Interaction Design Category

Entry Title:

Entering Uncharted Territory

Category:

Professional Interaction Design

Position:

Silver

Design Director:

David Arias

Design Team:

David Arias, Tim Kraumanis, Samantha Langdorf, and Pete Laird

Company:

Briteweb

Client:

Uncharted Institute

Unreasonable Institute came to us for a new name, brand identity and website. It wasn’t that their name and brand identity weren’t working (they were) or that they didn’t like them (they did). But for Unreasonable Institute, it was time to let go of what they’d been in order to become what they will be. From the get-go, our brand strategists wanted to create space for the Unreasonable Institute team to articulate and address the fear and anxiety they felt coming into the rebrand process. At our kick-off session, we included a ‘Pre-Mortem’ activity that allowed members of the team to identify potential risks, weaknesses and reasons that the project could hypothetically fail – all of which our project team were then sensitive to throughout the process. Above all, the team articulated fears that they would end up with a name that they and their community didn’t love as much as their existing name, that they would become a ‘blah’ organization, that they would lose their spark. To ensure that we captured that spark, we needed to come up with a name and create a visual identity that they loved and felt connected to. To begin this process, we spent two full days embedded with the organization’s head-office team. The takeaways from that workshop allowed us to create a positioning statement that captures what differentiates Unreasonable Institute in the impact accelerator space, and helped us develop a brand personality that encapsulates ‘who’ the organization is and guides how it communicates. Once signed off, Unreasonable Institute’s brand personality became a major driver in our naming process. Three naming strategists generated an extra-long list of more than 1,000 possibilities based around the themes that came up during the workshop. That list was whittled down to the strongest contenders and presented to the team. They spent some time with the list, and ultimately one option stood above the rest. The name that seemed to best encapsulate Unreasonable Institute’s new direction – and the irrepressible spirit with which they were pursuing it – was Uncharted. First, our creative team designed a colorful, dynamic logo system that represents Uncharted’s vibrant personality – and its always-evolving approach to solving ever-changing problems. Like the organization itself, the deconstructed logo holds boundless potential to shift and show up distinctly wherever and however it’s applied. Before the design team could bring the logo to life on the new Uncharted site, though, our team needed to create a content strategy that would work for the organization’s many distinct audiences – including Entrepreneurs, Mentors, Funders, Partners and Staff. The site needed to speak to the wants and needs of a growing number of corporate and government stakeholders without alienating the social entrepreneurs who had always been and always would be vital to Uncharted’s approach. To understand and appropriately address those wants and needs, we built on the audience profiles created during the brand strategy process, articulating for each group why they would visit the Uncharted site, and what information and experience they needed to get from it. Once the content strategy and user experience were sorted, it was time for our design team to have some fun. You only need visit the site to see the fun we had (https://uncharted.org/). And was the result as good as Unreasonable Institute? Turns out, it was even better. The day after launch, Uncharted Founder and CEO Teju Ravilochan summed up his experience. “We would not be here without [Briteweb]. Everything just looks incredible. You guys have done such a thoughtful, caring, and wonderful job helping us build an identity that we are proud of! When we started, we didn’t think we could have a brand as good as Unreasonable. I 100% believe Uncharted is something that is even more authentic to who we are and even more inviting to the world than Unreasonable. I am so very proud to be part of this brand and we are so grateful to both of you and to the whole team for what you’ve done for us.”