I thought it was important to give my app a brand to distinguish it from other apps and represent what the app is about. I thought it was important to do this before I started with the rest of the design as it should all be influenced by the brand.
Tone of voice
I came up with some words that I want my brand to reflect. Having these words in mind when designing the app will help me remember what is important and the brand values. It would also help me keep everything consistent. Here are the words I want my brand to be associated with:
“We are passionate about pandas. This app makes it easy to track the location and health of giant pandas in the wild. Pandas are still considered vulnerable, so we make it our mission to increase their population with the help of new technology”.
“Passionate about Pandas”
These bios are important as it tells people what the brand is about in a short and simple way. It also gives people the reason why the brand was started, their mission, and what they are passionate about. This helps the audience connect with it and builds trust. Healthcare professionals that would use this app would read this and see that it has similar values and goals as them and make them want to use it. I thought it would be beneficial to include a shorter bio as this could be used on social media or the app store as it is very to-the-point.
Now that I knew the tone of voice of my brand, this would make it easier to design a logo. I started by sketching some ideas:
I then took my favourite from these and drew it out bigger. You can see this on the bottom right. I liked this as it was simple as it uses simple shapes. I think it is interesting to look at as it uses negative space, and the eye fills in the missing lines to create a panda. The simplicity makes it more memorable and more versatile as it can be easily recognised if it was brought down to a smaller scale.
I then took this sketch into Figma to make a digital version. I did multiple iterations of it to see what worked best. For example, I widened certain areas, brought some shapes closer together, and took away the legs on one version. I also made sure to use a grid with these to ensure everything lined up. You can see these below:
Of these, I liked logo 2:
I decided to keep the logo black and white simply to represent the colour of giant pandas. I also like that black and white go with all colours, so I know it won’t clash with my chosen colour pallet. The black colour is an “off-black” #363636 rather than #000000 as this is easier on the eyes.
It was now time to choose the typeface for my wordmark. I did this by testing different ones on my chosen name, “Panda Connect”. I chose this as it’s simple and represents what the app is for which is to better connect with pandas and their health. Here are some of the fonts I chose between:
Of these, I liked the bottom one which is called “Urbanist”. I think it looks quite modern which works well with this product as it is using new modern technology. It is simple and comes across as reliable which is important with an app like this as people need to trust it. This is why I didn’t choose the middle font for example because it was too playful for a more serious topic. The chosen font is also variable which means I can change the weight of it. This will be beneficial if I wanted to use it for headings in my app.
I then paired it with my logo to see how it would work:
I tried the typeface with varying weights to see what worked best. At first, I liked the regular weight, however, after some research, I found that these could put across two different tones. My logo is quite bold and uses shapes that stand out whereas, the typeface is thin and doesn’t draw any attention. This would lead to it not having a purpose and getting lost.
I decided to make the typeface “Semi-bold”:
I like this a lot better as it stands out more and matches the logo and tone of voice. I think it comes across as more confident and therefore, more trustworthy.
I decided to experiment with a way to make my wordmark more unique. To do this, I added ears on top of the letter “O” to bring the panda aspect into it.
I do like this idea as it makes it different and fun to look at. However, it can make it look quite busy and it takes away from the simplistic look I was going for. It also runs the risk of coming across as not trustworthy as it’s more playful which doesn’t fit the tone of voice. During a critique session, it was also mentioned that it may not be necessary to have them. Instead, something like this could possibly be used when the logo is not present.
I made these simple brand guidelines including rules surrounding the logo, typography, and buttons. I also included the colour pallet of the app to ensure they are kept consistent. I am going to expand these guidelines as I move through the project but I thought it would be beneficial to have these to keep me on track.