Abstract is a modern design workflow tool that helps designers version, collaborate, and manage their files. We were challenged with the brief of creating and designing a brand identity for designers like ourselves. In partnership with Devin Jacoviello and the Abstract in-house design team, we reimagined a new visual identity and designed a website that matched their ambitious mission.
Devin Jacoviello, Design partner
Heather Phillips, Design director
Abstract design team
Josh Brewer, CEO
We started with a simple insight—the design process can be frustrating and messy, but people shouldn't lose confidence in their work. That mess can be surprisingly insightful, productive, creative, and full of energy. Ideas can come from every direction; they can multiply, diverge, and converge.
Symbols were created to be the main graphical hooks that the brand latched onto. These symbols represent the qualities of the product—collaboration and a central, reliable place to work from.
The color system relies on dark colors at first glance, but utilizes warm and bright colors in graphic and illustrative treatments. The primary colors use a mix of functional dark and light swatches for type and backgrounds with an extended color palette featuring distinct saturated colors and shades for variety.
Thinking about our unique vantage point of creating an identity for a company that serves a creative industry, we wanted to pay homage to the graphic design cadences of the past, while also setting up the brand for success, typographically.
Devin and I worked with the Abstract team to create a distinct type system using two typeface families for the Abstract brand—Vesterbro, a punchy yet dynamic and legible serif, and GT America Mono, a workhorse typeface that handles technical matters and numbers with style and ease.
We developed a visual system that had a distinct gritty and textural style to match the voice and tone—both visually and verbally—of where the Abstract brand was going.
With this system, we could pull back or forward the levers when needed, depending on the context. An illustration for a blog post needed to strike a different chord than a feature homepage illustration.
We created secondary brand elements that all meant something, whether it was tying back to the product, or being a visual metaphor for collaboration.
With the brand identity and visual language in place, we put it all together with a new website that utilizes a robust type system, web style guide, components, and feature illustrations.
Outfitting the site with a strong brand presence was our primary goal. Creating a nuanced typographic scale with several header, paragraph, and utility styles helped to tell stories in different expressions across all screens.