Das Lab is a coworking space dedicated to the people and their ideas in Santiago de Querétaro, Querétaro in Mexico. They are committed to help everyone to develop their projects providing the space, the tools and keeping them inspired through other disciplines and constant feedback.
So, with the same spirit, we were commissioned to bring the best of the brand: we were involved from creating the experiences to live within the brand to the face they will be giving to the world and how the space will evolution in the next years.
Well, actually the founders of the project really helped in coming up with the idea, not because they were part of our creative process but they had a really bold idea and they were very committed on helping their customers (in fact they never use the word “customers”, they always called them “friends”.
When you get to work on projects where the core are the people and you have to really care about them you can come up with powerful, emotional and beautiful concepts; so their own vision about the project that they shared with us really helped us a lot to create the brand concept: CONNECT. Our challenge was to communicate 2 topics inside the concept: a) the sense of belonging to a creative and solidary community, and b) the potential of the interactions. Inspire people to “Think Bigger” (at this point we make the slogan of the brand, the Das Lab main statement was born).
Having the brand concept really clear we started to search for elements that transmitted this collaboration and support feeling, this connection essence like lines, hands, hugs, circles, etc. After we collected all the possible elements we started to simplify each one of them, take them to their most abstract form until we reach the dots: the dot as the simplest way to represent something (in this case people and ideas).
We achieve this level of abstraction because simplicity was part of the values of the brand, they try to simplify everything they can in order to make it easy for their “friends” (remember this is how they call their customers) to work and collaborate. So the space should be branded with simple elements and visual relaxation spaces.
So, having the principal element of the brand, we decided to create a visual system from it to represent the different kinds of relationships and interactions with different specialists and talents, with the same simplicity of a dot, so what is the next simplest graphic of all? The line.
In theory, a line is a succession of 3 or more dots; applying that definition to the brand metaphor, a line is made of the proximity of 3 or more people (THE CONNECTION OF 3 OR MORE IDEAS!) instantly we knew it was the right path to follow. So with only dots and lines we started to create simple and dynamic shapes/symbols.
To select the color we went to the “Pop Culture” visual system, because the target are millennials, people who enjoy vibrant, versatile and cool style. Also this generation has an analog-self and a digital-self, so the colors were a very good channel to express this reality, giving the vibrant basic colors a little inclination to the computer feel.
In other hand, the typography was selected by looking for symmetrical “pixel perfect” fonts, almost made by the join of two perfect placed dots, and if it also had a digital feeling better. At last, the logotype font was the pixel perfect one, and the font for the other texts was the digital and a little bit retro font.
We are HUGE fans of the low-fi studios, every time we can make something analog we go straight to it, but you must have a lot of skills and sometimes a lot of budget to accomplish a project minimizing or not doing at all digital retouch. In this case we divided the work on two stages, first the analog sketching brainstorm, stationery and merchandising shooting and then the digital retouch and animations.
To be very specific we used Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, Flash, After Effects, Lightroom, Cinema 4D and VRay.
It’s amazing how the decisions driven by true empathy result, on this case each detail was carefully crafted, from the business cards and digital signatures to each brush of paint on the walls you could feel the love on the project. People were thrilled about it, it was really helpful to thrust the desire in them to belong the community.
It was something aspirational but really close at the same time, it wasn’t just a dream, it was real and it was right there for them.
We think that the biggest lesson on this project was to always remember that behind every idea and every business there are humans, people like you and me who are driven by emotions, with dreams to achieve and persons to take care of. Always as you have a clear and honest purpose you have to create a concept for the brand and develop it until the end and make it part of every detail, as most people say: “God is in the details”.
Never give up to your first proposals, always push your work forward and nurture your ideas with concepts, if you have a simple but strong concept you will have the argument of the story to tell, and the other pieces will align automatically.
Brands are made by the stories they tell through their image and their actions, be consistent and congruent on both of them.