Branding Cyber Reliant
Cyber Reliant is an innovative information technology systems and applications networks company. The partners of the company came to us with some awesome goals for the brand, and were eager for us to start developing it. They were great to work with, and helped us to understand that their seemingly complex business model could be distilled into a straightforward statement: “We streamline communication within organizations by using software to bypass the traditional ‘silos’.” Future company goals include implementing their software in the Department of Defense, as well as in the private sector, in the banking and health industries.
Concept & direction
One of the most important parts of branding is understanding the linguistic roots of the company's name. In this case, we started by taking a deeper look at the prefix cyber- which led us to cybernetics. Here, we uncovered the original Greek definition of rudder, steersman or skipper. We also discovered that this is where we get our word gubernatorial, meaning relating to a governor. The fact that cyber- is so deeply rooted in a humanist (rather than the anticipated robotic) and governmental mindset immediately changed our approach to the identity. We started sketching rudders and sails to reflect the word’s original definition. Research on the word “reliant” wasn’t as illuminating, but it did get us thinking about the basic trust that society has begun to put in the digital world. Understanding the meaning behind the combination of these two words led to new directions and possibilities.
Explorations for the mark covered all things nautical to get the steersman and sailor themes on the table. While this did not wind up being the final direction, it led to other opportunities. Eventually, the simple shape of the triangle came to the forefront. The triangle was an abstract representation of a sail, and also highlighted the three pillars of the Cyber Reliant brand: passion, performance and perspective. The triangle's basic form kept the mark simple, while conveying strength and consistency. Many different ideas for the interior design of the mark were sketched out and passed over before the final version came to the front — very near the final delivery date. Flipping the triangle downward created the direction and motion to enforce a sense of leadership, growth and forward thinking.
The Soho superfamily was the typography chosen for the brand. Key qualities we were looking for were ease of legibility, professionalism and importantly, uniqueness. The extreme weights and reliability between the sans and slab versions create an excellent foundation for typographic communication. The dynamic type allows for freedom in tone and weight while maintaining the conservative formalities a tech company generally adheres to.
Besides a unique mark and strong typography, Cyber Reliant needed a strong color palette to rely on. Blue was an easy option from the beginning with all of its psychologically positive attributes. However, explorations in pairing colors showed purple having real strength and power when used in large proportions. In the end, the more exclusive and distinct purple gradient was chosen. The gradient, although subtle, continues to reinforce the depth of the company and the idea of movement. We then paired the purple with a mild tan to create a light contrast. To further communicate the trustworthiness and sophistication of the brand, specific tones of grey were used in all other instances. Black is not used at all in the branding system. All darker colors are a select value of a deep, neutral grey.
The final product is a simple, yet engaging mark that invites the viewer to consider the nuances of the form and their meanings. The color and typographic versatility make the brand a unique identity in a growing tech market. The simplicity is dynamic and allows for expansion into a well established name. We had a blast working with the Cyber Reliant team and are excited to see the new brand hit the market over the next 6 months.
The custom coasters seen below were made by our pals over at Tinkering Monkey.
“Focus Lab's expertise in process, communication, and direction, coupled with their creativity, were driving factors in successfully developing our company brand. The team listened to our ideas and took our direction on what we thought the brand should represent, all while asking great questions and providing solid direction that refined our brand's aesthetic vision. We're very proud of the clean and simple brand that strongly communicates the persona and vision of our business!”Ermis Sfakiyanudis, President/CEO
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