Unplugg Branding

Product Design

While working on Unplugg’s MVP product, I was also contracted to develop a logo and visual language for the early-stage startup. I created a custom logo, visual style, and custom iconography, as well as any visual assets needed during my engagement with the company.

CLIENT  Unplugg 
ROLE  Design Lead
DATE  October 2016–January 2019
STATUS  Launched

 

BRAND RESEARCH

The branding process started with competitor research and moodboard creation. Using the target market personas the founders were already developing, I compared Unplugg’s mission with other similar offerings on the market. We found that there was a gap for a friendly, gender-inclusive offering that wasn’t solely focused on deals and discounts, and rather looked to help time-poor consumers relax and find good personal care solutions for their needs.

Together with the founders I helped facilitate several focus groups with representative consumers from the persona types Unplugg would target where we learned valuable insights about how customers felt about this type of product, their real-life concerns with finding salons and spas, and how they felt about the product name and prospective logos.

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Moodboard of inspirational images, moods, and words for the brand language

THE LOGO

Starting with the moodboards and the new company name, Unplugg, I developed logo sketches to evoke the warm, friendly, and relaxed brand values. We settled on a logotype with a custom ligature that many Unplugg customers have cited as evoking face-to-face care, relaxation, and expertise.

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Logo design evolution

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BRANDING

I developed a brand style guide to support the brand values of relaxation, gender-neutral appeal, warmth, and friendliness. We settled on a bright coral color as the main brand color after internal review, market competitive research, and focus group testing. The coral color conveys a positive outlook but does not convey an overly feminine brand, which was of high importance to my client. The founders were careful throughout this branding process to emphasize that services like this typically exclude men, however research has shown it’s a huge untapped market for personal care services, especially in NYC.

Rounding out the color options, we added several blue and green shades to provide contrast. 

I designed a set of custom icons that were used in the filtering and matching product areas and a full digital style guide that included all needed UI elements. After creating and communicating this style guide to the developers, any page builds were easy since patterns were repeated and updated if necessary. 

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Sample of Digital Style Guide

SUB-BRANDS & MARKETING

After the main brand launched, the founders evolved the company offerings to include several sub-brands, including Club U, the membership program; Perk UP, a pop-up service that brings services like manicures and massages to office buildings, and Gift UP, a gifting service. I created logos for each of these and marketing materials to help promote Unplugg and that encouraged more customer sign-ups to the Unplugg ecosystem.

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Some of the marketing materials I created for Unplugg, showing the range of sub-brands and messaging.