The Brand Identity

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COLLINS and Robinhood combine to make investing accessible, affordable and engaging for all

Founded in 2013, Robinhood is a pioneering app-based trading platform built on the philosophy that everyone, not just the affluent, should have a clear and easy path to wealth creation. Named as one of Fast Company’s ’50 Most Innovative Companies’, they provide commission-free trading, cash management and fractional shares for both first-time investors, seasoned experts and everyone in between.

As one of the fastest-growing brokerages in history in terms of new accounts, Robinhood required a new brand identity that would align with their position as an innovative industry leader, not just the new kid on the block. They sought help from US design company COLLINS, who began their work by outlining that finance not only needs to be ‘less difficult’ but also more engaging and understandable.

In-line with Robinhood’s belief that collective participation is a source of power, COLLINS developed a brand that conceptualises the world fifty years into the future. “After all, to invest is to imagine a brighter future – and in the very act of imagining, take the first step towards making it a reality”, COLLINS shares about their forward-thinking approach. Imaginative illustrations, created by a multitude of artists, and bold, flowing information graphics lead the way. Not only do they depict COLLINS’ and Robinhood’s vision for the future, but they also transform complicated terms like ‘ETF’, ‘Fractional Shares’ and ‘Bull Market’ into relatable concepts.

Speaking on the typography, COLLINS reveals that “the Robinhood team had selected Maison Neue, by Milieu Grotesque, as the replacement for their old typeface”. A practical and precise sans serif fit for use across the web and app, they wholeheartedly agreed with the choice. Through the design process, however, they found an older version of it in Milieu’s archives. They commissioned several updates, including a custom ‘R’ for the new wordmark, before renaming it to ‘Capsule Sans’. COLLINS’ Creative Director Ben Crick explains that “Capsule embodies precision and efficacy”, while Nib, its supporting serif partner, “provides warmth and a more editorial tone”.

Moving onto the changes to the logo, he states that “the angle of the feather” in the old version “created a slightly odd negative space between the wordmark and the icon”, so “shifting it to the other side and updating the wordmark to sentence case had a better balance”. Also, “Robinhood contextualises the feather symbol”, and the “capitalisation of the ‘R’ feels more sophisticated”.

Layouts are organised and straightforward in reference to both the cells of a graphic novel and the delicate linework common in standard clerical documentation. As a result, they provide a complementary contrast to the absorbing vibrance of the illustrations while further emphasising the desire to make trading more accessible.

Typefaces: Capsule Sans by Milieu Grotesque / Nib by Colophon Foundry
Illustration: Matias Basla / Liam Cobb / Jaedoo Lee / Ilya Milstein
Photography: David William Baum

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