Designing for data: FAY’s identity for Harmonic brings welcoming warmth to start-up technicality
Partnering with Brooklyn-based design and creative technology studio FAY, software platform Harmonic – founded to aid start-ups in delivering and indexing data – required a new identity to match its continued growth; resulting in a robust, multi-dimensional brand. From its strategic positioning and tone of voice to its expansive visuals and website, FAY comprehensively tackled Harmonic’s identity by embracing the technicality of data in a welcoming and appealing graphic approach.
“Harmonic is a software platform that indexes data within the start-up ecosystem,” Creative Director Aron Fay tells us, contextualising the brand’s day-to-day, “so it was important to us that the look and feel of Harmonic’s new identity felt at home within the world of start-ups,” he adds, while likewise emitting a measured, meticulous vibe. “With this in mind, Beausite Classic was chosen as the core typeface,” Fay continues, opting for Fatype’s neo-grotesque due to its playful geometry – as demonstrated in the multi-dimensional assets used throughout.
“When applied to the brand name, it sets beautifully for that particular set of letters,” he remarks, “of which many have circular forms that establish a nice rhythm when set in a geometric sans,” resulting in an inviting visual language that nods to the typical aesthetics of start-ups whilst remaining more seasoned in its tone. “We also liked the fact that it’s relatively neutral, yet solid enough to co-exist with the other supporting elements in the system,” he recalls, “like bright, bold colours or the extruded data bar motif,” acting as the stoic agent bringing together the often kinetic, evolving graphic elements seen throughout the system.
From the neon hues of Harmonic’s palette to the abstracted ‘h’ form of its logomark – the three elements denoting its three primary differentiators – the assertive identity strikes an unconventional balance of simplicity, eclecticism and systemisation. As such, the brand captures the industrial start-up landscape, as well as the functionality and rigour of Harmonic’s offering.
“The advertising and product have very different purposes, and therefore needs,” Fay details, explaining the key factors and differences between designing for Harmonic’s public-facing and internal solutions. “With advertising material, the goal is to communicate and showcase the functionality of the product and its key differentiators,” he suggests, doing so as boldly as possible, “for the product, however,” Fay adds, “the identity needs to signal that you’re using a product from Harmonic,” without needing to be as loud a statement. “It’s on having the system’s elements such as typography and colour integrated seamlessly,” he notes, “that the product enables users to use the tool without any friction,” emphasising the necessity for future-facing, flexible brands. “Systems for brands that can work across a wide range of different use cases,” Fay summarises, “as they, the world, and their industries evolve over time is extremely important,” concluding, “and will only become more so as time goes on.”