Articles

Moving Forward

For years, we have used our signature tepee as our logomark. This symbol was representative of a landmark we loved — our quiet and comfortable cone-shaped conference room, located in the heart of the Outpost, Instrument’s last office.

Many things have changed since we called the outpost home — our work, office, and brand have evolved. So, too, has our understanding and awareness. Since its adoption, we’ve realized this symbol, without permission or representation, is by definition a form of appropriation. This was never our intention, yet this needs to be addressed.

Our first step was to phase out the tepee in place of our wordmark, a simple and effective solution that has worked in most applications. The wordmark is strong enough on its own, possessing a balanced emphasis of legibility and style. And after all, our name is the clearest way of communicating who we are.

There are occasions when the wordmark isn’t an effective alternative however. Avatars, for example, pixelate our name beyond recognition at small sizes. Favicons are even worse. In these situations, we realized that Instrument needed a new symbol. We saw this as an opportunity to not only replace the tepee, but to synthesize our people, process, values, sensibilities, and aspirations into a symbol that better represents who we are today and where we’re going.

  • Simplicity
  • Connection
  • Dynamism
  • Innovation

After distilling our messaging into a few attributes that captured the essence of Instrument, we tasked some of our designers to create symbols that embodied these ideas. Their work led us to a mark that met our criteria and gracefully replaced our tepee.

The Forward Slash represents our dedication to improving the human experience through design and technology. Visually, it's a simple, versatile element that augments our brand's visual language. Conceptually, it stands for so much more.

Simplicity

Lines are foundational building blocks in the construction of all forms. They partition space, form viewing pathways, link items, add style, and create order, etc.

Connection

In geometry, a line segment is a piece of a line that connects two distinct end points. To us, these points represent our clients and ourselves as well as the work and process that binds us together.

Path names and URLs use forward slashes to bind their contents to the host/domain and advance users within directories.

Dynamism

When animated to life, a simple, dynamic line can serve viewers information without the need for language. For example: An odometer moving informs the driver of a change in speed, and the movement of a needle within a compass indicates a change in direction. A lot can be communicated with a little line.

Innovation

In charts and graphs, lines that move up and into the right indicate increase, progress, or growth. Our collective goal is to constantly improve our work for the benefit of others.

The Forward Slash represents our dedication to improving the human experience.

Change is exciting and we feel sharing the intention behind this change is necessary. While some might see this change as a rebrand, to us it feels more like a refinement — a small and valuable step that moves us forward.

Related