A Fresh Look
for Bite-Sized Learning
Role / Head of Design | Responsibilities / Art direction, visual design
In 2016, Blinkist underwent one of its biggest changes to date. We rebranded — overhauling our visual identity to mark our evolution and growth as a product and a company. We took on the ambitious task of overhauling our visual identity internally, as well as refreshing our apps, web product and all marketing material.
Blinkist had the hallmarks of a classic start-up beginning. Things were scrappy and the founding team wore multiple hats, including design. A few years later, the service was steadily gaining a dedicated customer base and we were emerging more as a player to watch in the education space.
Yet we had a brand identity lacking in finesse and personality and needed to clarify its strategic brand. We kicked off a comprehensive brand refresh effort to address these things and evolve to the reflect the company we were becoming.
Laying the groundwork
As design lead, I took on developing our art direction. I kicked off this process by leading a workshop with our team to unpack our vision for the visual brand.
This process focussed on untethering solid art direction principles that would reflect the new Blinkist and developing a visual look that could be applied everywhere.
Early in the rebrand project, myself and a core group of other stakeholders at Blinkist, worked with a creative agency to define Blinkist’s strategic brand (brand values, personality and positioning).
To create an art direction that felt cohesive, I used these as additional inputs to help shape our design principles. This set the foundation for us to speak about the Blinkist visual brand with a shared language.
I then turned to exploring how these principles would express themselves as Blinkist’s look and feel. I worked through several different directions, sharing these back with the team and leadership for input.
Meanwhile, in-house designer Natalia Piana created the visual identity — developing the logo and palette. Through this process she also identified our typography (Cera Pro). This work helped to further inspire the visual direction we were heading towards.
Putting it together
Once the visual direction was defined, we set about applying this look and feel to our various products and in various channels.
Every single piece of collateral from business cards to social media templates were updated within our then 3-person team. I applied our art direction to our mobile apps, shaping the next significant step of the Blinkist product.
The rebrand was embraced by our users and helped bring Blinkist into a space where it could hold its own as a solid player in a global market. Over the years, we consciously shaped and evolved the brand with quality, effectiveness and thoughtfulness in mind.
One key highlight for our team during this time was winning a Google Material Design Award
for Brand Expressiveness.