Rebranding done right: the story of JetBrains
Hello, my dear readers. Never have I ever wrote a post on Medium, but I think there always is a place to start. Three Russian guys, namely Sergey Dmitriev, Valentin Kipiatkov and Eugene Belyaev, also thought like this and have founded in the year 2000 a company named IntelliJ, based in Prague. 2001 they released their first software product — IntelliJ Renamer, a refactoring solution for Java. Back then they used to have 7 employees and 400 customers. Today the JetBrains (ex. IntelliJ) team consists of 580 employees, the company itself has won more than 300 awards and has reached the point of 2 million total users.
JetBrains has got a lot of powerful tools for developers. That are 8 IDEs for different programming languages, 6 plugins for Microsoft Visual Studio, 4 tools for teamwork, company’s very own programming language Kotlin and much more. Each product used to have a unique icon.
My personal favorites were PyCharm and CLion, because they’ve had cute animals in the icons, which made them more “alive”. But the things have changed recently.
In 2000, three friends set out to make their work easier by creating a tool that would remove mundane and somewhat…blog.jetbrains.com
Two days ago, or December 10th, the company announced their rebranding. There are two reasons and both of them are worthy.
First of all, “JetBrains is not a product, IntelliJ is not a brand”. Surprisingly, people used to misunderstand JetBrains’ structure.
In giving people the freedom to do what they want brings out the best in them. However, this freedom can lead to certain inconsistencies when it comes to logos, design, etc. People know IntelliJ IDEA, ReSharper, TeamCity, but they don’t necessarily know that these products are from the same company.
Now all the logos and icons are the same in style, but at the same time really different. The designer who has done the rebranding sure did a good job. The app logos have their old colors and even shapes, which makes them easy to tell apart. The logos also do have the name abbreviation, so you never will open the wrong app again. This is a good move since all the apps look organised and “together”. As for me, this is much better than different icons for each app (for example, I couldn’t understand the AppCode icon, because it was really strange).
The second reason was, by the way, very philosophical: the company wants to associate themselves with us. They want to show their “drive to develop”, they want us to get that drive. I don’t really get philosophy and sociology, but this one sounds like a great IDEA (get it?). Perhaps we will get new UI for the IDEs because current one looks like 2005, no offense.
At least, we all know, that something is happening in the company, and, for now, this “something” is surprisingly good. So I would like to say “Спасибо” to everyone JetBrains’ employee out there.
– Nick Karamoff
P. S. Don’t you think a lot of rebrandings happened this year? Google, Facebook, Lenovo, JetBrains, auto.ru, 500px, Opera, Logitech, posti Finland, British Higher School of Art & Design, Sokolniki Park, AutoVAZ, RenTV… The list goes on and on and on and on… Maybe we should call 2015 the “Rebranding Year”, no?