Tailored to its essence, a geometrical fit cut for 6degrees – a self-cleaning and self-updating digital phonebook.
Initially available on Android and now on iOS, 6degrees is a self-updating phonebook that automatically cleans duplicates and backs itself up. One of the first things I did for 6degrees was to refresh their identity.
6degrees is named after the popular theory originally set out by Frigyes Karinthy and popularized by a play written by John Guare – that everyone and everything is six or fewer steps away, by way of introduction, from any other person in the world. This, in essence is what 6degrees is all about – to be a network of contacts where everyone is connected in some way.
The hexagons and circles led me to the final concept. I decided the number 6 is the way to go, instead of spelling it out as Six. We can also avoid localization problems down the road.
Inspired by the LHC
The counter of the 6 is also placed in the same continuum as the ascender in a configuration similar to the Large Hadron Collider which accelerates protons from the smaller circle into the large circle.
Being six-sided, the hexagon is the perfect polygon to communicate the concept of six degrees of separation. The hexagon is also one of the most efficient shapes in nature. Bees instinctinctively construct their hives as three-dimensional hexagons because they make for robust stuctures that cost the least wax. Since 6degrees is very much about maintaining a clean and efficient contact list, having a hexagonal frame makes sense.
Graphite is made up of layers of graphene, each a single atom thick. In graphene carbon atoms are arranged in a hexagonal grid. Carbon nanotubes which are essentially rolled up tubes of graphene owe their strength to this hexagonal nature.
Hexagons have internal angles of 720°. Each vertice is 120°. A hexagon can be sliced into six equilateral triangles. Each one can be half into two right-angle triangles. Overlaying the hexagon over the outer circle I broke it into twelve equal parts.
The four equal segments of the top-left quadrant of the cake determines the the symmetry of the 6 and the distance from the terminal to the degree symbol. This manner of constructing the 6 feels stable and balanced. As a result the 6 despite being heavier on its left side stays in equilibrium because of its attachment to the degree symbol.
Here’s the logo as a animated buildup to its final shapes showing the underlying geometry.
Cornflower blue and a cyan shade was chosen to convey modern pastelecent aesthetic. The result is a bright and lively mark. Does the colors lift your mood?
The coronas of a midday sun swirling in deep Persian blue was designed for Sunday – a Singapore-based design studio set up by misfits.
My initial train of thought first led me to the analog approach and look to well-designed hand-lettered logos for inspiration.
Then I tried a more visual representation of the sun, drawing inspiration from pagan sun symbols like the one of Cirque du Soleil. I concluded with a more abstract approach and decided that instead of replicating a pagan sun face, I’d create coronas instead out of hand-drawn letters.
The final corona mark is drawn with a single continuous stroke, much like a Japanese ensō – another familiar circular symbol. While the ensō signified minimalism, calmness and mu (emptiness), the corona mark communicated a sense of primordial energy – a positive opposite.
I set the wordmark in Soleil Bold, primarily for the name of the typeface but also its relative thickness and contrasting angles, which balances it with the corona mark.
Soleil Regular is also used for headings while being paired with Rooney Light for body copy. I chose Rooney for its seriousness and also warmth. I would’t want the sun to be surrounded by the cold of geometricals and grotesques!
I also designed business cards. Again the theme here is warmth. Information is playfully arranged like sun rays radiating out from the corona mark. A nice side effect is there is no right way up for the card.
Rich Persian blue was chosen to be a deliberate deviation from the usual yellow and orange used in solar symbols.
A leafy motif designed for Multiply – affordable, short term software development courses for those who want practical new skills for a technology-centric future.
Multiply offers affordable, short term software development courses. The courses which are meant for beginners will help those who want practical new skills for a technology-centric future. Courses are typically five days or less, conducted in 8-student batches and taught by real professional coders. Another highlight is post-course support which other coding courses don’t provide beyond the classroom.
The mark is designed based on sacred geometry and depicts two overlapping leaves drawn over the Flower of Life. The Vesica piscis shape is archetypal for a blade of leaf. There is no simpler geometry by which the leaf can be represented. The plant/growth motif works great for an education brand.
I selected Brandon by HvD as the one single typeface for the identity – Brandon Grotesque for headings and Brandon Text for the body. It’s used on all elements including the wordmark and website text. The identity is deliberately pedestrian so as to come across as far away from pompous as possible.
I don’t know but I get a sense blue is overused in education-related brands. Since Multiply is teaching people to become coders. I chose Forest Green to represent growth. I hope the green gives people a sense of lively possibility.
A horse to rock its debut in SXSW 2012 for Curioucity – hyper-local chat + check-in app made in Tokyo.
Curioucity is an iPhone app made by O.N.E.R Inc based in Tokyo, which allows its users to quickly initiate chats with others within vicinity.
Building on the Original
The original logo only had a wordmark. Made in-house by the client’s own designer, I think while it’s beautifully lettered and reminds me of Wes Anderson, it would have been awkward to fit the old logo into an iOS app icon.
I wanted to design a symbol which can be used standalone, i.e. in profile picture, favicon, etc. A rocking horse came to mind. It’s a whimsical image that fits the wordmark perfectly.
Here’s team Curioucity exhibiting at SXSW in 2012 wearing my rocking horse on their t-shirts.
Refined and recolored to recommunicate what it means to be a part of LifeOpp – a job platform for the Singapore service industry.
LifeOpp wants to improve the lot of service industry professionals and odd job workers by making the industry more transparent and efficient.
The old logo suffered a variety of problems. It’s triangular mark was not equilateral, the colors were unharmonious and the word mark was so heavy it got in the way.
To fix the irregular triangle, I redrew it with mathematical precision so all sides are equal. The old mark was sort of based on a palette of fall colors and to me was a little depressing. I decided to ditch the dull colors and kept three of them to create something that more spring and summer. I did adjusted them so they are more balanced. From those three new colors I created an intermediate lighter shade for each.
I thought the green and blue would represent land and water. The orange would be sunlight. And LifeOpp would be a planet on which its community would grow and bloom.
To avoid changing the logo too radically, I decided to keep the wordmark typeface but opted for a lighter weight to help the logo become more agile.
A halo and a ring are linked to represent AngelRound – a crowfunding platform to connect great ideas to angel investors, without the cruft.
A halo on the left to represent angel investors. A ring on the right to represent fundraising rounds entrepreneurs do. Connect them and you get what AngelRound is all about. Nothing more nothing less.
The wordmark is set in HvD’s Brandon Text bold. The overall form is a geometric one and thus pair well with a geometric typeface like Brandon. I chose Brandon over others like Futura because of its delicate rounded corners.
Understated and restrained, the design avoids making itself pompous. By remaining consciously personable, the logo speaks about AngelRound’s mission of helping entrepreneurs raise money from people they know and are close to, i.e. friends and family.
The color violet inspires love and compassion. And also creativity – qualities found in angel investors and entrepreneurs.