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How illustrations can help promote a brand?

Jarosław Morawski


A bit different software house

Codee was founded by web developers who care about relationships with their clients. They’re the opposite of typical coders – rather than avoid talking, they reach out on their own and solve problems before they appear. Codee believes in building business based on closeness both with clients and co-workers. The team consists of different people who share direct approach, experience and willingness to write state-of-art, bug-free code.

Project scope:

  • competition analysis
  • communication audit
  • brand concept
  • naming
  • web design
  • logo
  • brand collateral
  • copywriting

1. Huge competition

The number of great software houses on the market continues to grow. Coding websites and applications can be found in the services pages of many digital agencies and development firms. Those brands’ image is usually uniform and cold, it lacks emotion. They communicate professionalism through cold colors and careful, strongly technological visual themes. Lack of diversity in the industry presented a chance that we used while designing the new visual identity and website for Codee.

2. How to hard reset a brand?

When Codee founder came to us, the company worked under a completely different name. It’s odd sound and ungrammatical form made it difficult to remember for clients and workers. The name didn’t reference neither Codee’s field of activity, nor personality of people that make the brand. The founder himself didn’t feel confident about it and saw the need for change. We were presented with a big challenger: Codee’s brand identity had the be reset and built from the grounds up, including elements of storytelling, company values, and personality.

3. No project portfolio

Most projects completed by Codee are restricted under NDA. Coding a website or creating an app for a large corporation requires access to databases that often contain sensitive information. Since Codee puts their clients’ safety first, it cannot openly post their work on the website. Nowadays, when development firms build their own portfolios as much as any design or advertising agency, inability to show Codee’s completed projects to the world was a significant obstacle to overcome.

We thoroughly analyzed the competition and came to conclusion that the primary objective of a portfolio is showing skills and accentuating a person’s unique personality. We managed to achieve the same purpose with a fresh and modern website that makes up for the lack of portfolio through good energy, distinctive illustrations and relaxed, direct copywriting.


Smiling brand hero

After reading and sorting project information from the creative brief, we began the analysis stage. We took a close look at the brand’s current image and communication in order to compare them with values and aims declared in the brief. During the rebranding, we identified unique features of the brand’s character and enhanced them through illustrations, visual themes and additional content.

Until now, Codee’s image was distanced and very technical. Because it was based on themes that are common among the competition, Codee before rebrand didn’t stand out. The new, designed by us brand identity is exactly the opposite – we created an illustrated character that appears on the website and all brand materials, guaranteeing consistency and setting the right tone for the brand. It is always headed towards the viewers, waving its hand and smiling widely. The character represents three unique features that we identified during the rebranding stage: openness, friendliness and communication. All texts and graphics that accompany the character are focused on teamwork, personal approach, quality, and directness.

During the rebranding, we identified unique features of the brand’s character and enhanced them through illustrations, visual themes and additional content.


My good friend Codee

Before we came up with the logo, we designed a name that holds that brand together and summarizes Codee’s new identity. It’s key part is the word „code” – direct reference to the one high-quality product that Codee has to offer. We double the last letter to soften the sound of the name and highlight simple, humane character of the brand. Just like an „employee”, Codee is a person that does what it’s asked for with a smile on his face. The name is easy to remember and pronounce – like a name of a good friend.

The logo is inspired by code and one of the characters used in its syntax. We used the shape of a brace as the basis and added a piece of a circle that symbolizes a smile and open mouth. Together, the mild curve of the bracket and the shape of the mouth care a simplified profile of a person – our Codee who eagerly starts working on a new project. We constructed the signet in such a way that the name of the brand looks like a word spoken by a happy worker or satisfied client. We wrote it in lowercase to further emphasize the feeling of directness and spontaneity.


Website that lives on

A typical agency website definitely wouldn’t suit Codee’s character and style. Instead, we designed an airy single-page website that is easy to navigate and full of positive energy. Animated characters in the illustrations live among modules which in a simple and accessible way explain why Codee is your best choice when it comes to web development. Their bright and lively colors are balanced out by plenty of breathing space.

Smiling people are not the only ones responsible for the site’s energetic look and feel. For the color palette, we drew inspiration from code editor – natural environment of most web developers. Such applications often use vivid colors to make various markers, classes and other elements of syntax stand out. Among zeroes and ones we found a visual theme that became the foundation for Codee’s lively visual identity.

Codee often works on projects that contain sensitive information. Due to that fact, there’s no section dedicated to completed projects on its new website. As early as on the prorotyping stage we decided to use this opportunity to accentuate the brand’s unique features. Through copywriting and illustrations we presented Codee as a group of coders with a very personal approach. Every element of the site is surrounded by plenty of white space that draws attention to colors, illustrations and texts.

As a key touch point for a web development company, Codee’s website has been implemented using the latest technology and standards. Clean code makes it look great and load in the blink of an eye on all compatible devices.


Lack of information is a challenge

Each and every project is a joyful challenge to us. With Codee, we made use of illustrations and vivid, energetic color palette. We used them to build a unique and very personal identity of a company that stands out from the competition. We highly value the client’s open approach – his courage and trust allowed us to spread the wings and step out of the box.

Rebranding Codee is a priceless experience for us and an example of a project that lacked basic materials and information. Without portfolio, presenting the image of a firm was a problem that we managed to solve in a creative and favourable way. The brand’s identity was inspired by the client’s natural surrounding, his work, tools and products. As a result, we created a timeless and visually appealing image that outsteps the initial scope of the brief.

As an inexperienced client whose company had never come through the rebranding process, Codee founder had an unspecified, everchanging vision of the change. Our job was to confront it with reality, explain results, justify our choices and decisions and motivate to action.

We took part of every stage of creating a new brand for Codee – from concept to design to implementation. Staying in touch with developers let us look at the project from their point of view and make adjustments along the way.

Drop us a line!

Can we help you out? If so, speak to us. Don’t delay, expand your brand with us. Let’s talk about what we can do today.

Piotr Synowiec

Peter Synowiec

[email protected]