By: Ivan McClellan

Date: October 5, 2014

When I started redesigning our internal brand, avoiding visual cliches and trends was top of mind. Approachability is a common tactic used by many tech start ups. Creating a familiar aesthetic is accomplished using by San-serif “Hellos!”, retro union logos, vector illustrations, etc. The attempt to appear familiar often comes off as saccharine. Subtext being in an ever changing and increasingly temporary industry needed to feel unique, reliable, and timeless.

I started with an exploration of transit maps, the periodic table of elements, municipality signage, and textbooks. These items are designed with function first, and created to be digested by a diverse population. The periodic table designed by Dmitri Mendeleev, is a revolutionary scientific breakthrough organizing elements by name, weight, and type at once. Scalability is vital to the designs success as it -predicts future element discoveries and adapts to fit them in the layout without breaking the form. After establishing a layout formula I created a design language that supports the ideas of timelessness, sustainability and elegance.

The design needs to be trend agnostic so I used Vanity Fair, The New Yorker and other print media as a reference. These publications use typography and sparse color palettes to maintain their brand integrity and have a consistent look and feel across decades. A simple primary color palette was picked to brand the 3 main business segments: Creative, Strategy, and Development. The Moeller & Co typefaces Archer and Gotham are used to give the brand a modern academic feel. Gotham is used for the plain text Subtext logo.

Screen shot 2014-10-05 at 8.51.26 PMScreen shot 2014-10-05 at 9.19.56 PM

Elegant ˈe-li-gənt adjective :pleasingly ingenious and simple.

As interactive increasingly pervades users analog lives, our job as designers becomes more complex, taking users emotions, environment, and physical bodies into account. Inspired by Albertus Seba’s engravings of animal species I worked with illustrator Rich Moore to create a series of anatomical drawings to represent the impact of user’s senses on interfaces. The time of day, environment, technical expertise -and several other factors dramatically change how users communicate and process information. All of these elements work together to create a harmonious design language. We will continue to evolve the brand and place Subtext as a digital thought leader.