Squid40 | A Metamorphic Brand Story

Amalia Costa
Apr 10, 2019 · 7 min read

Let’s start at hello.

We are Squid40. We adapt to our environment. We’re a digital products startup from London with innovation studios in Romania, home of the best devs, designers and strategists on the market. From MVPr, MVP, MMP, MAP to complex digital platforms, our adaptive ecosystem exceeds partner needs and expectations, lowers costs and clears the path to investment opportunities.

Created to simplify and accelerate people’s ideas

We adapt to agile and fluid startup environments. Our vision is to re-design digital outsourcing by empowering outstanding digital creators with a super stellar cultural DNA. We believe in “Side by Side” partnerships through communication, transparency and commitment.

To fully understand the problem we had to research what the current market solutions are and what problems the startup scene is facing.

The world we live in now is a very different place compared to 10 years ago, or even to a few years ago.

Being a successful startup in today’s fast-paced and morphing digital landscape is becoming increasingly tough.

Strategic Challenges for start-ups are multi-faced:

  • MVP/MAP: validating your product ideas and increasing brand equity;
  • Culture: hiring stellar talent to drive forth your business by nurturing that talent and making sure all the pieces fit and are able to work collaboratively;
  • Finance: balancing your budget to make it past Q3 and getting another round of funding;
  • Scaling: adapting to new market demands and generating enough traction for user acquisition.

Our a-ha moment came when we realised that most of the outsourcing companies out there are slapping a band-aid to an ever-widening wound.

Yes, there are a ton of companies that offer design & build services, however, there aren’t that many that consider the full customer experience when delivering their services. Building a product-oriented company from the ground up is much like creating a user experience for your new product, as long as there is a demand for it and you put your customer in the center of your product/service.

So, we basically iterated and beta-tested the past year and fine-tuned our market-driven solution.

Right now, we are in the position of fully launching our brand, stable release, of course.


Squid40 is deeply “rooted” in the realm of possibilities, exploration and hard-core delivery.

This Squid is a fluid, adaptive and transparent organism. We live and breathe creativity. We aim to deliver the best possible product/service to our clients.

By being a visionary, we help our customers express themselves, create and foster their imagination.

The brand’s ultimate goal is to create something of meaning and enduring value. If Squid40 would be a person it would be a nonconformist entrepreneur with highly creative and strategic traits. It would be someone who likes to make things happen, loves a challenge and excels in innovation and communication.

The logo is constructed using a circular grid system. The circle is a universal symbol with extensive meaning. It represents the notions of totality, wholeness.

Is known as the mother of all shapes because it is the archetypal shape from which all other geometry is drawn. The primary principle of the circle — a container that protects, supports and ultimately produces life — allows it to scale from minuscule organisms like cells to the mega size of our planet, hence supporting the idea of adaptability of the squid.

The logo has visual weight, the typography and the symbol have rhythm, they have contentedness and a common fate (they seem to move in the same direction).

Having this balance between the horizontal (typography) and diagonal (squid) axes gives of a sense of calm, stability and movement. It is a way of conveying growth (business-wise: the business grows steadily, therefore it’s also dependable and trustworthy). This rhythm and balance also convey fluidity.

Some of the iterations we went through before reaching the final pictogram:

Design System

Squid40’s design system has been created to unify all brand elements under one umbrella. Its primary function is to create cohesion and consistency and convey a coherent message to the people interacting with the brand.

The ink is one of the mediums through which the squid expresses itself. It is a central element to the brand and it is a way for people to interact with the brand. The ink can be found on the website, where users can play around with it, in animations where it is used as a transition piece and in visual imagery.

The ink depicts the ecosystem, with all its parts and it is inspired by the mechanics of ferrofluids. This element can adapt to the person it interacts with, conveying the fluid nature of our brand.

Josefin Sans

Designed by Santiago Orozco, the idea for creating this typeface was to make it geometric but elegant. It is inspired by geometric sans serif designs from the 1920s. It reflects the passion for a good lifestyle and design, making it suitable for what our brand visual identity stands for. The logotype is created by using Josefin Sans as a baseline.


Designed by Julieta Ulanovsky, Montserrat is a new libre sans text typeface for the web, inspired by the signage found in a historical neighborhood of Buenos Aires. It has a very urban and modern feel to it, making it perfect for our digital mediums of communication.

The color palette of Squid 40’s visual identity is inspired by the kaleidoscopic color displays of the squid’s skin. The primary colors that comprise the color palette are Aquamarine and Electric Purple. The secondary colors used are Amber and Midnight Blue.

These colors are derived from a triadic color scheme as they offer strong visual contrast while retaining harmony and color richness.

These are the soul of the brand. They are a visual embodiment of what Squid40 is by capturing our fluid and adaptive nature. These identity marks reflect the fact that we create digital climates, digital worlds for a myriad of user psychologies.

Our business cards retain the playfulness and cleanness of the Squid40 brand by distilling it down to the most relevant elements:

Evolved Ecosystem — UI Style Guide & Website

The brand ecosystem merges all online & offline elements, and it is created to enhance the experience our customers have with Squid40, at every touchpoint. Our aim is that the transition between online and offline is seamless and intuitive.

The UI style guide is designed to enhance the consistency of our digital experience.

Squid40’s website is the expression of the brand in the digital medium. It’s a component that’s always going to metamorphose. It’s a true point of contact between our customers and who we are.


If you haven’t guessed so far, we’re all about people and building relationships.

We love to bring value to people’s lives whether they’re our folks or our customers.

The idea of contributing and providing, creating the physical and mental space for other people to be valued, respected and reassured is what Squid40 is at its core.

We achieve digital greatness through analog leadership by adopting a “Side by Side” philosophy which triggers creativity and fast results.

Our brand aims to build relationships and tap into the human emotion and connection with the people it serves and interacts with. Squid40 is we, the people, H2H.

This is not our final form — The Metamorphic Brand

Starting from this core brand persona, our final goal is to create a metamorphic brand that adapts to every single authentic interaction with the people that it engages with it.

Stay tuned and #FollowTheInk, #SquidSquad and our #Inkulture.

Explore best-in-class digital product delivery. Start your game-changing journey today!


A digital product development agency designed for side by side early stage & sharp startups — building awesome digital products for inspiring people & teams. 🚀

Amalia Costa

Written by

Design & systems-thinking individual. Strategist & art enthusiast. Empowering business’ & advocating user’s voices. Chief Design Officer@ Squid40



A digital product development agency designed for side by side early stage & sharp startups — building awesome digital products for inspiring people & teams. 🚀

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