Rebranding is probably the hardest thing any agency can do. We are, of course, our own harshest critics. But by the time I joined Dashboard back in 2009, it was clear that this had become a priority and regardless of how busy we knew we would get, I set out to help craft a new design vision for Dashboard.
Why? Well, after 10 years Dashboard had changed quite a bit and we wanted to reflect the people and the philosophies that make us who we are today. Clearing the design slate completely, we started with the one thing we knew wouldn’t change: our name. The word “Dashboard” means many things: making the complex simple, a set of tools, interactive and customizable, and what you need to move forward and keep you on track.
It was inevitable then that the new branding began with the choice of a typeface. When choosing one I turned to German traffic signage which uses the font DIN, a beautiful sans-serif font perfect for wayfinding. It was without doubt, the perfect typeface for company called Dashboard, doing what we do by helping our clients find their way through the world of digital marketing.
Based on this inspiration I developed a colour palette of, you guessed it, yellow, black, white and grey. The basics were sophisticated standards, while the yellow is bright, energetic and startling. Conceptually the yellow is the colour of line in the road that keeps you moving forward. You’ll see that yellow line on the bottom of our business cards, the website, the letterhead and more. And to us it means that we too just keep moving forward in this ever-changing world of marketing.
But as we started some executions, there was something missing. Something that we could feel at Dashboard that was not yet reflected in the design choices we had made. The executions were too cold, perhaps a little too “swiss.” So we went back to our moodboard and discovered these quirky hand-drawn illustrations that we all loved so much and started to draw and experiment with illustrations; some made sense, others didn’t, and we liked that. They were playful, clever, and sometimes silly; reflective of how each of us is different, playful, clever and sometimes silly too. And then we knew we had figured it out, and that these illustrations represent Collective Perspective, a long-standing Dashboard approach to work that means no matter what your brand, we all in some way work on your business, and every client gets the varying perspectives of all the talent in the shop; developer, creative and account alike.
It just all clicked into place and the rest is history. There were what feels like over a hundred variations on the business cards, and from there, the letterhead, the envelops, the kit folders, the powerpoint template, the internal briefs and copy deck documents, the stickers, notepads and mugs. We bought yellow clocks, and designed the downstairs floor in the colour palette of white, black and yellow, spending more hours at IKEA than any of us really wanted. We painted the walls black, the pillars yellow and put up vinyl illustrations and lettering, and finally designed and redesign our website (about) five times until we got it right. Remember when I said we are our own harshest critics?
So there you have it. We Are Dashboard. We are our work. We are our people. We are just a little quirky sometimes too. Enjoy the new website. It was as painful and ecstatic as birthing any newborn. Stay tuned as we add even more bits and pieces to the site, fabulous quick videos, exciting work, and blog posts.