Behind the scenes of our new brand

The beginning of the year marked a new chapter in the life of MoreThanNow: after two years of collaborating on various projects, we decided to take some time to think about our brand.

Before that, just like the cobbler’s children have no shoes, we were brand-less. Or rather our brand consisted merely of a name and a few social assets and presentations styles we had cobbled together along the way as the projects were coming up and as we felt the need for it. It’s a difficult thing to do what you do for others for yourself, even more so when you are in the process of building a business as well as delivering client’s projects at the same time… 

I want to share with you how the brand identity came about, where it started, how it evolved and how it links it all together…

We started by writing our brand story

A business is never a monolithic entity, we wanted to bring our three disciplines, our three perspectives, our three heads full of aspirations and ideas together to construct a coherent story that would help us define how we wanted to progress on our joint journey, and what we wanted to be. So we sat down and discussed the four following points:

 
 What in the global context brought this about? What do we see our role as being in this context? How are we different? What do we stand for?

What in the global context brought this about? What do we see our role as being in this context? How are we different? What do we stand for?

What came out of that discussion would be our guide going forward, for the projects we took on board, the people we would speak too, but also the way we looked, the way we spoke and what we spoke about… 

 What came out of that first meeting still stands true on our new website.

What came out of that first meeting still stands true on our new website.

 
 
 Our brand story is at the heart of everything we do. And everything we do is expressing our brand.

Our brand story is at the heart of everything we do. And everything we do is expressing our brand.

 

 

More than a logo…

Armed with a now clearer brand story, I set out to create our brand’s visual identity. Building a brand identity is more than just creating a new logotype. Our identity needs to complement and support our brand story. To be a kind of “show don’t tell”, a link between what we are and what we aspire to. Much like creating a fiction character, my task was to design all the blocks that will come together to express: how our brand looks, how it speaks and how it behaves… 

 
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In order to do so I wanted to find a simple idea. Something that would unite us and our clients. I looked for definitions:

  • Behavioural science is the cross-disciplinary, open-minded science of understanding how people behave.
  • Communication is the act of conveying intended meanings from one entity or group to another.
  • Design is a human way of arranging elements to accomplish a particular purpose. In my native french, the word design could be translated as dessin (drawing) but also dessein (aim, goal)
  • Our clients come to us asking us to solve people issues: innovation, performance, ethics, inclusion, etc… 

people, groups and entities, being human, people (again): there seemed to be a theme emerging, could I hang the idea for our brand on being human? 

This made sense to us as what MoreThanNow and our clients care about is people. It also made sense because we want to take a human approach to the issues we think about, and how we approach them, by allying science with empathy and creativity.

Our visual identity’s building blocks

1. Our marque — An idea of progress

MoreThanNow: the name says it all really… We want to do work that is for more than just now— we’re working in the now and looking ahead. The idea of an arrow of progress that circles through small iterations fits with our process, we like that it could become an M, our initial. We keep it human by hand-drawing it. 

 
 from sketched ideas to final marque: going through the motions with our logo

from sketched ideas to final marque: going through the motions with our logo

 
 

2. Our tone of voice and our typefaces—Thoughtful and open

There is one thing I haven’t touched on yet, and it is the fact that we are thoughtful. We think about important issues like inclusion, ethics, innovation, etc and we do it using science and testing everything we produce for our clients. We base our insights on research and academia. We’re well-read and proud of our scientific approach but we’re not stuffy, we want to keep what we say open, accessible and human.

This led us to choose to use, Garamond, a classic literary typeface for our titles and display. It is a classic typeface — serious and grown-up; not frivolous, humorous, nor futuristic. But we deliberately twist it’s frown upside-down by using it in a playful way, with a witty and sometimes arresting tone of voice.

Some of the ways we like to shake things up on Linkedin

3. Our palette — true colours

We are human, so when it came to the colour palette the choice of a palette inspired by the colours of human skin made sense. 

As we were developing that idea we came across the awesome work of Angelica Dass, a Brazilian artist living and working in Madrid. Her pivotal project — Humanæ — is a collection of portrait photos of people revealing the true beauty of human colour. Watch her share her project at TED.

 
 

Our final palette has got a neutral base, touches inspired by human colour, and a small hint of contemporary ultra-violet that calls for attention.

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4. Our illustrations & data — Keeping it simple and engaging

Sometimes we introduce unfamiliar topics to people, or we share some research findings, this is because we think the issues we talk about are too important to be dealt with just on gut-feelings or anecdotes. But we never want that to be intimidating or off-putting, we believe the more people we share those ideas with, the more we can change the world of work and beyond, for good. To make things clear and keep it engaging, we use hand-drawn diagram, graphs and illustrations.

Some of the illustrations we use to explain dual-system processing (left) | some of our research results (right)
 

5. Our Photography — The world we live in.

We are part of this world, our photography reflects our awareness of current issues. We are not afraid to take a stand or tell stories of real lives through it.

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Bringing the brand to life

Designing our brand is only the start of it, over the next few months and years, we're looking forward to see it come to life and grow, we hope you do too.

 

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