Apps, the web, and digital shape how we experience the world today. From dinner delivery to banking, maps to movies, we constantly rely on working code. But the world still sees developers as back-end builders. But according to Cat How, co-founder and executive creative director at How&How, "the truth is these powerhouse software teams are driving business growth, and they rarely get the recognition they deserve".
While it's typical for brands in the software development space to hero the end-user experience as their main brand focus and messaging, How&How has created a new brand for San Francisco-based software testing platform Sauce Labs that turns all that on its head, giving the software teams credit where it's due.
At Sauce Labs, the real hero is the team behind the curtain, a fact which How&How celebrate in spades with a playful, tech-savvy design that manages to speak to category cues while bringing something warm, refreshing, and new to the conversation, speaking directly to the software teams that use SuaceLabs' platform.
"We took the current outlook and switched the perspective inwards, carving a Purpose, Positioning and Personality that puts software teams first," Cat How told Creative Boom. The new brand strategy shows off how Sauce Labs backs these dynamic teams by equipping them with the tools, service and confidence to solve any complex challenge. "Not only does this create brand distinction, but it speaks to Sauce Labs' direct customer benefit," adds How.
Through a new visual identity, tone of voice, web design and messaging, How&How redefined the brand with the themes of speed, focus, agility and growth. The core idea hinges on direct action: Test. Update. Accelerate. Thanks to the Sauce Labs test toolchain, this communicates the streamlined development process and champions the constant progression, innovation and ROI driven by software teams.
A new logo brings this to life by telling the Sauce Labs user story. The logo is inspired by based on code brackets, which are crafted to form new frictionless shapes, suggesting a simple and seamless development process. It also creates an abstract letter 'S' to nod to the Sauce Labs name. The negative space cleverly forms a lightning bolt – expressing speed while elevating a core element of Sauce Labs' previous logo, which also features a lightning bolt. When animated, the logo tells a story of growth, improvement and the full-service test toolchain that Sauce Labs offers.
As a whole, the identity expertly fuses techy cues with artful illustrations. How told Creative Boom: "It was important to offset the chunky shapes of the secondary code-syntax design system with something more graceful and elegant. The brand otherwise would have felt too cold and cumbersome." The resulting artwork is gently playful, highlighting the creativity of coding.
How&How also brought Sauce Labs on a transformative colour journey, trading hot red for green, amber, and coral tones. How told Creative Boom: 'The new colour palette is inspired by the software testing traffic light system (pass, issues or fail). So we use a distinctive core Green, with Amber and Coral in the main palette."
For the primary typeface, How&How opted for Aeonik Fono, which gives a contemporary twist to classic developer-style typography. To further draw out visual cues inspired by coding language, How&How used code syntax to shape graphic highlighters, textural moments and product logos.
To complete the brand transformation, How&How developed an updated version of an important piece of brand equity for Sauce Labs – the company's long-running mascot, SauceBot. How explained that SauceBot had "previously been incredibly literal, so we knew we needed to abstractify him to update him. And, being a mascot for developers, we knew he had to be made out of code syntax too!" SauceBot 2.0 also features a range of fun expressions to guide software teams through the Sauce Labs offering.
Sauce Labs' new identity by How&How is live across all brand touchpoints from today.