In the beginning, there was a dot.
As our Creative Director, our resident Australian Brad McLean led the creative charge for Teamwork’s recent rebrand. Here’s how he worked his antipodean magic on our visual identity.
The most daunting but exhilarating thing in the world is a blank piece of paper. I’ve felt this ever since I was a kid sketching ideas, my head constantly tilting back and forth, trying to get a different perspective on what I was working on. I’m told I still do this. But a blank piece of paper is especially daunting when you’re embarking on a large, visible and important piece of work like a rebrand.
Let me set the scene. Teamwork had been in operation for over ten years. Over that time, the brand had grown organically, spreading into a jumble of styles, colors and fonts. Each designer and programmer brought their own style and flourishes, but without a solid set of guidelines this could often lead to inconsistencies that threatened to dilute our overall brand. Our tone and written word suffered the same growing pains.
As we moved towards a product suite approach, we needed to think big picture.
We worked with an agency in the early stages of our rebrand to help out with the research portion. As part of this research and exploration phase, we had a workshop focused around idea generation.
After consolidating our research findings, it was time to look at design. We had several workshops that looked at a variety of themes, art, and concepts on visual boards to get the discussion rolling. We sketched. (A lot.) Ideas came and went, all centring around what makes Teamwork “Teamwork”. We knew what we wanted to portray: a confident and approachable brand where simplicity underpins every interaction we produce.
We talked about the old iPhones, where you would swipe to unlock. About how you draw lines in the sand. About how we paint on touchscreens with a fingertip and how digital brushes allow us to draw with weight and opacity.
These concepts were all inextricably linked. Each represented a tool and the result of that tool was the creation of work. And each one started with that first point of contact: the dot.
We felt this “dot” could be the basis for creating our Teamwork world. Because at our core, we create products which help teams focus on the creative work, we thought that hey, this dot could underpin our entire brand.
Conceptually, such a simple visual mechanic could also represent a variety of meanings: from the spark of an idea, to the smallest of tasks, to a project, a team, or a world.
We could be onto something.
When we used the logo with the dot for the first time, we found that it fitted in nicely with our newly-articulated aspirations for Teamwork as a brand, too. It represented the idea that Teamwork would be the only suite of business products you needed for your organization. Period.
We also knew that we had an unfair advantage in our name. While other competitors spoke of teamwork, we were Teamwork. So by adding the dot at the end, we knew we were letting our name speak for itself.
And we wanted our dot to stand out. We wanted a digital colour, something that was borne from RGB. Pink was an easy choice for us because it was fun and surprising, but still sophisticated when paired with our slate color. It would also serve us well as a market differentiator in a myriad of blue and green competitors (blue and green is like, so yesterday).
We approached the logo in much the same way as we approach our products: we wanted to focus on adaptability. We knew that this would give us more options when it came to working in different spaces, environments and contexts, on both white and slate backgrounds.
And because we thought our dot should have a hint of our trademark Teamwork rogueishness, we wanted to be able to animate it and let it zip around and do its own thing. Here’s what the dot looks like when it’s being a rogue:
We also relied on our secondary color palette, which gave us a multitude of options for future use. (But when using our logo on different color backgrounds, we remove the pink for legibility.)
Another consideration for us was how to build our new visual identity around our ever-growing suite of products. We needed to make sure each product could exist on its own, but also coexist and make sense within the Teamwork product hierarchy.
We currently have three products, so the designs for these were done in tandem based around a future-proof identity system, careful to maintain sizing and consistency of stroke and the size of the dot. We also needed to plan for the products that are coming down the line — both the ones we’ll be releasing soon and the ones we haven’t even thought of yet.
We had been solidifying our illustration style over the last two years, but as the rebrand brought about a new color palette and visual style, we knew that we needed to take a new, more ownable approach.
We worked with the amazing Vic Bell to conceptualize our new style, and together we adjusted the elements until we created something that was rounded, organic, and fully “us”.
Vic’s work started with a dot, too: her process was to draw the characters with her finger on an iPad to get a lovely, organic feel, then tighten them up later in Illustrator.
Here are some of the illustrations Vic and the team have made:
We also had existing illustrations that already answered different business and product needs. Here are some before and afters:
Completely Fakt. (Yep, sounds even worse with an Australian accent.)
The rounded nature of Fakt was perfect for our needs. It was highly customizable, had great accessibility features, and offered a lovely range of weights.
The look and feel of our photography is highly stylized, referencing our secondary color palette via backgrounds, wardrobe and props. Shot over two days in Dublin under the guidance of Adrian Stewart, we incorporated bubbles, balls, and confetti, alongside different business personas, to convey a vibe of “professionalism with a hint of merriment”. Here are some behind the scenes shots.
Our new rebrand has allowed us to focus on our overarching goal: helping teams to work together, beautifully. This project fully embodied that collaborative spirit, and it’s the culmination of a huge group effort from a great team of people.
We think this new visual identity is the start of a new chapter for Teamwork that will allow our brand to thrive and our platform to grow.
Also, we feel pretty.
Thank you, Brad! You can see more of Brad’s lovely work here.
Thoughts? Questions? Comments. We’d love to hear them.