Contributed by Claire Saccoccini of San Fransisco-based Noise 13.
After nearly 15 years, Noise 13 has turned the mirror inward and done a bit of self reflection on our own brand. After much blood, sweat and tears (not really — just lots of coffee), we’re so excited to introduce our new look!
Last year, we kicked off the process with strategy and brand positioning. While this is something we offer our clients, it’s always harder to see the full picture when you’re looking at yourself, so we enlisted some help. The amazing team at SeriesC helped us focus on our unique strengths and refine our message.
We discovered that what sets us apart as an agency are the things we most take for granted. People love to work with us, both as clients and employees, because of our collaborative spirit and friendly environment. Our client list also revealed a recurring theme: we work with companies that value the Life + Style of their consumers, seamlessly blending function and beauty. Because our personal beliefs align so strongly with these values, we decided to really own them. After all, our strategy and branding insight is valuable and authentic because nine times out of ten, we’re our clients’ target audience.
After the soul-searching phase, we launched into design. Developing our new visual identity was definitely a challenge; moving past 10+ years of the same logo and color palette meant letting go of personal preference and attachment. However, we maintained focus on what would best represent our new positioning, and came up with a solution that is fresh, clever, and elegant.
Over the years, we’ve really embraced the 13 as a distinct marketing element, so we concentrated our efforts on making it the focal point of the new identity. And by moving it into the core of the word NOISE, we’ve created a smart play on letterforms that demonstrates our creative capabilities. It also speaks to our collaborative spirit and emphasis on teamwork, both amongst ourselves and with our clients.
Our new brand color, a cheerful and bright yellow, comes from the concept of spotlighting. In combination with a circle, it can be used to draw attention to ourselves, or “turned off” to black when we want to shift the attention to our clients. It also represents the overall vibe of our agency — a lively atmosphere that’s full of bright ideas.
And since we’re friendly bunch, we wanted our collateral to be, too. Our new stationery is approachable yet professional. Clean typography is complemented by pops of yellow, and there’s an overall balance of whimsy and elegance. For example, each team member’s business card contains a personalized photo, but the entire set of images is unified by the monochromatic treatment.
Our business cards showcase three different production methods: traditional offset printing, foil stamping, and letterpress printing, which come together to give the final product a sense of quality and tactility. Working closely with our friends at The Ligature, we were able to achieve beautiful and unique cards… without breaking the bank.
To complement the photography and patterns of our new system, we also created custom illustrations that are simple yet playful. The mono-width line weight is clean and modern, and the addition of our yellow circle helps each composition tell a story.
Finally armed with our new brand, we set about completely overhauling our website. (And yes, after years of suggesting to clients that responsive sites are the only way to go nowadays, we finally took our own advice!) Overall, our main goal was to communicate our expertise, creativity and collaborative work environment, as well as the strengths of each individual Noisemaker. Our case studies are a curated collection of our best work, and our new “Noisewire” section allows us to keep our friends and clients apprised of agency news and our personal design musings. While the website continues to be a work in progress, we’re thrilled with the outcome which expresses both beauty and functionality.
Again partnering with Gamma Nine for custom photography, our team page might well be our favorite part of the new site! We had a blast coming up with fun poses that matched our personalities and showcased our individuality.
To bring our clients extra cheer during the 2014 holiday season, we whipped up homemade pumpkin butter! A true team effort, all goodness was assembled in house. It was a great opportunity to put our new brand to work for a unique, one-off design. Custom lettering and illustrations in our established, mono-width style adorned the jar and package labels, as well as a holiday card and recipe booklet.
What originally began in 2000 as founder Dava Guthmiller’s small studio, Noise 13 is now a robust team of designers, interns, strategists, and project managers. As we continue to grow, we are confident our new brand identity represents not only who we are now, but who we want to become in the future.