The presentation aims to show each logo concept in context, since logos are seldom seen floating alone in empty space. This range of example deliverables allow the team to judge the effectiveness of the logo concept in context and provides different visual interpretations of the creative brief.
The final Timecounts logo takes a simple visual approach to representing community action and scheduled time. The clockwise traveling line feels dynamic and has an inspirational element of momentum that lends itself to animation. Paired with a contemporary lowercase sans serif, this combination mark is approachable and works well for the various needs of the brand.
A logo is a small piece of the puzzle – a larger visual identity system needs to be crafted to breathe life into the brand. A dynamic colour palette, typography system, photographic treatments, custom patterns and iconography were all created for Timecounts with scalability and growth in mind.
Timecounts’ brilliant engineers worked hard to develop a functioning product prototype, but needed guidance to extend the visual identity system to their various online and offline touchpoints. Their volunteer management platform maintains the voice and art direction established in their visual identity, but takes a step back to allow the user actions to be the main focus.
We collaborated with the team on product wireframing and UX strategy based on different user workflows, through to visual interface design and asset preparation for development. Each area of the app strives to address user needs and promote an efficient workflow based on customer feedback from real-life scenarios.
Once the product design was finalized the next phase was tackling the onboarding and public facing marketing site. The process kicked off with a competitive landscape analysis and the generation of communication strategy options that would ensure Timecounts had a distinct position in the market.
Highlighting actual users and organizations allowed the product features to be showcased in a valuable real-world context.
Each organization’s story was tied to a different set of product features that new users would easily understand and derive value from. By sharing actual customer stories, Timecounts was able to provide inspirational accounts of how their product was helping to make an impact and move the needle in the real world.
When approaching the tour for Timecounts’ feature-rich app, it was important to connect with the various types of user needs and workflows. Grouping related features and succinctly describing their value demonstrates that Timecounts understands the typical pain points encountered by organizers.
Like many SaaS marketing sites, Timecounts required a pricing area that could grow as their offering evolved. A flexible slider system was designed as an engaging way for the user to determine the price for their needs. Animated icons help to visually support the idea of a lively, bustling community.
For a deeper look at the full design process with Timecounts, read our case study on Medium.
We often collaborate with startups that have their own in-house developers. When designers and developers work remotely, many visual nuances can be lost in translation. To prevent this we take special steps in the production of our designs with an in-depth dev pack which provides mockups for different viewports, CSS type styles, grid guidelines, and detailed functionality directions for specific page sections.
Download our ebook – The Dev Pack: A guide to preparing design mockups for development.
From coast to coast across Canada, Ladies Learning Code is a not-for-profit organization with a mission to be the leading resource for women and youth who want to become passionate builders of technology. Their workshops impart technical skills to absolute beginners in a hands-on, social, collaborative way.
Distilling the most successful elements of the exploration down to a single mark is always a challenge. The final Ladies Learning Code logo has a custom hashtag symbol designed to match the round and mechanical feeling typography. The icon and colour are distinct and simple enough to be used in standalone applications.
The Ladies Learning Code website provides a clear framework for potential learners to find and discover literacy opportunities in 19 cities across Canada. The experience of first landing on the home page points towards the ultimate goal of finding programming that is right for the user.
It’s important to provide browsing experiences tailored for various devices in today’s contemporary web landscape. By working through a content strategy process with Ladies Learning Code, pages were simplified to be more appropriate for the mobile browsing experience.
The Ladies Learning Code brand acts as the parent organization to other members such as Girls Learning Code and Kids Learning Code. Each of these programs needed scalable about pages to give more information about their mandate and ultimately connect learners with appropriate workshops.
With 19 chapters across Canada, the Ladies Learning Code programs rely on corporate sponsors and a variety of volunteer efforts.
A visually engaging page with illustrations, infographics, and concise calls to action help volunteers find ways to get involved and see what kind of social impact their contributions make possible.
By breaking out of the typical framework for this section of the site, the Ladies Learning Code blog becomes its own property and a go-to destination for the most up-to-date news. It was important to highlight the various blog contributors as these are the people that make the organization successful.
Data, text, and marketing messages are treated with the same approachable and highly legible type found throughout the Ladies Learning Code website.
Infographics leveraging brand colours and icons help pace the content while providing the reader with a visually rich and interesting experience.
The Blueprint is a quarterly magazine and website dedicated to what’s new in the hardware space. Combining news, opinion, reviews and a shopping experience, The Blueprint wants to be the number one stop for anyone interested in the latests gadgets and other advances in wearable technology.
The company was using an original logomark, but it lacked consistency when applied to various collateral. New concepts for an updated logomark were created to bring a constant look to all visual touch points. Both concepts also subtly reference various stages of product planning and manufacturing.
The Blueprint website seamlessly marries editorial content with shopping opportunities. Working under the creative direction of “Vogue meets Wired,” a distinctly fashion and tech art direction is carried throughout the entire web experience, with a stark black and white palette paired with hits of electric blue.
Consumer hardware goods are visually treated in a way typically reserved for high-end clothing, helping to cultivate a feeling of luxury. This art direction allows focus to be placed on the detail of products, encouraging viewers to covet hardware in the same way as other luxury items.
