Another step in the journey
Text100 is wired differently, and now we have the brand to prove it. Samantha Evans-Perryman, Head of Design at Text100 London, helped drive and deliver the visual identity of the company’s new brand, and told us all about it.
Can you tell me more about your role in the rebrand?
When we undertake a rebrand, the main role of the design team is to focus on the visual identity of the brand. It’s an incredibly important element of any brand as it’s the one tasked with communicating the company story at a glance. It’s like being able to tell the exact contents of a box by its wrapping paper.
Our creative team in London formed the core of the design force, with input from staff around our global network. One of our brand values is that we’re ‘collaborative’, and we wanted to make sure our 600+ employees had the opportunity to be involved in the process.
We want people to feel like they can own our brand and be proud to be a part of it, as opposed to having it thrust upon them.
What was the main reason for the rebrand?
Over the last couple of years there have been some major decisions about the company’s vision and strategies. The Text100 that was behind the old identity is very different to the Text100 of today.
Our brand was something we didn’t value as much as we should have; we didn’t have rules, and it was more decoration — something to put up front on a new business pitch deck, or a social avatar, rather than true branding.
What were the key parts of the old design that didn’t work for you, or you felt needed refreshing?
There’s no denying that it had dated. The dot-matrix logo reminded us of SMS messaging. The orange colour that originally would have made us look bold and confident, now made us look cheap and lacked that bit of authority.
How do the graphic design elements connect to the ideas behind the new brand and being Wired Differently?
Wired differently is our brand essence and describes a unique perspective that only our people have which we bring to all of our projects. We developed specific graphic elements to reflect how we are ‘wired differently’.
For example, our ‘T’ device is a symbol we use to represent the brand in its simplest form. It can be used in any number of ways and we encourage people to adapt it to their own creative purposes.
Take our internal brand launch, for instance – we created a series of images where the T shape is a window that reveals a juxtaposition or different perspective between two images, representing two ways of thinking. It could just be a T, but in Text100’s hands, it can mean much more.
What was the reason for the colour change, and why did you decide upon the colours chosen?
There’s been a lot made about the blue internally and I think that’s because we were so used to the intense orange imprinting on our retinas! In-fact, our colour is blue because it’s the exact opposite of orange on the colour spectrum. Jokes.
We’re a global agency with offices in 20 countries. We needed to make sure that we chose a colour palette that worked in all markets. Our blue is one that has authority without being stuffy, it’s serious without being conservative.
What were the distinguishing features of the new typefaces that won it for you?
Our brand’s point-of-view is to “make your words matter”, so let’s give all those words the gravitas they deserve on the page. We talk about technology a lot and we need a font that will support the language we use, which contains precise tech terms but delivered with a human voice.
Our hero font, Nitti Grotesk, is modern in that it was developed in the last four years, but it’s based on sans-serif designs of the early 19th century, so it has that perfect balance between maturity and modernity.
Nitti Grotesk also has some quirks that you don’t notice outright, but if you look at the ascenders, they pop up higher than the capitals, with other miniscule flourishes that deviate from the norm. It’s pretty cool, which always helps.
It also supports over 80 languages, so it’s perfect for our global network.
Which others were in your shortlist and why were they rejected?
Nitti had no competition. We tried to prove it wrong, but couldn’t.
Show us some tiny details from the designs that you enjoy and explain why.
I’m a lover of negative space. Who isn’t? See that T,1 and 0 that make up our ‘T’ device? I really enjoy that.
There are lots of subtleties on the new website too. It was important for us to demonstrate that we are a connected global network. Our ‘contact’ page has time-relevant greetings from each of our 20 offices in their local language.
What do you hope to achieve with the new design?
It’s all part of a bigger vision of the company.
A measure of instant success for me, personally will be to see our people sharing, showing and talking about our brand more in their work and personal lives — updating their social media profiles to include their workplace because they want their peers to know they’re a part of this.