Truly Social Inc: New Look, Same Commitment to Make Social...Social Again

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As we were preparing to move into our gorgeous new digs, I mentioned off-the-cuff that I wanted to update our overall visual brand as well. You see, the rocket we've been using since early on was, like the company itself, supposed to be a temporary thing. Though quite adorable (if I should say so myself!), it was a result of me taking a few different stock eps files and mashing them together. 

 the old rocket

the old rocket

But now, we have grown into a real company with our own fancy office, a growing team of talented people, stuff like benefits plans and all the other things that come with doubling down on a future. It was time for our visual brand to grow up. Thankfully, we have a killer awesome design team to do this!

 Our amazing design team!

Our amazing design team!

Alexander led the logo redesign project. When we sat down to talk about the future design of the TSI logo, I didn't give much information other than:

"Can we do something completely different, but still the same?" (It's funny how much we act like an actual client, even for internal projects 😜)

What I *meant* was that I still wanted a rocket with a heart, but one more custom and unique. I also wanted to take the 'cartoony-ness' down a notch, all the while maintaining a level of whimsy. But I didn't say any of that.

This is a good time to talk about what it means to be truly talented as a designer in the agency world. The best designers have the ability to not only be artistically and technically talented, but also have the ability to read a client's mind! And the TSI design team? Well, they have the full package. 

Alex led the re-brand overall, but the entire design team was involved along the way. While Alex sketched out several iterations of the rocket, AnnaMaria started on the design of an office mural that would fill out the overall brand elements (we will be unveiling that in the next few weeks! I can't wait!). Everyone contributed to the development of the new colour palette that would be TSI's official "rainbow" (I am a fan of having a nice array of brand colours to use as the web - and especially the social web - is a colour-loving place). The incorporation of the new brand into the TSI website was led by Celestina. It was a true team effort!

I gave little nudges and ideas here and there but, once again, this crazy talented team took everything to the next level - way beyond anything I imagined.

I love love love love our new brand and feel like it beautifully represents the new era we've entered: a more "grown-up" version of the scrappy startup we are. Of course, we're always going to be scrappy - that'll always be part of being 'webby' - but now we are sophisticated scrappy! 💪

Without further ado, here is what this awesomely talented team came up with:

What I love most about the above is the FLEXIBILITY of all of it. One of the worst hangovers from the print era is the notion that logos are only used in limited ways.

With the plethora of platforms, layouts and media you find on the web, you need to create a flexible, colourful visual brand. I don't want us to be all precious with stuff either. No finicky kerning or drop shadows or shading or treatments of the logo. If the logo looks good with colour, use it. If it looks good as black and white, use it. If you need to jazz it up with some shading, go for it! We want a visual identity that people can take and mashup and use in whatever way they want. A SOCIAL brand.

The rocket, itself, has significance. It was inspired by my original Truly Social with Tara video series backdrop, which had a painting of a rocket (with "Race for Space" painted across it). It was purchased at the Super Wonder Gallery Amazing Sci-Fi Art show back in 2013 :

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When I needed to come up with something to represent my YouTube series, I picked the rocket. Since I can't draw worth 💩, I went to Shutterstock or the like and bought some vectors and hacked them together. Naturally, when I launched Truly Social INC., I just used the same branding.

The rocket has become significant in other ways, too. It's a great metaphor for many other ideas near and dear to our hearts:

Moonshots - thinking bigger and beyond the norm/known;
"Rocket fuel" - the idea that social done right can lead to real, sustainable growth;
Exploration - always learning and exploring new ideas;
Fearlessness - not being afraid to go to places we haven't been before; and
Science - using data and precision to make sure we are headed in the right direction.

The heart in the window is a great reminder that we do all of this with human beings and relationships in mind. 

It all ties back to our core values, which have been a part of everything that we do here. From early on, I knew that our core values needed to be written down, defined and incorporated into everything we do. I'm sure that everyone at TSI can recite them off by heart because we check in with them frequently. As such, the core values had to be a big part of the new brand rollout as well:

Stay tuned for how they are rolled into more of what we put out into the world. 

As for the colour palette, the main direction I gave was, "As long as there is yellow." Anyone who knows me knows that yellow is my super obvious favourite colour. I love it. It is optimistic and warm and friendly and, little-known fact, it goes with EVERYTHING. Unlike other shades (I'm talking to you, coral!), it plays well with others. It's also gender neutral and not over-used (I'm looking at you, blue!). The previous palette I had put together was alright, but nothing as hot as the one that the team assembled:

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I'm so in love with all of these colours. They range from the super bold to the soft and sweet - which means we have shades for every mood. 

In a later post, I'll let each of the team members talk about what went into creating the new visual identity from their perspective, but right now, I just want to sit and look lovingly over everything. The team did SUCH a fantastic job of capturing the essence of Truly Social while surprising me at the same time.

Bravo!

Let us know what you think!

Tara Hunt