Archetype was founded by consultants who think like investors. Their multifaceted approach to business has built a robust ecosystem of clients and partnerships determined to improve the work experience for millions of people. With their new messaging developed, they wanted a brand identity system that would match their complex vision for growth.
Creative direction and design of rebrand and new website
"I can't tell what you do," is what a mentor one of Archetype's founders after hearing the pitch. They were getting lost in the details and needed to step back and communicate their vision. When Archetype had a clear message, I stepped in to work on their visual rebrand.
The team came out of the messaging exercise with three key words that embodied their organization: interconnected, co-innovation, and growth. While these sound like buzzwords, their consulting and investing arms uniquely work as R&D for each other to build a strong ecosystem of products and services. I presented the team with three visual directions based on their attributes. Considering each of these key terms, I saw "interconnected" as the "what" of their business and "co-innovation" as the "how." However, "growth" seemed to be the most important — the "why," which was the direction we all ultimately agreed to explore.
Whether their audience is interested in growth consulting or investment, Archetype's brand should exude strength and intentionality, while simultaneously not feeling rigid. The first round of sketches was received well with clear favorites; however, as we continued our discussion, we realized that it was best to go back to sketch phase with feedback for another round.
After the second round of sketches, we came out with some strong contenders and moved on to turn those sketches into refined digital logo marks. The day before the presentation, I finally made a connection and sketched out a brand new logo mark that I knew was it — the horizontal and vertical lines gave structure, while the angles evoked forward movement. It conveyed calculated precision with a hint of balance and flow. I added the new concept to the deck as a surprise option. When I came to that slide, it was clear to everyone on the call that we were looking at Archetype's new logo mark.
Archetype's goal is not to be your run-of-the-mill faceless consulting firm — they're purposeful and look to enrich the experiences of their clients and their employees. So with a well-grounded mark, I wanted to add in elements to position the brand as strong yet approachable.
I brought structure and cohesion to the visual language by limiting the primitive shapes to right triangles and rectangles. However, I still needed something organic that wouldn't feel chaotic or messy. I thought back to our initial conversations about how Archetype sees each organization as having its own DNA, and within that DNA is the key to success. This led me to explore fingerprint-like patterns to emphasize the unique identity each business.
When it came to imagery, Archetype did not want any photography of people who weren't employees or clients. However, they also wanted to hold off on a custom photo shoot for the time being. So how do you show the humanness of a brand while limiting imagery of people? The solution was to lean into architectural photography detailing support structures and nature photography to convey growth.
Using a new vibrant secondary color palette, I also created a system to help differentiate between assets for consulting, investing, and employee-centered content.
The final result is a visual identity that enables Archetype to clearly tell the story of their unique approach to consulting and investing. With their new branding and website, they now have the tools to grow their own teams and generate new business.
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