I designed and developed the branding for Signifiant, a company founded with a mission to support post-IPO startups. They aim to convey management wisdom and to diffuse various management philosophy. The project included the logo, brand guideline, business card, and the full website design for their media platform.
To start, I researched and placed logos of global and Japanese investment funds in the four-quadrant. They provided me with keywords, “Alternative”, “Pop” and “Soft” for their brand, which is a representation of their commitment to disrupt the old business practices and bring a breath of fresh air into the Japanese startup scene. So I mapped them to modern side.
Signifiant is a French philosophical term, which is a signifier that is the vehicle of meaning.
What feelings does Signifiant Inc. provoke to the entrepreneurs, who are the audience?
My concept is “air”, like the atmosphere of an era, employee, corporate personality…
People can’t see air, but it is a necessity for the living. And when the wind blows, we perceive the air. Let’s inspire new management wisdom into companies.
Symbol Construction and Color
I quickly explored various symbols to find the overall direction of the design. Next, the client picked the option on right side of the below. After that, I spent time fine-tuning the shape over and over.
As a result of the research, I realized that older Japanese fund companies are often using a Japanese traditional color “Kon” (deep blue). I decided to use a pale blue, to reform an image that people think about investment funds.
Finalizing the Logo