Life in boxes: EY Doberman’s identity for Kassa exudes simplicity, trust, and approachability
Kassa, a new home loan offering, aims to provide mortgages in a responsible and transparent manner, with speed and competitive interest rates. In close collaboration with their client Oslo Pensjonsforsikring AS, global design firm EY Doberman developed the entire brand world for Kassa – from the business strategy and name, through to the visual identity and digital product. The project originated from Oslo Pensjonsforsikring’s desire to expand their business areas and make their home loans available to all in Norway, rather than exclusively to municipal employees. Building upon a foundation of trust, EY Doberman embarked on designing a bold visual direction, and delivering a fresh brand that resonates with the three core targeted groups.
The overarching visual system was inspired by the shape and simplicity of a ‘box.’ For instance, the wordmark, designed with a sense of modularity, is able to adapt and take on different forms. “One box fits all,” says Design Director Markus Ackerman; this approach emphasises Kassa’s inclusive nature, accommodating everyone’s needs. “Kassa translates to ‘box’ quite literally in Norwegian, and we thought this could be a fun, relatable metaphor when talking about homes, budget and mortgage sizes,” he explains. Rather than using complex fine print, Kassa therefore simplifies the borrowing process by categorising loans into ‘large box,’ ‘medium box,’ and ‘small box,’ based on the amount needed. “There is also a well known saying in Norwegian, ‘penger i kassa.’ In English, it translates to something like ‘cash in the till,’” he continues, “and we thought this style carried the more approachable and un-bank like character we wanted to achieve in terms of language quite well.”
The box format continued to inspire the team when developing the identity’s grid system. EY Doberman leveraged the idea of a box's four sides, dimensions, and 2D and 3D perspectives to develop a set of tools within the visual identity. This allowed for playful layouts while maintaining a clear and distinct typographical hierarchy. The objective was to create a no-nonsense visual system that prioritises legibility and reading order.
“For us,” Creative Director Dag-Henning Brandsaeter adds, “that meant keeping a clear and distinct typographical hierarchy with only one typeface, and sticking to the necessary weights and size differences.” A straightforward look would therefore call for a straightforward typeface. “No dreams, no selling, just straight up home loans. LL Unica77 is one of our go-to’s, and was the perfect tool to communicate that thought,” notes Ackerman. “The stripped-down and sharp typeface, set in black on white, leaves no doubt. It also worked perfectly with the box grid layout.”
Initially intending to keep the colour palette black and white, to “just embrace the simplicity of a box,” EY Doberman later introduced a secondary palette to inject some vitality into the visual language. “The need for a second palette came to us a bit later in the process, when we realised that the language was at some point, almost too simple. We spent too many hours with boxes in the office,” Senior Designer Levi Bergqvist tells us, reflecting on the development process. “The identity lacked a bit of energy and emotion. That’s perhaps the main role of the secondary palette in terms of the visual identity. Its other role is in the digital design system or the UX, where the bright colours bring some joy and life to the otherwise bland form fields in an application process,” he concludes.
|Illustration & Motion|