If you haven't yet noticed, we went through a bit of a brand refresh here this summer, coinciding with the closing of our Series A financing and the launch of our new website. Here's a post for the design buffs out there that, like me, like to hear the backstory behind the bezier curves.
Don't worry, we kept the zap — that's what we call the lightning-bolt totem we've been sporting since 2013.
Here's a fun fact: while this shape references not only the "aha!" magic of machine learning and Michael Faraday's famous experiments with electricity, the "up and down arrows" that make up the zap refer to Faraday's first prediction type, binary classification.
While the old logo's reversal within the bold circular container has a certain graphic appeal, it's been kind of a pain over the years. Using the old logo on a dark background was nearly impossible, and the height contrast between the logomark and wordmark meant that often either the former was too big or the latter was too small.
And now there's color! Monochrome logotypes have always struck me as elegant—many of the most iconic throughout history have featured a single color by default. When Chermayeff & Geismar drew the logo for my last company, Brighter Planet, I thought the single green color was one of its best features.
But increasingly the norm in our space is to include multiple colors in a more dynamic combination, and I think that works well here for us. Importantly, the logo still survives (and thrives) in both positive and reversed monochrome situations.
The geometry for the logo was fun to put together. Starting from the earliest drafts, we made sure the central axis of the zap matched the long angle of the terminal "y."
And then my colleague Lee Williams took things a step further by adjusting the terminals in the "F" and "r" to match the same angle. This gives the logotype a cohesion and sense of momentum despite the otherwise upright forms in the wordmark.
The zap, wordmark, and full logotype are being put through their paces — the new website, marketing materials, presentations, stationery — and holding up well so far.
Same colors, new type
We decided to keep our color palette intact. This helped make the branding transition less abrupt, allowed us to keep using a variety of existing materials, and, well, we've grown attached to our rainbow.
Faraday's original wordmark was set in Sentinel, which we selected to set ourselves apart from other tech startups in our early days that gravitated toward grotesques and other sans-serif faces. (We got our start in the heavily-regulated energy space and needed every ounce of legitimacy we could get.)
But using Sentinel outside the logo never seemed to work out, and so it was confined to that one use. Instead, we'd been using the handsome Calibre pretty much everywhere else for years. (Shoutout to our previous workhorse Aperçu.)
We knew that for the new logo we wanted to base it on a typeface that we could use everywhere. The problem was that Calibre doesn't work well in a wordmark, at least not ours.
We put together a shortlist of "interesting" grotesques, with an especially hard look at Graphik, we decided to go with Aktiv Grotesk from Dalton Maag. We like the generous x-height, the tiniest sense of fun hidden in its otherwise neutral, serious curves, and that Bruno was inspired primarily by his fatigue of a certain competitor.
One of our favorite things about Aktiv is that it's available as a variable font, an exciting new-ish type technology that allows us to specify any weight, rather than just the few prescribed in the font.
Revamped photo illustrations
We've always shied away from (stock) photography here at Faraday, opting for more technical diagrams and the occasional vector doo-dad for decoration.
But as we approached this refresh, we took another look. And we realized that Faraday is all about predicting behavior—real people doing real things. We made the decision to celebrate and center those behaviors by adding a new photo illustration concept to our visual identity.
We layered on the Faraday palette and some fun three-row Sierra dithering, and you'll now find our website and other materials graced with some fine folks doing mostly fun things.
There you have it — the new Faraday brand. If you've read all this and still want even more, here are the technical details. Ready to go beyond the design and get predictive? Schedule your personalized demo today.