Essen’s ‘chopped up’ identity for Sileon indicates their supporting presence every step of the way
Stockholm-based, globally-operating finance company Sileon, established to offer slick ‘Buy Now Pay Later’ (BNPL) solutions, have partnered with international creative studio Essen to develop a powerful identity defined by striking simplicity and confidence of application. Working comprehensively across the brand’s creative and strategic offering – from copywriting, art direction and campaigns to naming, positioning and motion guidelines – Essen have crafted a distinct, sober voice for the company – one led by the pragmatic expertise behind their service.
“We saw the company as the best kind of financial partner,” Senior Designer Ana Henriques tells us, “a silent one, operating quietly in the background, making noise for other companies instead.” This behind the scenes-like character informed the brand strategy’s leading sentiment of ‘Behind Your Scene’ and reflected the complete integration of Sileon and its technology within the BNPL structures – whereby the company actively oversees every stage of the payment process. This is aesthetically embodied through Sileon’s ‘chopped-up’ graphic motif, which is implemented across photography, motion, illustration and composition; which sees visual devices severed to convey the splitting up of payments – a concept most prominently explored in the Sileon’s structural typography.
“When looking for Sileon’s brand typeface, we knew the requisites it needed to follow,” Henriques explains, “it needed to look sharp, performance-led, very clear and legible, but also approachable,” leading to the adoption of CoType Foundry’s sans serif Aeonik as the brand’s hero typeface. “Aeonik answers up to all of those qualities,” Henriques recalls, noting the influence of the typeface’s comparably wide proportions and subsequently friendly tone. “This allowed us to be very systematic with its use, relying on one weight only, without losing character,” she explains, whilst similarly conveying the engineered details and technical prowess on-brand with Sileon’s service. “The understated, uncomplicated, and elegant look of the typeface aligns perfectly with Sileon’s values,” Henriques adds, complementing the latter with the inclusion of yellow across the identity.
Distilling a palpable energy and confidence, alongside the primarily monochromatic palette, the use of yellow indicates disruptive energy whilst also providing the identity with the flexibility to become more supportive when necessary. “We wanted to create the sense of a wireframe, a structure that is still to be dressed,” Henriques explains, utilising the neon tone strategically across the brand. “It guides users through Sileon’s products,” Henriques concludes, “while bringing a hint of personality and communicating a brand which is active, evolving, and current.”