful for reference. This link provides a informative info-graphic on colors and shapes used in branding. It outlines how blue is seen as calm, honest, and trustworthy, while organize is seen as happy, sociable, and friendly. Multiple colors offer a positive, playful, and bold approach. source
There are four factors that create a sense of community.
• Membership: There are five components to membership which are boundaries, emotional safety, a sense of belonging and identification, personal investment, and a common symbol system. These components influence how people can become members, including how to create trust, members feeling they belong, offering a way for members to invest into the
community, and offering a way for members to express their membership such as through key cards, or t-shirts.
• Influence: Members must feel that they have influence over the community and the community has influence over them.
• Integration and Fulfillment of Needs: The community has to be able to fulfill the needs of the members. In other words, the coworking space has to deliver on the values it promises to members.
• Shared Emotional Connection: Past experiences help to build community, but it’s also important to have the sense there will be future shared experiences in the future. source
After developing over a dozen sketches, I started to noticed how I was continually playing with the idea of people, tables, and groups. What started out as a very literal mark, I began to craft it more abstractly. As you see from the mark below, the circles are representative of people surrounding a desk. I sought to infuse as much meaning into the mark as possible. If you count the circles, there are seven. Seven is an important number when it comes to working in groups. A study revealed groups of seven are the most efficient, with each member added beyond reduces efficiency by 10%. Color psychology is also at play here. While the colors are bright and fun, they were specifically chosen for their attributed psychological impact. Blue inspires creativity. Orange is associated with social communication and optimism. Green inspires growth, self reliance, and balance. Lastly, brown is seen among other things as hardworking, industrious, and reliable.
About pages are a way for companies to build trust and offer a glimpse into how they function. The pages should offer usable insight backed by facts. Users shouldn’t have to struggle to find content on an About page. The about page can be used to telling a great story and offer differences against their competitors. The About page shouldn’t be used to market or sell from. Employee profiles with pictures allows users to connect deeper with the company. source
Different forms of media can increase the effectiveness of the over all page. It’s important to use the About page to tell a unique story. The About page is useful for revealing contact details and company address. Write directly to the user, and avoid industry jargon. source
The landing page be clear of spelling error or poor grammar. The headings should be clear and concise as well as matching any sort of ads that may have brought traffic there. Strong call to actions are important to illicit activity. They should stand out from the rest of the page’s content. Images and video should relate to the page’s copy. source
The landing page should be well organized and to the point. Take away what isn’t needed. Leave a minimalist impression. source
Standard banner sizes according to Google Adsense:
728 x 90
300 x 600
300 x 250
336 x 280
Including the company logo is important. It’s helps to build a brand identity as well as keeping cohesion as a user clicks on the ad and ends up on your site. Content and visuals should be kept simple. Animated banners typically perfom better than static banners. Use urgency in copy. source
Concepts & Sketches
The About page allows the company to tell their unique story to relate easier to potential customers, as well as better describe what they offer as a coworking space. Images are used to break up the copy into more easily consumed chunks. Within the nav-bar, each page of the website is designated by the underlined bar in the About.
About, Membership, and Contact page do not get an image carousel, rather they get a static image at a smaller height size.
This alternative desktop version offers a single page layout. As the user scrolls down the page, the nav bar locks to the top allowing for persistent navigation.
Concepts & Sketches
I decided to work with 300×600 and 728×90 as my banner dimensions. I basically was running with two different ideas. The first is a general, “we’re out there” banner than just highlights the perks of coworking.
The second banner appeals to those who have families and are tired of working from home. In the top right banner, a child just broke the computer. The copy reads “Find out more about your office away from home”. The bottom most banner has a child’s head learing over the bottom line.
Omaha has an extensive list of ordinances that outline how signage can be displayed. source
Co-branding works best when it adds value for both parties. It’s also possible to combine strengths of two products to provide an ever bigger value than if they were separate. source
Collaborating between two like brands also provides a strong connection in unique ways. A great example is Red Bull and GoPro. Their brands share the same ideals of excitement, adventure, and pushing human limits. source
Outside signage can be a way to attract people to come inside. However it’s important to keep in mind that ambient light can play into effectiveness. Vandalism and theft are also concerns. There’s also the need for power and running cable. source
When designing signage, it’s important to keep colors in mind. Obviously they should match the branding palette when possible. It’s also important to have correct contrast so that copy is legible. Size also plays an important part in readability. source
Concepts and Sketches
I looked at four ways of branding the cover for the journal. I liked the idea of the bottom left corner. It allows LOCAL 402 to show off their name, but also include part of their mark in the lower corner. It’s unobtrusive, but adds a design element that makes the cover interesting. I envision a sort of foil inlay that makes the logo reflective. I figured this match the linen style of the journal cover.
I decided to go with the 32 oz wide mouth with straw lid and the 16oz coffee bottle. For these bottles, they will be silk screened with the LOCAL 402 mark. As an added texture, spheres will also be silk screened.
I didn’t care for the bottom right design. I wanted to experiment with a different way of creating texture, but felt this wasn’t something I should pursue further.
Each logo within the co-branding is prominent, on opposite sides of the bottle. The spots from the mark have been “toned down” as to not compete with the logos. Decided to change my one design for a bottle to a more masculine approach. This metal finish with a straight forward logo should offer an alternative to the spotted design on the next page.
Several office furniture supply companies have been browsed at as the interior of LOCAL 402 continues to be developed. Felt I was lacking some elements such as decorations or the overall ambient mood I was going for. I added some additional images to help convey the interiors for LOCAL 402.
Common concepts between the two sketches are the doors. On the right door lays out details about the business, such as hours, phone number, web address. On the left door is a logo.
Top Image Concept
The mark for LOCAL 402 will be used in a more abstract way, as elements of it are used across the glass front. The mark will be left intact on the side of the building, but will not have it’s logotype included.
Top left and top far right glass windows of the front will feature the company name boldly. On the bottom glass windows, there will be a single “pitch” or “feature” of LOCAL 402. For instance, the first window says coworking, the second says 24/7 access, and so on. The idea behind this is that as people walk or drive by, they can see clearly what the coworking space has to offer.
Bottom Image Concept
The mark from the logo are used in a more literal way. The glass windows divides the mark in half.
The top glass windows offer a way for the store front to show the features behind LOCAL 402. Above the doors, is the LOCAL 402 logotype.
Here the exterior has been mocked up to show what branding could be applied to the exterior of the building.