NONA Rebrand | A Brief overview

This year, NONA celebrated its 6th year. Having grown from a 5-person outfit to a medium-sized development studio of around 30 people, our culture has had to evolve over the years. Our presence and expertise, now clearly established in the South African Blockchain Ecosystem, it was time to redefine NONA’s identity.

Influences

Brand Promise

We started out by stepping back and trying to see the big picture from our competitors to the surrounding environment. We also looked internally to where we stand currently and at what our brand promise and culture mean.

Deliver high quality software reliably

This is cut and dry, something you can take to the bank and something we expect everyone at NONA to get behind.

From here we set out looking for inspiration:

Geigy

Possibly the most beautifully packaged Miticide ever to be produced on Earth.

The Giegy style became one of the leading proponents of the International Typographic Style, Switzerland’s influential post-war graphic design movement.

This was a powerful yet understated legacy of Max Schmid — one of the important contributors to the Geigy style, and an exemplar of what we now regard as ‘classic’ Swiss Design.

A few key points I really liked:

  • Bold

The typography is clear and forms the basis of the design — the clarity this creates makes this product identifiable from any distance, almost instantly.

  • Minimalism

This packaging is everything it needed to be, It creates confidence that there is a guaranteed standard. No more, no less, no frills, no fluff. It is exactly what it says it is, reliable, everytime.

  • Objective

Every element, or bit of content, is refined down to its simplest form and has a reason for being there, a clear objective.

Our takeaway from this:

Simultaneously playful, balanced and controlled

Kodak

The New York based imaging company has been around since the 1880s. They have produced thousands of products ranging from film to flash drives. While they are well known for resisting and failing to anticipate the digital evolution of photography this shouldn’t detract from the great work of their design department.

A few key points I really liked:

  • Rational

If you have ever come across a shelf of Kodak products you will have noticed the clear logical distinction and order of their design.

  • Indicative

The content of the designs, much like Geigy is stripped down to its bare essentials — which makes identifying the slight differences between products very easy.

  • Balance and Unity

With thousands of products, often shelved next to each other, it would be quite easy to go crazy with a variety of designs — but Kodak managed to achieve a beautiful, balanced unity through all their design work. Products and designs never clashed, and very clearly aligned with their look and feel.

Our takeaways:

A brutalist approach to order, clarity and simplicity.

German Engineering

While this is not a brand, nor something with a specific look and feel, it is a concept that most understand. German engineering seems to remain the champion division of the entire industry. As an example, this successful country maintains their great reputation as the top exporter of machinery and industrial equipment globally. The craftsmanship is combined with quality engineering, which has resulted in a widely acclaimed reputation.

A few key points I really liked:

  • Clean

There is a sense of pride and cleanliness, not only in the work but in the workplace and presentation of each step of the process.

  • Precision

When building and manufacturing machinery to this standard, precision is essential and quality, guaranteed.

  • Order

Everything has its place, creating optimal flow.

  • QA

The concept and reputation would not exist without impeccable QA (quality assurance) — it is the cornerstone of their engineering quality and often people’s lives literally depend on it.

Our takeaways:

An unwavering commitment to the highest industry standards.

“Creative”

All of the above being said it was time to drop the “creative” from NONA Creative for a multitude of reasons. We are a development studio, and while we still have very strong design capabilities in User Experience (UX) and User Interface Design (UI), we are not a creative agency. We are not focused on advertising or brand campaigns. We build high quality software with a focus on Blockchain Technology.

Lastly, if a company has to say they’re creative… they probably aren’t.

Our New Brand Mark

While our name and font alone is already quite simple we wanted to refine it more, we wanted something made of basic shapes that could be identified in a nanosecond.

We felt that the word NONA is quite soft and therefore the mark needed to be bold and sharp. Because what we do is about function and the form is derived through data driven decisions we decided to introduce technical lines — this also creates a nice differentiating factor from a lot of other common “N” logos.

Images and Application

In an industry fraught with under delivery and unnecessary complexity we initially established ourselves by simply delivering on what we said we would. We simplified the process and focused on delivering tangible results at each step of the process.

While we are developers and technologists, we build real-life solutions. It doesn’t matter how complex or advanced the software is — it needs to provide solutions in the real world, and we need to keep the human experience at the forefront of our decisions.

We wanted to steer clear of images portraying unnecessary complexity, lines of code or circuit boards. For us this style of imagery only distances us from our users and the fact that we are not only focused on the technology but rather on the users and the solution.

Business card application
Billboard design application
Sidewalk poster application
T-shirt design application
We chose to reflect this in our choice of images by using images from the real world.

Astronaut in space — for our discovery workshops

Mount Everest — for our initial consultation

Lighting Storm / network — for blockchain related docs

Download our free desktop design pack

Download here