I recently caught up with co-owner and marketing mastermind behind Boston co-retail space For Now, Kaity Cimo. She runs the space with friend and business partner Katharine ReQua. They opened a year ago and have played home to over 80 brands in that time.
Introducing Ampjar: Our Brand Design Journey
Often when things look effortless, it’s because there’s so much work behind the scenes we don’t see. An exquisitely crafted pair of leather shoes? It was probably the tenth attempt at getting the stitching just right. A slogan tee that makes you chuckle immediately? There were a dozen failed slogans on the cutting room floor before they struck gold.
We love our new Ampjar design, and we’re not ashamed to say it was certainly not a first–or fifth– attempt! It was a real collaboration, and we had a lot of fun arriving at our final product. Our team shares more about the journey that got us here:
Our new look
Launching as Ampjar, we knew we needed a new visual identity that captured what we represent. We’re not just a tool, we’re a community. We believe in quality and building something sustainable that matters.
It was important to us our brand looked modern and vibrant, but we didn’t want to look generic (who does?) or too tech-y (no offense to our fabulous and tech-y team). Yes, our awesome tech developers create the sophisticated back end software that allows you to find and collaborate with like-minded brands, or create an email in one click, but we are more than just software. So we wanted our brand design to be innovative and move beyond what you might expect.
Today we share more about the creative process behind our new look.
We wanted to include the jar as part of our logo to give a sense of a craft-like nature and tangibility. Many of the great brands we work with started out selling their wares at local markets, or grew a strong following from posting pics of their products or business on their personal Instagram pages. It might have been a mason jar of brownies or handmade playdough. You can touch it, you can feel it, you can see the quality of the product you are buying. And that brings people joy.
Our superstar graphic designer Jodi says “I explored several directions, with a focus on handwriting and sketches of a jar, getting valuable feedback from the team along the way. The handcrafted lettering and organic jar shape gave the logo a softer, more approachable feel.”
“I really love the duality of the jar: while the colors represent collaborations between brands in our community, the upward trending layers give a sense of continued growth and customer engagement. Together, the jar gives us a tangibility and craft-like nature–it’s a nod to all the small brands we know and love.”
At Ampjar, we understand what it’s like to start small and believe we can achieve more when we work together. We wanted our logo to represent this message too.
While exploring more organic lettering styles for our logo, and settling on a rounded, imperfect, hand-crafted style, this meant we needed a clean, bold font to complement the brand. The font needed to have adequate weights to allow for visual hierarchy both online and offline. We chose Sofia Pro, a geometric sans serif, with huge open counters which give it a somewhat casual, almost playful appearance. While we take the success of our business (and yours!) very seriously, we also like to have a lot of fun along the way.
TIP: One thing to keep in mind when choosing a font is that not all fonts show up as you want and expect everywhere. If your chosen font is a premium font or a little more obscure it might revert back to another font in many cases (e.g. on different devices, in different languages). So it’s a good idea to either choose a Google font or check your Google alternative font isn’t dramatically different. This ensures your brand is consistent–which is key!
Luckily for us our chosen font, Sofia Pro has a Google alternative we’re very fond of too–Poppins!
You can see a selection of premium fonts and their Google alternatives, here.
Our color scheme
Jodi explains, “We spent lots of time exploring possible color schemes–we wanted to appeal to both men and women and a broad range of industries. It needed to comfortably sit alongside other SaaS logos which are often vibrant and type-based, while complementing the muted tones popular within our communities–as we like to share the love and repost their amazing content.”
“I knew we wanted to work with a primarily cool palette which allows us to have an inclusive look and feel with plenty of room to grow. We decided on a primary color palette of cool blues and purples. The mid-blue looks more blue when alongside the blue and more purple alongside the purple which works really well across different audiences. (Take a look yourself!)”
Our beautiful illustrations
If you take a look on our website or on Instagram, you’ll see some beautiful, almost whimsical, hand drawn illustrations. We worked with Melbourne-based graphic designer Matthew Chan, to create these illustrations that help tell the story of what we are about. It was a challenging brief, yet by working together, we managed to illustrate the core elements of our business which allows us to tell our story. #apicturesaysathousandwords
We actually found Matthew through a Facebook community of up and coming designers. We ‘met’ and communicated almost exclusively through Facebook Messenger. To us this was a great example of building our business and our communities through social media. We’re already excited about future projects we can collaborate on with Matthew.
Matt says, “I really enjoyed working with Ampjar. I like their philosophy, and it was a great opportunity to work with a tight deadline and collaborate with such a supportive team. It’s always great when a team supports your passion and really gets behind what you create.”
And because we love building up our community and shouting out awesome brands and people, we want to say thanks to the A-Team responsible for our new look. We look forward to seeing how it develops in the future!
Join Ampjar to find your best customers
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