A mere two weeks into my internship at the UNeTech Institute, I met with my first official “client” James Young, founder of MicroWash. Despite my short time here and “intern” title, my supervisor Stephanie Kidd, UNeTech’s communications strategist, wasted no time giving me my first assignment – a full company rebrand, with a 72-hour turnaround time. MicroWash had been selected to present at Startup.io, making it one of the most exciting new startups in the region. James was looking for a new logo, business cards, and a rebranded pitch deck. He wanted to take full advantage of this important opportunity. While I was flattered by his confidence in me and excited by the work at hand, I would be lying if I didn’t admit the task seemed extremely daunting. Together, with the support of Stephanie, we set to work.
A sampling of all the versions of the new logo that Ambrea designed for MicroWash founder James Young to view. You can see colors, fonts, and sample design ideas throughout these samples.
I did research looking into the current MicroWash branding and learning MicroWash’s voice by studying the current website and pitch deck. In a nutshell, I found that MicroWash is a testing device for respiratory illnesses that is less invasive and less painful than a nasal swab. It was made clear that I wasn’t limited to the brand’s current presence or guidelines.
While having creative freedom is any designer’s dream, I also enjoy some boundaries to help maintain focus and deliver sharper work. From my conversations with Stephanie and her partnership with James, we knew there was a desire to make the brand appear more welcoming, modern, and sophisticated. James wanted the brand to live up to the success that Microwash had earned.
With general guidelines in place, I set to developing several different logo iterations, playing around with fonts, line weights, colors, and icon variations. I wanted to provide a range of options to receive gut reactions from the client, with the understanding that we would need to quickly narrow these options down. The original options included type-only designs, techy designs, as well as options featuring the actual device. Stephanie shared the iterations with her team, who all favored the simpler, text-only options. Stephanie and I agreed that the simple typeface, with round smooth edges modernized the logo, without making it feel sterile or harsh. The more welcoming and user-friendly appearance aligned nicely with MicroWash’s user-friendly, less invasive message. It created a brand that reflected the innovation of Microwash’s product.
While we liked the clean and simple logo, we agreed there was a visual component that was missing. Stephanie recommended trying to incorporate a water element into the logo. This idea stemmed from the fact that MicroWash “washes” your nasal cavity with a saline solution. Back to the drawing board I went. I tried incorporating the water drop in every way I could think of – adjusting the type, spacing, and how the drop interacted with the rest of the logo.
The next morning Stephanie, James, and I hopped on a zoom call where I presented my many iterations. Some were not ideal, but I wanted to show them in case they sparked any new ideas. It is always interesting to show people logo designs because they often see things within the design. For instance, when putting the drops together other some people saw a butt, and having a green drop made others think it was representing snot. Snot and a butt were a surprise to me, but if one person recognizes it, others will too. This aided in our selection process and we had a clear winner by the end of our meeting. The soft all lowercase font with a water drop replacing the “o.” Stephanie and I selected a color pallet to wrap up the logo design.
Since then, we have been able to create business cards, a pitch deck, an executive summary, and a datasheet all to the new branding.
In a matter of 72 hours we did what I thought was “the impossible.” Several ingredients were critical to making this process a success including having a clear objective in mind, fast decision-making, and a supportive team. I felt the freedom to “fail fast” and adjust and iterate as needed, rather than working on something for a long period of time and trying to perfect every detail before showing the team and clients. I know I’m lucky to work in this kind of environment so early in my career.
So, what’s next? Well, the fun has really just begun! We’ve started to work on the launch and rebranding of the website. I will continue to enhance MicroWash’s branding across current collateral and channels. I couldn’t have asked for a more challenging yet rewarding first project to really allow me to dive in and get my hands dirty. I look forward to continuing to partner with James and the MicroWash team!