Case study: Clubhouse. Rebranding for an Audio-based Social App.
By Isaac Sixtus Chizaram & Bryan Anoruo
The task of logo and identity development seems to be easy in recent times. More companies and products are filling the market with branding designs of various complexity and quality however, most designs fail to provide solutions necessary for growth. All branding systems need an original identity for successful awareness and promotion. On the other hand, is it so easy to be original in the face of diverse competition?
This is where problem-driven design solutions come in.
For the past few months, our team of brand designers, strategists, and writers at Spencerzill have worked tirelessly to provide Clubhouse with the ultimate makeover that will potentially elevate its identity amongst its competition. With our branding expertise and a keen eye for detail, our process involved creating visually appealing minimal yet memorable personalities for every part of the app that guides users without getting in the way as well as using research and user survey to create a strategic foundation for the brand to stand on. From logo, typography, color palette, and more, it is essential to communicate the values of Clubhouse in a way that retains the appeal that attracted users from the beginning.
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Today, we offer you a world-class case study showing the process of creating an effective brand identity. In one of our recent projects, we created the task of rebranding Clubhouse by highlighting the style and visual presentation on several items promoting the corporate identity.
Rebranding an identity for an audio-based social chat- Clubhouse
4 months 17 days
- Adobe Aftereffects
- Cinema 4D
- Davinci resolve
- Brand Voice
- User Interface
- Segmented campaign ads
- Product overview
There are so many platforms grappling for attention and most of them forget about the most important thing- being different. With Clubhouse, we wanted to highlight the core values that speak for themselves at a glance and create an emotional connection with its users.
‘’we wanted to highlight the core values that speak for themselves at a glance and create an emotional connection with its users.’’
We conducted an online survey to get unbiased opinions. The recurring observation was that downloading the app for the first time was challenging since there was another app with the same name. We considered that and looked for ways to make this unique brand stand out.
We also noticed no definitive logo was used to identify the Clubhouse brand as people mistook it for clubhouse.io (a project manager)
The first step was to understand the needs of the brand.
‘What is the message?
‘What is the tone?
‘What is the market position?
We spoke with the brand users and analyzed all the information they share with us to get the information we need.
The next step was to develop a concept that meets all the needs of the brand. This concept needed to take a stand and communicate something fundamental about the brand.
The third step was to identify the visual language that will express this concept. How can we share our message clearly with the correct tone?
The final step was to dive into the design and production, refine the concept and its visual expression and produce the branding materials.
This project included a large design exploration to find Clubhouse’s voice. We started by finding words that best define the app and how we can properly translate its values visually. Having used the app, some recurring words started popping up to best describe the experience — community, security, and free expression.
This observation made us realize that emotions are the focal point of Clubhouse and should be highlighted in the branding. Emotions vary depending on situations we are involved in and can convey different messages at all times as a way of communication mostly expressed through speech, which is the selling point of the app.
“We quickly considered an enclosed logo to represent an inclusive community”
Another consideration was retaining the existing brand colors so as not to change but elevate and maintain the brand’s core value.
We also tried different brand elements that will complement the logo’s welcoming feel.
The Brand Logo
Our choice of logo is a combination of the brand’s values and functions into one unique symbol — a safe place (home), a chance to be heard (microphone) and, a platform for positive experiences(smile). The curved corners convey a friendly, welcoming first impression suited for a brand that is considered a community. We carried out a survey to test how young creatives could relate to the logo and were thrilled to find out most of them found the logo memorable and brand fit.
Our choice of logo is a combination of the brand’s values and functions into one unique symbol — a safe place (home), a chance to be heard (microphone) and, a platform for positive experiences(smile)
We also designed varieties of exciting animations to tell a story of how versatile and distinctive each icon is on its own.
Notification box — icon application
The Brand Color
We retained existing brand colors for the entire branding to enhance, not change its core identification. However, we experimented with placing the logos and icons on a black background to achieve an elevated look (we realized that a green and white logo icon and brand identity are a little overplayed while green on black is a guaranteed eye turner).
‘’We retained existing brand colors for the entire branding to enhance, not change its core identification’’
Another reason for using black as a base color is to create a sense of inclusivity and importance so every user feels special to be a part of quality.
The Brand Font
The Brand Voice(Slogan)
The next step of the creative process was to support design with a written and vocal content. We constructed a new slogan “talk less, listen more” for the Clubhouse brand, so our content & voice-over teams were also involved in the project. Short and catchy, the slogan had to support the idea of social communication made by people but rooted in natural harmony.
“Talk less, listen more”
What’s more, the slogan had to set the tight link with the logo, so that in combination they effectively supported each other.
2D & 3D Iconography
For a timeless personality, we designed icons for the explore page categories that reflect authenticity to viewers. They are minimal, unforgettable, and show good use of whitespace.
We knew the visuals had to match the excitement of sharing new experiences and since having a conversation involves connections and mutual feelings, our approach with mixed 2D and 3D elements matched this vibe.
“We knew the visuals had to match the excitement of sharing new experiences. And since having a conversation involves connections and matching feelings, our approach mixed 2D and 3D elements to match this vibe”
With the existing creative direction, we created a cohesive look for the Clubhouse identity, this helps to build consistency and establish a well-known look and feel for the brand.
To maintain consistency, we designed intricate patterns and shapes as brand elements inspired by the logo to achieve a functional, eye-catching uniformity…..
The Style Guide
We created a full set of guidelines for logo and identity use, including color palettes, fonts, and layout placement. Practice shows that style guides play a strategic role in brand development: all future contributors will get clear instructions about correct and wrong ways to use the graphics created for this project. The brand guide includes several sections and information about the logo, its applications and specifications, color, and monochrome versions which can be used for a wide range of purposes. Also, it shows examples of incorrect usage to avoid poor visual performance.
Another task was creating themed promotion materials that could be used for marketing needs in social networks, offline, and on the website.
Social Chat identity, marketing, and design specialists of today know that custom brand assets used for sources of communication play a crucial role in strengthening solid online & offline presence and recognition.
After a bunch of experiments, we came up with distinctive visual elements which are applicable to improve the marketing efforts of the brand.
“…play a crucial role in strengthening solid online & offline presence and recognizability.”
Social Media Headers/Download Store
The application of brand elements on various social platforms helps give prospective users easy access to the Clubhouse brand through applications like Facebook profile, Twitter background, Google+ header, or graphics for timeline posts and blogs.
A company begins to hit its stride when it establishes its own identity. Branded stationery is a great way to show individuality because the items will become bespoke to the Clubhouse brand. Therefore, it’s a great way to show personality and express what the brand stands for.
Branded apparel not only adds personalization to the promotional gear but also gives something extra to the consumers. It enables them to create perceptions about the value of the apparel and the brand itself..
User Interface Design (Explore Page)
We redesigned the Clubhouse explore screen, maintaining the brand colors and fonts, we then infused a playful user interaction experience with well-designed iconography and layout to improve usability.
Check out the animation clip below;
This visual branding goes from digital to physical applications effortlessly without losing its global appeal. It is adaptable and open to numerous interpretations.
Every detail was carefully thought out and chosen to create an identity both dynamic and diverse to reflect all users. We created an identity to inspire effective communication, an opportunity to leave positive footprints in lives around the world.
Project Advisors review
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