“Design for B2B SaaS doesn’t have to be boring.” Exploring Standard Projects’ identity for DevRev
On a mission to empower the world’s most customer-centric companies, DevRev – the world’s first developer CRM – connects developers to customers by delivering a system of record, social experience and a suite of platform connections. With $50m in seed funding secured and a team of tech heavyweights on board, they engaged Standard Projects to craft a strategy, story and design system that presents DevRev as the future it represents: converting curious viewers into committed customers.
The key objective for the Melbourne-based design studio was to take a somewhat complex B2B offering, swimming in a saturated SaaS market of digital platforms and tools, and find a way to visually and verbally communicate the value, benefits and uses with clarity and simplicity. “We didn’t want it to be pigeonholed as ‘yet another SaaS product’ and certainly wanted to avoid the category’s obsession with juvenile trends, illustration and language,” Designer & Partner Dan Flynn tells us. “DevRev has a highly engineered, technical product that is seamless and intuitive. That simplicity doesn’t have to be communicated as childish, or playful.”
Instead, Standard Projects focused on the net benefit of adopting DevRev – introducing the core idea of ‘Make Work Matter,’ which is all about giving insight, purpose and power to developers and customers alike. As a result, this idea underpins their visual approach, from the typeface choices to the colour palette and graphic language.
Working with the existing logo of triangles and circles, the team sought to bring harmony to the visual language with an altered wordmark. The changes include an updated x-height and horizontal terminals that maintain the original’s engineered precision.
“The typographic choices are less about selection and more about usage,” Flynn notes, telling us about the accompanying typefaces. “Unica 77 – a neutral, malleable, digital revival of an 80s modernist classic – proved to be the right choice in a system where complex, technical information needs to be delivered with clarity.”
In use, Standard Projects make subtle nods to the tabbed structure of code editors in the creation of headlines and the underlying grid structure itself. Likewise, code editors are referenced in their colour choices. “With a colourway for each of the four main product use cases, the system breaks from the convention of ‘owning’ a colour, opting for a captivating palette of saturated RGBs,” Flynn explains.
Uncharacteristically vibrant and arresting for the SaaS market, the resulting look demonstrates that a simple visual language can have plenty of impact. “The identity system shows that design for B2B SaaS doesn’t have to be boring, doesn’t have to be childish and that it is possible to create a brand that works as well online as it does offline,” he concludes.