Principal UX/UI Designer
Web Site Design
Mobile App Design
Office Interior Design
Office Interior Design
ScaleLA is a non-profit organization whose mission is to build communication and collaboration between Los Angeles area startups, community, and government. ScaleLA, together with ISBX are endeavoring to create a collective, co-working space, to foster the growth of healthcare startups in Los Angeles, and needed a more vibrant and energetic brand to support this mission.
With lean startups, often, taking the time to set a brand is overlooked. They may or may not have a logo already. They get right to designing an app, or website, and they get whatever the design agency or designer gives them as options and that ends up being their brand.
That's where Scale LA was when I was first engaged.
I would like to show how taking the time up front to design a brand identity system saves time in the design of all future deliverables, from websites, to apps, to the myriad of printed marketing materials, for print, social media, or anything!
Logo, Before and After
First, let's take a look at the logo redesign. The original logo looked good to me. It was a sound, simple idea. The upward arrow, representing growth, scaling, using the safest typeface, ever Helvetica. It just needed a bit of refinement.
Once the logotype and mark were redesigned, I was asked to lead the design of the ScaleLA brand. Taylor McPartland, CEO of ScaleLA was looking for more fun in their brand, more color, more playful illustration, and another level of polish, more delight. Their existing website was a squarespace template that was mostly black and white with some large background video.
Time for a branding exercise! ScaleLA is a non-profit, get-things-done, smallish group of people so a quick and efficient branding exercise was all that was needed. I took some notes from @BrunoBergher’s Lightweight Branding Exercise for Startups on Medium. I also really like what Andrea Mallard and Chris Do and Jose Caballer have to say about branding. Of course this all comes from the source, Marty Neumeier's books. I feel strongly that this process is so important. The client feels included and is a contributor to important design decisions along the way. This makes approvals and acceptance of the end design and product so much more natural.
Next, I produced a simple branding exercise shared google doc with the team, so everyone could see the outcome.
Brand Identity Guide
Once the simple brand google doc was reviewed and approved by all, I worked with ScaleLA leadership to design a combination brand and identity guide, that could inform any future creative endeavors, most pressing being the website. Actually there was one other step that happened before. I had Taylor, the ScaleLA CEO identify some of the websites that he admired most, and met with him to discuss why. We created a shared pinterest board. This helped me get a sense of the visual approach to align with brand values established in the exercise. I then worked out this system to take the logo into color, define the voice, typography, photography, and illustration style.
With the brand identity guide established, designing the web site was on the smooth and frictionless side. The business owners were very clear on the messaging. It was just a matter of telling their story, and providing a clear call to action to their potential members. Laying it out was a delight using the tools and elements defined in our brand identity guide that we worked on together.
This is the design that I put together for the client. No need for three different choices. One and done! Approved! After client approval I then passed the design, the wireframes and the brand identity guide to one of our other designers to generate the other pages and responsive sizes.
Native iOS App
Scale LA is a coworking space focused on healthcare startups. They needed an app to manage membership, including a way to communicate, advertise events, book conference rooms, and book time with mentors. With the style guide in place, the app design process was smooth and efficient.
I started with Greatsimple’s stack UI kit and custom tailored it to follow the brand identity guide. That made it possible to skip wire framing and go directly to design in sketch.
Check out the prototype on sketch cloud.