A lot has changed since we founded FATFREE in 2005. The iPhone was invented, your mom is on Facebook, and after years of avoiding fat, now everyone’s gone Keto. Technology and language changes over the years, so it’s important for brands to evolve, too.
This past year we took this advice to heart and set out to rebrand FATFREE with an updated look and feel that better matched our years of experience and signature lean approach. As a virtual, global team with global clients, we’re not often in the same room soaking up company culture. So it’s important for us to define FATFREE and establish a shared culture across the miles. It was a moment to treat ourselves as well as we treat our clients.
Now that everyone has been sent to work from home, we thought it would be helpful to share how we retooled our brand to help clients and employees connect virtually with the heart of FATFREE.
First, clarify your identity internally
A lot has changed since we founded the business, it was time to take a hard look at our brand name and positioning. After years of focusing on “cutting the fat” from typical big agency engagements, we wanted to position around what we do, not just what we cut out.
The technology boom brought lean development and lean startups, so the word “lean” now evokes powerful practices that we’ve brought to bear on everything from ecommerce to app development to ad campaign creative. Everything we do benefits from iterative efficiency and data-backed insights of a lean approach to marketing. This realization is driving greater internal clarity for our team and reinforced why we are still FATFREE.
Next, articulate your brand values.
Often with a small business, the founders embody the team’s culture, and everyone just “gets it” through interacting with them. But as businesses grow and scale, formalizing these values can help keep the team aligned.
For us that meant embracing the value we place on driving client success while having fun and establishing long-term relationships. Being easy to work with has been one of the greatest contributors to our success, so it was time to articulate that and bring it into the brand.
Then, and only then, get visual.
Once you have a clear idea of your brand’s position and values, you’re ready to evaluate its visual identity. Our signature blue, while still a team favorite, lacked the maturity we were looking for. Shifting the blue slightly toward green created a fresher, deeper shade that we translated into a range of dark to light teal blues. A tomato red and softer sand accent colors create contrast that punches hard or backs off depending on what we need to accomplish.
Our new logo consists of a serif typeface that we’ve minimized to showcase just how much you can communicate when you strip away the unnecessary. We used illustration to balance the seriousness of the serif in the logo with hand-drawn hands that conceptualize our work with a more human touch. The icons are derived from the elements of the logo, and they help us gesture and anchor information within the brand system.
When it came to photos, we knew stock images wouldn’t cut it, so our designer developed a series of stark landscape photos and manipulated them to include surreal monoliths out of the icons in both positive and negative space. We liked how the scenes evoke powerful new possibilities where there was previously only a barren landscape.
The process of rebranding has reinvigorated our team with a clearer sense of mission, and we are in the process of reengaging clients who we hope will share our enthusiasm for our new look. If your brand needs a tune-up, we’d be happy to give you a free consultation. Get in touch with our team here.