The dread of change is a universally applicable phenomenon. But such an implication is worse for wear if a company’s slogan is “Forever Forward”. That is why we shall begin the story of Wellstreet’s rebranding process that took place in early 2019 by citing its Anthem.
[...]“Push-Forwardness” is part of who we are. The Wellstreet DNA. It’s how we turn ideas into startups. Small businesses into big players. And players into legends. We get up in the morning to set comfort zones on fire. Rip old ways into a million new pieces. And start over… over and over again. We’re building a tomorrow, unlike yesterday. A place [that is] full of innovation, ideas and opportunities. A better world. We believe that good things come to those who don’t wait. To those who keep pushing, Forever Forward.
The idea of the rebranding began with the founders brainstorming on the new slogan, "Forever Forward". The slogan itself was intended as a Northstar of the new brand, and of how Wellstreet conducts business. With that in mind, Viktor Angwald, a creative director, wrote the brand Anthem and initial Content Guidelines.
Once the Anthem and the initial Content Guidelines were established, there was an important challenge before us. How do we incorporate change and Pushing Forward to visually recreate a brand that incites confidence, breaking rules (obsolete or not) and finding new ways of carving the path before us?
Well, with help from Luka Zaric, our designer who is responsible for Wellstreet’s new outlook, we succeeded in creating a brand that will tell people and businesses around the world we are forever pushing forward.
To give you more insight into how the rebranding process went, we sat down with Luka and asked him about his creation and thinking process.
[Wellstreet]: Upon creating the Anthem and the initial Content Guidelines, which were to lead us towards the new branding from logo to website, we set out in search of a designer who could make our vision come to life. Tell us about your thinking process when you first approached the Wellstreet rebranding project.
[Luka]: What I deduced when first briefed about the Wellstreet redesign project was that Wellstreet itself is all about change, openness, transparency and fast-moving ideas. The slogan "Forever Forward" has been developed from the old one - "Pushing Forward", which references Wellstreet’s methodology.
Rebranding Wellstreet was one of the most exciting and challenging projects of my career. For me, it was all about testing my visual design skills and the ability to create an in-depth, from top to bottom, redesign. More importantly, I strived to create an image that is bold, timeless and genuine.
What the brand needed was to move away from the corporate image into something more fun and dynamic. That being said, the goal was to create something modern and playful, simple but not boring. But not without bearing in mind that Wellstreet’s brand is all about people and businesses with the ideas, passions and interests to make the change happen.
[Wellstreet]: That must have been quite a challenge. What was the most trying aspect of creating Wellstreet’s new logo?
[Luka]: The most challenging part of modernizing and renewing the brand was to answer a set of essential questions just by using visual language. Some of the key questions that needed to be answered were:
- how to differentiate Wellstreet from other VCs, and
- how to visualize what ‘change’ and ‘pushing forward’ look like.
The company was founded on Brunnsgatan, a small street in central Stockholm, which directly translates to "Well Street" or "The Street of the Well". But putting an accent and singling out words like ‘well’ or ‘street’ was too obvious, and quite frankly, boring. Instead, I decided to focus on the most exciting part of this company, which is their methodology of “Pushing Forward’. So, using only the company’s methodology as a basis to create the key visual element created a solution that all parties were satisfied with.
[Wellstreet]: Could you tell us more about the execution process? Why ‘W’ with two forward slashes?
[Luka]: Using Nimbus Sans, a modern sans-serif typeface based on Helvetica and visualising that ‘Push Forward’ by slightly tilting the two ‘L’s’ in “Wellstreet” was, and still is, a satisfying solution for the company’s logo design. The reason for using the two letters “L” was not only due to the simple geometry of these letters, and them being the most visually pleasing in representing a “push” or “forwardness”. But it also wasn’t solely because of the slight resemblance of a street, or even because the two Ls looked precisely like the forward-slash symbols. I must admit that the end result was also a happy accident that these two letters were preceded by “we”, thereby subtly hinting at “we push forward”. The symbol was solved just by reducing the logotype to “W” and the two letters “L”. The intention was to make it recognizable, yet so simple that you can type it just by using ‘w' and two forward slashes on the keyboard - w//.
Using black, white and grey as the primary color palette is not a decision based solely on cleanliness, simplicity or even the rebellious spirit the company is known for. This was also based on a philosophy best explained by a British comedian David Mitchell, which goes along these lines: attempting to create something so subtle and unnoteworthy automatically becomes noteworthy, an example being a grey tie. Additionally, the idea behind this color palette, or the lack of thereof, was based on its favourable combining options. Namely, the color palette works really well in combination with a wide variety of different visual styles. Still, it also gives that old newspaper-y kind of feel that we’ve attempted to achieve on the Wellstreet’s website. And truly, if you head over to the website, you’ll notice that we styled it so that visitors can read fast-moving and interesting stories à la Medium and Instagram Stories.
[Wellstreet]: Well, we are indeed proud of our new logo and entire rebrand! Thanks, Luka!
[Luka]: (chuckles) Yeah, my pleasure.
Before you wander off to visit other delightful content on the world wide web, make sure you check in with Wellstreet’s stories soon, as this is only the beginning of the series on Wellstreet’s rebranding process.