iHub Brand Extension

iHub Brand Extension

The announcement of the Innovation Hub had our office abuzz with excitement. Its concept embodied many ideas that we subscribe to. It is a space where challenges are humbled by fun and interesting people.

The Identity

A modern logo is fitting for a place this dynamic. An open community-sourced design contest was launched. Once a winner was chosen, ARK was invited to polish and extend the brand – much to our delight! We dashed out to get lunch immediately, a job like this can only be done after a heavy lunch and a good nap!

First, we gave the winning design a little bit of a clean up — polished the curves, balanced the weights of the letters, the kerning and brought down the base line closer to the cursor for visual balance.

path of new logo vs old logo

Red shows the paths of the original file we received, the green shows amendments we made

The geeks at the iHub were sold on the colours that came with the logo, so we assigned pantone values and added a set of secondary colours

pantone swatches

We really like the winning design: it screams geek but its modern with soft lines and a very light-hearted personality. Its stance is one of an open invitation for anyone to come and make their mark. This gave us a lot of room to work with when we were thinking about what direction to take to extend the brand.

Brand Extension

Initially, we wanted to go super modern and clean, ignoring all the geek qualities, keeping it very simple and straightforward. Taking on the modern day tech workshop type of look, almost like an incubation lab — picture white room, ultra modern white fibre glass tables and fluorescent lighting. But that started to sound way too much like lab rats might be running around in there. Experimental collaborations — yes! Lab rats — no. 

So on to Plan B. We knew this place would be vibrant with activity so the extension had to have something to reflect that. First we needed an icon, something that could be left behind to say “iHub was here!” without actually reading out the word "iHub". A distinct signature.

The asterisk in the logo was playful and strong enough to stand on its own as an icon, so we pulled it aside with the cursor and that became the iconic signature. We felt very strongly about it when we suggested it, and it worked great in application. The iHub then went on to use it on promotional items and as a viral campaign to celebrate their first birthday.

iHUB star on a bag

branded iHub chair

Branded chair at the *iHub balcony

page from the iHub brand book

Identity page from the brand book

More cool stuff

In addition, to give the brand a memorable flare we decided to create supporting art that could be used on stickers, T-shirts, mugs, magnets, and whatever other promotional materials. 

The iHub is a forward thinking brand in every way. We wanted it to also acknowledge the foundation on which it stands, built in decades past by preceding generations, in a not too obvious way. We believe the style we created for the supporting art to extend the brand does exactly that. A tribute to a rich history of development with a modern flair. Retro sensibility, modern lines and puns.

iHub T-designs

Simple and clean forms, a reflection of an era where innovation is not measured in loudness, but in quality, simplicity and effectiveness.

additional t-designs

Additional graphics created for the brand

When we started looking at fonts, Neo Sans was a clear winner. It’s a clean modern font with a good variety of weights, and simplistic curves that complement the logo.

Typography page from iHub brand book

Typography page from the brand book

The guys at the iHub were very pleased with the results, so we finalized all the brand attributes in the brandbook. 

Then it happened! The best thing a client could ever do for their design firm – they sent cake!

chocolate cake

Yummy chocolate cake, courtesy of the *iHub