Rebranding – part 1, from business analysis to visual identity

Having won it’s second award and been featured twice on the international design platform Behance for the rebranding of Xspray Pharma (http://xspraypharma.com) it was time for me to sit down with the art director and designer Yorgos Kritikos to understand what made the project such a success.

Georgios, can you take me through the different stages of the project? How did it all start?

Wildeco, a communication agency specialized in the financial sector, asked us to create a new website for Xspray in order to attract investors, potential partners and eventually an IPO on First North, Nasdaq’s European growth market.

After meeting with Xspray for the first time to discuss their needs it became obvious to us how a simple redesign of the site and a new logo wouldn’t support their business goals.

How did you come to that conclusion?

We used the User Centered Design Canvas developed by The Rectangles to map the user needs and match them with Xspray business offering. Based on that analysis we were able to show Xspray how a complete rebranding would help their business.

What did you feel didn’t work with the previous visual identity? 

When financial investors are looking for potential companies to invest in they can be scanning through hundreds of objects to decide which ones to investigate further. Because time spent on each object is often short the first impression is decisive on the ability to attract investors’ attention.

We know from research that the more aesthetically pleasant you come across, the more trustworthy people think your are. Unfortunately we felt that the first impression Xspray conveyed with their previous identity wasn’t good enough to cut through the eye of busy investors. They needed better looking visuals to stand a chance.

But what does ”better looking” means? What you find good looking might not be someone else’s taste? 

Visuals must be backed up by a concrete analysis. It’s not art, it’s branding. It’s not about what you like or don’t like. It’s not about your personal opinion but it’s only about what works. It’s a combination of a lot of fields of knowledge like best practices, user-testing, or knowledge about human psychology.

It’s not art, it’s branding.

What did the analysis tell you?

When we looked at Xspray we could split their goals as being 60% rational, 20% emotional and 20% social but their communication was 95% rational, 5% emotional and 0% social. There was an obvious discrepancy between goals and communication.

Because of the nature of Xspray, a science-driven company, we didn’t want to reduce the rationality or technicality of the information available. Instead we added some emotional and social stimulus to the brand by creating a visual language more in line with the goals and motives of Xspray. We wanted to reach those goals at a deeper, more complete and established level.

You emphasize a lot the visual part of the communication work you did. Why is it so important?

Vision is the strongest sense we have. It is responsible for millions of emotions and mental states we go through as human beings. Using it in the right way we can lead the users to accept our brand and achieve our goals. Remember that the users are are nothing more than humans with emotions.

How did you go about when creating the visual language?

After analyzing the business, we started breaking down the information in pieces that are easier to decipher. It is like a solving a mystery. Their motives, goals, needs and aspirations became keywords, colors, logotype, typography, imagery, visuals and applications to bring the desired results. Again this is not art. This is design!

Logotype! That’s the one project managers always want to make bigger isn’t it? 😉 

[Georgios not looking happy…] Make the logo bigger, don’t mention the war! 

OK sorry, but let’s meet up again to discuss how you created that new logo as the symbol of Xspray.