When browsing on any device, The Blueprint’s responsive site design adapts to showcase optimized images and text. Keeping with the established art direction for product photos, editorial content is treated in the same visually interesting manner to encourage readers to engage with content.
By embracing whitespace and letting the typography sing, all site content feels refined and intentional. Though stark in its colouring, readers are still encouraged to interact with site and have the opportunity to appreciate details in the hardware showcased throughout the site.
Each product spotlight was supported with team testing and review, represented with concise curator’s checks of approval. Interesting grids of photos helped highlight the process behind the product, and the making of the spotlight, allowing the reader a glimpse behind the scenes.
FACTOR Canada is a non-profit organization that provides financial support to Canadian recording artists, songwriters, and music labels. Their assistance has helped foster the growth and development of award-winning Canadian artists including Tanya Tagaq, Alvvays, July Talk, Serena Ryder and Owen Pallett.
FACTOR required an overhaul to their website to better serve the needs of their national user base. Through an in-depth discovery session with their team, various pain points and specific communication goals were uncovered.
This information was captured in a creative brief document that acted as a guiding benchmark throughout the design process.
Wireframes were created to help visually capture the content modules required for each page. Reviewing and iterating on these wireframes with stakeholders at FACTOR helped nail down any new site content that needed to be created and established a hierarchy of actions and messages.
With approved wireframes and content strategy, the next step was to visually explore multiple design concepts.
For responsive web design projects, our preference is to present three concepts that demonstrate various expressions of the strategy outlined in the creative brief.
FACTOR chose Concept 2 as the most effective direction to pursue, based on the organizations’ goals and audiences. We collaborated with them to revise the design to better suit their needs.
Overall, this design concept felt dynamic and contemporary and fit comfortably into FACTOR’s existing visual language. Their brand colours were strategically used for headings, calls to action, and icons. Randomized photos showcasing their FACTOR-funded artists help to add a dynamic element to the home page and site footer, driving users to learn more about their success stories.
Users looking for funding through FACTOR needed to effortlessly find suitable programs to apply for. The ability to filter FACTOR’s programs added an element of ease to the whole process.
Additionally, by shrinking the main navigation bar as the user travels down the page, their attention could be focused on finding their desired information.
A major pain point of FACTOR’s previous site was the difficultly prospective applicants faced when looking for application info. The site redesign focused on different approaches to content that would help guide new users through the system.
Text-heavy page templates were designed with visual interest in mind. This was achieved through the use of size contrasts, colour, and z-index layering. Each main section of the site was also colour-coded with a hue shift in the nav bar to help keep users oriented as they explored.
The site redesign aimed to answer any question a user may have, before they needed to ask it. The clearly organized site sections and prominent calls to action helped to drive discovery and improve the overall user experience.
http://factor.ca – launching in 2016
HackerYou is Canada’s first programming bootcamp, offering full- and part-time courses for people who want to learn to code.
They are passionate about helping people take charge of their career through a hands-on, project-based curriculum with some of Toronto’s most talented web professionals.
A final logo ultimately emerges as the most appropriate solution for the design challenge.
This mark for HackerYou feels young and vibrant, but also sturdy and established. The cursor icon represents each student’s potential, in addition to the commencement of their respective journeys.
With a few years of successful cohorts under their belt, HackerYou was ready for a site redesign to help potential students fully understand the depth of course offerings, and also the HackerYou community.
Photos and videos of the HackerYou classroom and communal spaces offer a glimpse into the vibe of attending HackerYou.
Through user interviews, it was determined that students often read through the course information multiple times before finally applying to the bootcamp. It was important to clearly show when each course was running throughout the year so prospective students could plan their time accordingly.
With a vibrant community and wealth of student success stories and work, the site aims to highlight the people and possibilities.
Flexible grid and content systems allow the site to be easily updated and kept feeling fresh as new testimonials and spotlights are added.
In addition to the full-time web development bootcamp, HackerYou also offers part-time courses that are often paired together – a consideration in the design of all part-time groupings.
A custom icon set representing the different languages, frameworks, and applications that students tackle in each course help add skimmable content to the page.
A flexible template was designed to allow HackerYou to update the content depending on the season and course availability. Strong type hierarchies and a simple layout help deliver messages with clarity and interest.
For a more in-depth case study about the process and development of the HackerYou brand identity over the last 4 years, check out this post on Medium.
Function is a Toronto-based design studio offering a dynamic range of communication design services. Our focus is the propagation of meaningful, functional solutions to visual design challenges, great and small.
Visual identity campaigns, messaging strategy, contemporary web solutions, print collateral, product packaging, and illustration are all passions. In short, we design for business, we design for love.
blogTO is the leading news and culture site in Toronto with a larger online readership than NOW Magazine and Toronto Life. With over a decade of articles and reviews, they have established themselves as the go-to site for what’s happening in Toronto. Frank and Vivian were honoured to be involved in the visual identity update and responsive web design for their upcoming re-launch in Toronto and Montreal – stay tuned in 2016!
We love collaborating with passionate entrepreneurs and established businesses to help re-energize brand identities and offer insights that only outside collaborators can provide. Email us and let’s get started.
Although the gap between design mockups and front-end web development has been closing up, there are still many challenges for visual designers and developers working independently of one another. This book introduces The Dev Pack: an outline of our design production process and suggestions for preparing mockups for dev handoff.