Motley is one of the leading companies in their field and have been growing rapidly over the last five years. Their growth and competency has attracted some of the biggest companies in Finland into working with them on developing their businesses. As a result of this fast growth Motley’s brand no longer served as an accurate reflection of who the company is and what it does. We were brought in to rebrand the identity and transform the Motley brand to better represent the company behind it and match the level of customers it serves.
The old identity had been virtually unchanged since the founding of the company eight years ago. While being fun in tone, reflecting the boyish and bullish nature of the founding years it was lacking in quality and refinement and felt outdated. The rebrand needed to show the level of operation Motley has become, an industry leader with 40+ staff that leads the way in building new digital business strategies and tools for its clients.
We set out to bring more dynamism and sophistication to the brand while retaining a strong graphic look as well as fun and excitement. We were set on keeping and evolving the best elements of the old identity rather than getting rid of them just for the sake of it. Together with the Motley leadership we decided to keep the most recognisable element from the old identity the diamond M symbol and develop additional logo elements around it. This has the added benefit of a degree of continuity in outward communications of the company while the new identity is still clearly a departure from the past and an evolution towards the future.
We decided to use the diamond shape as the base graphic element in the identity. We complemented the symbol with a text logo that incorporates the diamond form in the O letter. The feel is what we dubbed ‘techy sophisticated’. The diamond shape was also incorporated in the key visual of the identity, the Motley Murmuration.
As the key visual element in the Motley identity we created an idea based on the movements of birds in what are called murmurations. As they fly the birds (starlings) form what is called a murmuration where they seem to be connected by a telepathic understanding of each others movements. They twist and turn, changing direction at a moments notice. When one bird changes direction or speed, the other birds in the flock respond to the change instantaneously. Information moves across the flock with the speed of light. This movement and shapeshifting illustrates how a team of individuals can come together as an extremely agile group that can adapt, move at speed, and pivot to a new direction. This movement functions as the ‘key visual’ in the Motley identity and is used to bring excitement, movement and dynamism to the identity. It can be used as a still element or animated. The elements that make up the Murmuration are the diamonds of the symbol, they represent the Motley team members.
For the Motley identity we started off with a simple black & white colour palette to which we added a strong purple colour to serve as the main brand colour. It is used to bring an infusion of colour to an elegant black and white backdrop. Around the main purple dubbed ‘electric purple’ we added a few more shades to further refine the palette and give some nuances. Turquoise is used as a complimentary colour to the leading purple for cost estimates, tables and infographics. The purple colour is distinctly different from Motley’s competitors. It is also a colour that is clearly of the digital world in which Motley do most of their work.
To elevate the Motley brand to a new level of professionalism we introduced the sleek, strong and very contemporary sans serif typeface FF Mark. The typeface was created by the FontFont Type Development team with creative support and input from Erik Spiekermann. The typeface screams modern sans serif while at the same time being clearly based on geometric sans serif fonts of the past. It lends an air of professionalism to the brand while still remaining friendly and above all crystal clear and legible.
The identity was implemented on stationery and all presentation materials throughout the company. The new identity was also implemented on the new Motley website by the Motley in-house design team.
In the words of Motley founder and partner Arto Martonen:
“The new identity more accurately depicts who Motley are today. We’re more focused, more professional and stronger than ever.”
We would like to extend a special thanks to the animators at Boutique who worked with us in creating the Murmuration.