Capturing that ‘a-ha’ moment: Motto unveils their whimsical rebrand for note-taking app Goodnotes
“Goodnotes isn’t just digital paper; it’s a canvas for creativity, innovation, and moments of learning,” Nathan Holloway, Motto’s Creative Director, tells us, introducing their charming new branding for Goodnotes. It arrives as part of the anticipated update – Goodnotes 6 – of the popular digital paper note-taking app. The updates include a selection of AI-backed features: from Spellcheck to AI Math Assistance, interactive exam prep materials to a marketplace for templates and stickers.
“The Goodnotes rebrand is heritage meets vision – and our task was to evolve the brand identity to spark ‘aha moments’ while preserving a legacy millions already love,” shares Co-founder & CEO Sunny Bonnell. The brand designed by the NYC-based strategic branding agency Motto® seamlessly blends tradition and innovation, and embodies the joy of learning and personal growth. Rather than starting from scratch, the team made a deliberate decision to evolve the brand system, paying homage to Goodnotes’ history, while introducing a new era for the app. As such, the visual language maintains the familiarity and trust that has helped establish their reputation.
The team therefore ensured that the wordmark aligned seamlessly with the symbol and maintained legibility, while capturing the free-spirited nature of hand-written notes. The curves in the wordmark evoke a sense of joy and playfulness, mirroring the experience of interacting with the Goodnotes community and the brand ecosystem.
The team therefore ensured that the wordmark aligned seamlessly with the symbol while capturing the free-spirited nature of hand-written notes. The curves in the wordmark evoke a sense of joy and playfulness, mirroring the experience of interacting with the Goodnotes community and the brand ecosystem.
To further enhance the brand’s coherence, Motto selected Displaay’s Roobert as the brand typeface, thanks to its geometric qualities that complement the loops and curves found in the brand system. “Although Roobert is a Geosans, it has some quirks and irregularities that felt akin to the nature of freehand writing,” Holloway explains. “Roobert isn’t just a typeface; it’s a storytelling tool. It captures the brand’s essence – structured yet spontaneous, geometric yet joyful – creating a visual language that speaks directly to the Goodnotes community.”
Colour played a crucial role in bringing the brand identity to life, with Motto opting for an ‘evolutionary’ rather than ‘revolutionary’ approach to developing the colour system. “Our primary colour palette revolves around Goodnotes’ signature teal,” says Holloway. Being a colour that everyone knows and loves, it solidifies the familiarity of the brand. “Remember the thrill of opening a brand-new box of crayons?” he asks. “The secondary palette draws inspiration from those very crayon colours.” These colours, reminiscent of childhood and artistic expression, provide the Goodnotes community with a palette full of potential for creative exploration. “It brings the Goodnotes brand to life in a way that’s both rooted in legacy and bursting with creative potential.”
Finally, Motto crafted the lead messaging for Goodnotes: ‘Feed Your Mind.’ This tagline encapsulates the brand’s core essence and mission, which as Holloway explains, is “not just about taking notes, it’s about fueling human progress.” This realisation, they noticed, resonates with the universal intrinsic human desire to learn, grow, and expand one’s knowledge. “It serves as both an invitation and a mission statement, urging everyone – be it students, hobbyists, or professionals – to satiate their intellectual appetite,” he concludes.