Bankjoy is a Bessemer, Softbank, and Y Combinator-backed startup, building digital banking apps for credit unions and community banks through an end-to-end whitelabel banking platform. They were looking to establish themselves as a strong competitor in the digital banking space, but lack of consistency and quality in their branding was creating a lack of brand awareness and recognition within the industry.
Rather than embarking on a potentially costly and time-consuming wholesale rebrand, I decided to take a more unique approach, identifying and exploring ways to evolve, iterate, and update key elements and components of the overall brand.
Multiple inputs, both qualitative and quantitative helped to drive a comprehensive approach to evolve the brand direction across three phases:
Learn and evaluate the current branding and design landscape throughout all design collateral to identify design and alignment opportunities
Create an interim styleguide, conduct in-depth exploration into the brand positioning and strategy with an executive workshop, and evaluate competitive brands.
Explore, design, build, and document new brand design assets and guidelines, as well as inventory and prioritize build-out and roll-out plan for new company-wide collateral
A brand audit provides a visual “snapshot” with examples of how the Bankjoy brand elements appear across all available collateral and properties - both internal, and external.
The audit revealed inconsistencies across nearly all aspects of branding. Colors were not clearly defined, multiple typefaces were being used, and no clear photographic direction was indicated.
I conducted an extensive two-day workshop to gather insights and feedback from executive staff to know what direction the brand design should take, as well as gaining a better understanding of the company values, customers, brand persona, and vision.
I then evaluated the competitor’s branding to gain deeper insight into how Bankjoy could best be positioned in the market, and to identify opportunities to truly distinguish itself from its peers in a crowded marketplace.
To help better benchmark the competition, I created “scorecards” to capture the current level of branding applied, as well as gathered SWOT cards that added more context on specific areas of opportunity.
Once all the research, insights, and information had been gathered,I was able to capture the key elements of our brand values and strategy, which would then carry through to the brand’s visual design.
The Bankjoy personality is Bold, Modern, and Dynamic. Premium, but still accessible, playful, but only when appropriate, and a “gentle rebel” that challenges authority (when it makes sense) and assumptions, in order to be disruptive to the old banking paradigms.
With the strategic piece in-hand, I critically reviewed the current branding to determine what should be kept, what should be added, and what should evolve from its current state.
The current logo mark reflects the brand personality, and works well; no changes recommended.
From the audit, I identified two typefaces in use: Nunito and Graphik. The recommendation was to consolidate into a single font, Graphik.
The Graphik typeface includes a wide array of styles, making it optimal for print or digital application. It’s also very readable at smaller sizes - making it ideal for use in long-form content - as well as includes large, stylized headers, which work well for marketing applications.
Based on the competitive brand analysis, I discovered the two most predominant colors used by the competition are blue (44%) or green (35%), leaving opportunity for Bankjoy to distinguish itself through color.
The recommendation was to continue anchoring around the core, bright blue color currently used, but to push the overall palette to be brighter and more dynamic with additional accent colors of Vivid Cerulean, Amethyst, and Indigo.
Previously, many different sets and styles of iconography were being used. On the website, bespoke icons had been created which already helped to capture the needed aesthetic.
I took a design pass through the icons to standardize their styling, then expanded the current icon set to build a more extensive icon library, as well as scaling the icons into a complementary set of both light and dark icons.
To create consistency across all imagery, I established two new directions for photography:
“Lifestyle” imagery captures the humanity of the product, reflecting the nuanced moments in the end-user’s lives where the Bankjoy platform has afforded them the financial relief, freedom, and “joy” to live their best lives.
Capturing that snapshot of happiness in the moments where users are interacting directly with the platform, in the context of the real-world, using a phone out and about, or on a laptop in their personal business.
To create an ownable treatment that differentiates the Bankjoy brand, I also designed a unique approach to imagery that also included subjects “cut out” from the background, paired with circular geometric shapes complimenting their pose, as well as circular cropping that can also be leveraged as an alternate styling.
In the current branding, circular elements that complimented the logomark were being used throughout collateral, but without a clear purpose or consistent treatment. I opted to preserve the use of the circular elements, but pushed the styling to a more distinct, own-able treatment that utilized three dimensional shapes and a translucent border treatment, paired with a new, “organic” background gradient pattern.
The new gradient pattern captured a subtle “illumination” in one corner wherever it’s used, representing the company’s vision to always look towards the future. The new 3D sphere elements are always shown in two colors to capture the different audiences; one for credit unions, the other for banks.
Using the new and evolved brand elements I created a new brand theme, appropriately named “Jubilation.” Jubilation is premium, but accessible; modern and rebellious but also joyful. It reflects the dynamic, innovative, and cutting-edge approach Bankjoy takes towards its business and its products.
Following approval from the CEO and executive leadership group, the new branding was now ready to roll-out. I then crafted a detailed and extensive roll-out plan to address updates to all design collateral, company-wide, through comprehensive Design Sprints.
Today, the roll-out continues, and Jubilation continues sparking “joy” for Bankjoy’s staff, clients, and community.