This case study digs into how I worked through Lumaki Labs’ brand identity design.
Lumaki Labs is an EdTech startup on a mission to fill the gaps of education through experiences. Started by 3 UWaterloo engineering undergraduates during the peak of the pandemic, Lumaki Labs builds software to help companies engage early talent while levelling the playing field for students through focusing on making the most of remote work.
Elements of Brand Design
There are many different aspects of brand identity and design however, listed below are some of the main attributes I focused on:
- Colour palette
- Product (see this case study for more details)
A big part of branding is understanding how you want others to perceive your company. This varies based on the industry you may be working in, your team, and a myriad of other factors. As an EdTech startup focused on helping employers and students, here were some characteristics my team and I wanted portrayed in our “look & feel”:
- Dependable & down to earth
- Sleek, clean, & innovative
- Friendly & fun
I decided to go with a “cool” tone colour palette based on personal preference (plus, typically blue colours represent “responsibility” and green colours represent “new beginnings”).
The dark greys are a staple for us as the “dark mode” look of our website and platform attributes to our sleek, clean design.
The variations of teal and green help balance out the dark greys to add some “fun”. We like to use blob-like shapes when using these more playful colours. (In the future we do want to expand our colour palette more to find additional complementary colours)
For our logo, I created two versions: one simple design and one full-text design. I find that having a simple logo helps especially when the logo is used on something that is more text-heavy.
I chose the typography seen on the logo based on the playful yet sleek vibe it gives off. For the leaf in our logo, it symbolizes growth. As a company, our goal is to ultimately help students grow through real-work experiences. I created the leaf with minimal detail to match the rest of the branding and typography.
“Lumaki” means “to grow” in Tagalog
Since the landing page is often times the first impression/major showcase of your brand, I took all of the elements above into consideration when putting our landing page together.
Research → Wireframe → Mock-up → Copy
I started off by looking at examples of popular landing pages and learning about what made them effective. This helped me understand where to position buttons and how to structure the page. It also helped me realize what types of CTAs (calls-to-action) were needed. For example, for most SaaS company, things like having a “Demo” button were key and having a proper contact form.
The next step entailed actually designing. I wireframed the layout of the site on my iPad then moved into Figma to create mock-ups. Once I saw the colours and sections come to life in Figma, I realized the site didn’t showcase as much of our company’s personality as I would have liked. This led me to the wonderful world of design resources where I used unDraw to add characters to the landing page design. This really helped liven up our landing page and evoke a sense of personality and teamwork when looking at the site.
One of the most difficult parts about a landing page can be the actual copy (text) on the page however, what helped us was thinking through our mission, vision, and values along with understanding the type of tone we wanted to have. Since we cater to both student and employer audience, we wanted to strike a balance between professional/formal speak and more playful/informal speak.
Reflection & Key Learnings
- Defining your company’s brand isn’t easy & it requires a team effort to ensure everyone is aligned
- Your brand is not static, it will grow and evolve over time (plus, it isn’t uncommon for companies to revamp their design or rebrand)
- Branding is about being intentional. Intentional about your company’s goals. Intentional about how you want your users to feel., etc.
- Have fun with it and don’t stress about perfection. Again, brands update or change their designs all the time, have fun with your branding and experiment with new trends and styles.
- Get feedback on your copy (the text on your site). Make sure that it speaks to the audience you’re targeting.