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The challenge of putting a face on technology after leaving a company like Apple brings both extreme pressures and excitement all at once. This wasn’t just identity but a comprehensive communication and marketing system. In the end it would include both visual and language style guides, identity systems, communication templates, marketing materials, etc.

One of the predominant requirements was the ability to trademark the identity and supporting collateral. This requires an intensive amount of research into competitors, similar designs, current trademarks and failed or abandoned trademark applications. Anything that looked like a potential conflict was run by legal for a final assessment. In the end, one concept around the name with the same spelling existed on a ready-made logo site. The decision was made to purchase the design although there was a total lack of resemblance with any of the current concepts. It allowed a more complete ownership of the brand and allowed for assurance that only the final identity would represent the brand.

Once a decision was made from the many concepts, the logo underwent transformation into its final form. From there guidelines regarding color, size, complementary fonts, clear space, lockup, etc were assembled into a visual style guide. No final collateral had been developed, just guides and concepts.

Backspace Logo After
Strapline Lockup

The logo alone never had a chance in putting a face on technology. The real personality of the company came through in the copy that was developed for the website, proposal and project templates, stationary and complementary marketing materials. The decision was made to keep the copy light and playful and allow past projects to support the competencies of the company. There was no interest in deceiving with copy, just honesty and fun, designed to reflect the attitude and style of the employees. The approachability of the team is what allowed them to put a face on technology. Good design will never make a bad product or company better. But a bad product or company will turn a good design into a bad design. So it felt very honest to approach copy in parallel with the personalities of the company.

Supporting photography was used on the website, in stationary and even on proposals. ∎

Bckspace Stationary