Armilar: an evolving identity

Our rebranding behind the scenes

Armilar Blog


This week, we are announcing Armilar’s new visual identity. Something that’s been developing under the covers for the last few months is ready to be unleashed onto the world. And we couldn’t be prouder!

Rebranding is an opportunity for deep introspection, for assessing our strengths and weaknesses, for gauging how the outside world looks at us and for aligning our brand with how we want to be perceived while staying true to ourselves. It is an invaluable opportunity to communicate who we are and what we stand for in a more meaningful way.

In this post, we try to tell you what this rebrand means to us, why we felt the need to do it and how we did it.

The need for a rebranding that represents our ambition while staying true to our heritage and values

For over two decades, Armilar (originally under a different name) has been investing in tech startups, with a strong emphasis on digital technology-dense companies.

The Armilar brand was born in 2016 when the firm spun off from the entity whose brand we operated under. The name Armilar (the Portuguese word for “armillary”, taken from the armillary sphere) was chosen because we felt that it very strongly conveys a number of things that we identify ourselves with, as a team. It is both profoundly linked to our Portuguese identity and of a multi-cultural nature. It is an object that pays respect to both the rigour of science and the beauty of art. It carries both a significance of respect for history and a connotation with the adventurous, with the advancement of knowledge and new discoveries — you can learn more about its symbolism here.

We could not be prouder of the name, what it stands for, and what we as a firm have built with it.

But as the Armilar platform continues to expand, it is important to stay current and to evolve, in all aspects, to be on the frontline of market trends, innovations and new technologies, evolving our ways of working, thinking and partnering, and adapting our internal processes and tools continuously. The brand is part of that platform and it also needs to evolve.

Our original logo, now seven years old, has run its course. It very effectively served us in communicating who we are and what we stand for as the Armilar brand launched. As we retire it, it will forever be a part of the Armilar history. Now, it is time for a refresh, as we look to effectively communicate our values to the companies and the founders we serve, as well as to the investors who trust us with their investment.

We needed a brand that faithfully represents our ambition and role in Iberia and beyond while staying true to our heritage and values.

The exhilarating process of seeing a new visual identity come to life

Rebranding was obviously not a job for us to undertake internally, with our limited (euphemism for totally null) branding skills. If we were going to do it, we were going to do it right, with the right external help to objectively assess the strengths and weaknesses of our brand, how we are perceived by the market, what communication opportunities are out there for our brand, and finally to guide us through a creative process, exploring options and refining the brand. We have wisely decided to partner with Moving Brands for this rebranding exercise. Moving Brands is one of the best international branding agencies, having worked with renowned VCs among countless other world-class brands.

We followed an intense and collaborative process, hand-in-hand with the team of Moving Brands, to redefine our strategic brand foundations, while refreshing our brand look and feel. We went through immersion & strategic working sessions, competitors’ brand identities review, interviews with both founders and investors (independently conducted by Moving Brands), different creative routes discussions, endless tweaks in word choice (we are hard to satisfy), to finally end up with a fully refreshed and rewarding identity.

  • Part of the immersive sessions made us see that we have a very consistent internal understanding of who we are and who we are not, but that we needed to better reflect it in our brand. We needed to bring out our personality and values in the brand, without losing the essence of who we are.
  • Another interesting piece was the key findings from the interviews with both founders and investors conducted by the Moving Brands team. It was humbling and very rewarding to see that our capabilities are very well recognized among those who know us. But at the same time, those qualities could be better communicated to those that do not.
Rebranding process: immersive sessions

Interestingly, before even they started thinking about the graphics, the team started by establishing our brand identity, composed of our Purpose, our Promise and our Brand Manifesto, an enduring encapsulation of our Purpose and Promise, articulating what we stand for and our role in the world. This was reviewed and refined in painstaking detail, and it is interesting to understand how that flows into and influences the brand visuals. We are very proud of that result.

Armilar’s Brand Manifesto

Introducing our “new” visual identity

Inspiration and evolution of Armilar’s brand

After several weeks of iteration, this is where we got.

Dropping the “Venture Partners” suffix from the wordmark was one of the early decisions and it was an easy one. It served its purpose when we first launched the brand, to make clear which business we are in. But at this point, with that pretty much established, it became largely superfluous. Dropping it gave the team a lot of room to experiment with different graphical approaches.

With regards to the logo, while we toyed with many different options, the preference was to always stick with the object of an armillary sphere — but make it much more stylized than before, while inducing the idea of movement. Along with it, came several other elements of the brand identity, including colour palette, fonts, icons and symbology.

New visual identity for Armilar. Logo, wordmark, fonts and colours — by Moving Brands

That same idea of movement is very much present in several other elements of the brand visuals, including the beautiful rotating rings that are themselves a good abstraction of an armillary sphere, but also lend themselves to so many interesting concepts that the brand can explore— you can find out more in our rebranded website here.

Armilar’s brand elements (in motion)

Today is an important day for us. We couldn’t be happier to share our revisited identity with the world, hoping that you’ll feel as (re)-energised as we do. If you do, let us know! We’d love to hear your thoughts!



Armilar Blog

Armilar is Portugal’s leading venture capital funds manager, an independent VC with a 20-year-old high-performance track record and an international footprint.