Bringing a digital agency’s personality, values and expertise to the fore

The Client: Threefold

Website: Threefold

Details: Launched February 2020

  • Discovery Workshop
  • Competitor Benchmarking
  • User Research
  • Market Focus
  • Brand Strategy
  • Brand Assets
  • Visual Identity

The Challenge

Threefold do amazing work. They are part of the hugely successful Agora publishing company based in the USA. They create highly innovative digital solutions for the different publishing houses under the Agora umbrella.

Threefold’s work is highly skilled and they hire some of the best and brightest minds in the tech and digital industries. They are an innovative, fun, and game-changing company to work for and with. They create disruptive solutions that positively impact their clients organisations.

Having been founded in 2016 they had grown rapidly over the period of time to Summer 2019 when they approached me to bring clarity to their brand strategy and visual identity.

At that time they had a logo and an outdated website. No brand vision or strategy. They wanted to bring cohesion to clients and employees alike and create a clear path as they moved forward into the future.

The Solution

After undertaking company research I flew out to run a workshop with 10 members of the company. These attendees included stakeholders, managers, senior and junior members of staff, and new employees. This cross section of employees was important to allow us to fully explore Threefold as an organisation from all view points.

During the workshop we undertook a number of exercises. These helped to:

  • Streamline their features and benefits
  • Identify their communication objectives
  • Identify Threefold’s competitors and analyse their performance
  • Analyse and understand their market focus
  • Understand their current and retrospective brand challenges
  • Define their brand values, brand story, and crucially their brand personality.

At the end of the workshop Threefold had a clear vision of their values, mission, brand tone of voice, brand narrative, and their differentiation within the market.

Creating the Brand Assets

Once the workshop had been conducted it was time to bring the tangible and the intangible together to create a roadmap for Threefold to follow so they could move forward confidently into their next phase of growth.

This involved creating a visual identity, photography style, copywriting guidelines, and tone of voice.

Threefold has creativity, warmth, and fun at its heart, they are mentors  and educators to their clients but they also give their employees the space to be playful and experimental. These were the guiding principals when creating their visual identity.  Their founder story was also rooted in print publishing.

The logomark was really the anchor point for all of these ideas. Three points coming together to create one dynamic, streamlined shape, the shape of an abstract paper aeroplane.

On one level it is a literal representation of Threefold but it is so much. The three triangles symbolise people, clients and technology merging together to create innovation. 

The three folds of the plane also give a nod to the roots of the organisation but the positive trajectory into the air symbolises the company moving forward into the future.

On another level the paper plane represents their playful, fun, and disruptive nature, the warmth of the organisation and its employees is something that you really feel the minute you walk through their doors.

To support such a simple yet iconic logo mark I used a strong Sans Serif font that sits naturally and comfortably alongside the logomark making the perfect pairing. 

The logomark and wordmark are designed for digital use first and foremost. They lose none of their impact when viewed on smaller screen sizes. The logomark is distinctive and recognisable so is perfect for use on social media.

At times the wordmark will need to include the Agora strapline. I wanted this to feel designed and cohesive as opposed to an afterthought. Used in lower case it sits neatly beneath the wordmark and does not detract from the impact of the wordmark itself but rather emphasises it. Its clear and legible even at small sizes so works really well when used digitally

The triangles used within the paper plane logomark are identical obtuse scalene triangles. This shape used together with right angle and acute triangles can create patterns to add interest to both digital and print designs.

The colour scheme is clean, bright and welcoming. With main colours of blue/black and white with accents of yellow for warmth and turquoise for space and lightness. This also gives the potential for further accent colours to be added to the palette in the future.

The imagery for Threefold is candid, natural imagery showing Threefold as a fun, inspiring organisation to work with and for and uses a good mixture of group shots and individuals. The imagery also shows process and problem solving in a positive and interesting way showcasing their skills and knowledge and encourages clients to bring Threefold in at the planning stage of a project.

The Threefold tone of voice is

  • Confident and fun but not arrogant.
  • Professional yet simple and clear – no overly elaborate terminology.
  • Innovative but not pretentious.
  • Empathetic and honest – acknowledging client’s challenges and frustrations.
  • Committed to solving the clients needs.

The copy style is positive, simple, and conversational and reflects the warmth, integrity and vast experience that a client can expect when working with Threefold.

So that the brand guidelines could be accessible to the entire company and also could be easily updated I designed digital brand guidelines that could be accessed online with downloadable assets so that employees would always have access to the most recent version of the files.

Results

Threefold now has a strong sense of identity that they can take forward with confidence into everything they do. They have a clear sense of self which enables them to expertly connect with new and previous clients as well as future employees.

They have a brand strategy that gives them a clear path into the future and makes communication easy and straightforward. Their current employees and stakeholders feel a strong affinity with the new brand and feel it truly reflects the amazing company they work for.

What Threefold say

We worked with Liz on the rebrand of our company. In particular, we wanted her to help us define our visual identity so that it matched our culture and represented us. Working with her was a dream, she was fantastic and the whole team loved working with her. Plus the visual identity that she helped us define was perfect! If you get the chance to work with Liz, do. She is brilliant!

Shane Doyle, Lead UX Designer

Let’s work together

adminThreefold