Anyone in this industry can testify to the fact that when you tell people you work in cloud communications, the same reserved look of “Oh god, why did I ask” tends to dawn on their face. Let me assure you that when you tell them you do design work for a cloud communications brand, the reservations double.
It’s no secret that this industry and its branding and design have a bad rep. In the tech industry, good design is hailed as important as user experience, and sometimes, even the product itself (we’re looking at you Apple).
Nearly two years ago Voxbone was completely rebranded. We got the full package: a new logo, a new shiny color palette, a new website. But nothing lasts forever, like a laptop or a printer, branding only seems to last about two years before looking tired. And as a rapidly expanding company, two years came and went at the drop of a hat.
So, with a constantly evolving company on my hands, I’ve needed to constantly elevate our design and branding to try to bring consistency to what we do both offline and online. Not only that, but a lot of what we wanted to achieve two years ago was still on my endless ‘to-do’ list. So, as a team, we decided it was time to cross some things off.
Colors, and a Creative Cohort
Because my colleagues love to get their hands on all things Voxbone (from pens to gym kit) I end up working on a lot of brand materials for both digital and print. But it wasn’t long before I realized that I needed to update Voxbone’s color palette in order to make sure we had the right tools for the job.
With the branding team, I spent over 2 months (yes, 2 months) testing out new colors, updating color combinations and trying to fix the eternal problem of colors appearing different in digital and on print (eurgh). It wasn’t an easy journey, I had lots of sleepless nights and the team and I often found ourselves back to the drawing board.
When we started all this, I quickly realized we didn’t just need new colors, we needed more of them. Our previous color palette was limiting how we could present ourselves on social media and at events, so I decided to throw in a mix of additional colors to make things more exciting. Which, trust me on this, is a lot harder than it sounds. My fellow designers out there can testify to that.
We introduced three secondary colors to support our primary palette (that we all love so much!) and it soon added some much-needed variation and ‘spice’ to the brand.
Making the Abstract More Human
Illustration has always been a huge part of our brand. So far though, we’ve only been using simple, abstract shapes to support our marketing collateral. That obviously makes it a bit more straightforward for moi, but because we’ve been doing it for so long, I felt it was time to create a more complex look… and make my job more difficult.
One of the best-kept secrets of selling (and sometimes design): people buy from people. In the past, I’ve always felt that we were missing a human element to our website. Too much geometry and not enough humanity (I should copyright that one). So I got to work and came up with a unique style that brings a full family of human characters, and adds a more meaningful, personal touch to our assets. I’m not smug. Promise.
Putting Everything Together in a Brand New Website (Get it? Brand?…)
Elevating the brand hasn’t just been about my sleepless nights picking colors and drawing geometric human people on the phone. Our content team has been working hard to refresh our writing output and it’s given us a good excuse to create an all-new look to the website.
So, for the last couple of months, we’ve been working on a complete makeover for our online presence. Content, branding and web developers alike have been putting all the pieces together for a jigsaw puzzle to remember, but we’ve all come out the other end with a better, simpler experience for everyone.
For my part, I’ve spent hundreds of hours getting our illustrations and animations up and running. Not without any speedbumps. But, in the end, we‘ve all (me especially) kept a cool head and done a pretty good job, if I do say so myself.
While we all know we will need to continue making updates to our website, we wanted to start testing some of our hard work.
If you happen to be interested in the nitty-gritty of our branding and how we bring it all together, take a look at our brand page or, if you fancy trying your hand at making our industry a little less boring yourself, check our careers page for any new roles in our team.