One of my favorite parts of design is figuring out how to best communicate something. Not necessarily for the sake of clarity, but for the sake of identity.
I’ve never been great at marketing, but it’s something I’m learning. What I have been great at is coming up with a brand because of the thought, intent, and choices I make to help identity the brand. The most important part of a brand is how they communicate. What’s their voice? If you had a spokesperson of your brand how would they sound over a nice cup of coffee? To me, that matters.
How people interact and engage with the brand centers a lot around the voice of the brand. Just think about why you’re friends with who you’re friends with. For the most part you can tolerate their voice. You can tolerate what they have to say. You don’t have to agree with everything they say but you at least can understand and support what they say.
Most people think a brand is the logo. All a logo does is create a quick visual representation. This is why I always push for simple, bold logos. They exist to spark something. How it’s applied and where it’s communicated is what creates understanding.
When I set out to create the brand for Hike I first answered some questions to a questionnaire centered around “what type of brand are you?”. Before I took the questionnaire I was heavily inspired by Nike. I really like their marketing. They make all of us feel like an athlete. That’s really powerful. For Hike, the goal is for everyone who spends time with family is a hero in our ever-changing world. And the results were in! The brand would have care about the hero mindset—about saving the day, about building someone up to be better, and about them being fully capable of doing so.
So, all the communication of the Hike brand needed to overall represent this heroic vibe.
This isn’t easy and I’m still making and thinking about edits.
The biggest realization was to only have positive language. There are no obvious negative words or words that imply we can’t do something. It’s that can-do attitude. Oh, and this isn’t just applied to the website it’s also being applied to the app too. For instance, where you normally would label a button as “cancel” because you don’t want to do said operation anymore it now reads “exit”.
What to have the buttons, the labels, and any text say excites me. Creating a brand voice matters to me.