If a service, product, or company were a person, a brand would be its reputation. The way you speak, act, your values, and yes, how you look. It is the lasting impression when the party is over. Before I studied Graphic Design I assumed that a brand was essentially a logo, a colour palette and a particular typeface. However, brand identity is tangible and appeals to all senses. It encompasses all experiences and unifies them into a system that should be memorable. Brand identity means dedication from the beginning to build and invest into the future. As a start up it is crucial to establish a voice that clearly expresses who we are as a company, what stand-out value we provide and why you should trust us.
Before Orenda was Orenda, there had been a lot of research and development into creating the software. When I was hired, it was in early-stage development meaning that it was continuously evolving and changing. Originally, Orenda was RAASS(Risk Analysis and Alert Software System) and then Akewity Software Solutions.
Raz served as a shortened version of RAASS.
Akewity represented a play on the word, Acuity, meaning; keenness, especially in vision or thought or the capacity of the eye to see the finest detail.
The marks above represent the shape of an eye, as well as highlighting “it” standing for information technology.
With the help of the other team members, we determined that these concepts were not setting us apart from our competition. After dismissing the idea of a mascot, Tanya, Founder and CEO, stumbled across the word Orenda.
Orenda; (1) a supernatural force believed by the Iroquois Indians to be present, in varying degrees, in all objects or persons, and to be the spiritual force by which human accomplishment is attained or accounted for.
(2) A mantra invoked when powers beyond one’s control seem to be forcing a particular outcome, to give them the strength to change it.
The word Orenda provided me with the core idea, which gave me more inspiration. I created the moodboard detailing the direction of my inspiration shown below. My aim was to capture the supernatural force influencing us beyond understanding. As seen below, the logo mark went through many rounds of revision and refinement to simplify into the final identity.
Refining of the typeface to ensure it was readable, clear, and balanced.
Experimenting with combining the type with the mark. Testing it on a background to see how it is perceived in context.
Final visual identity:
I designed three similar final versions of the identity above (in varying colors) to represent energy and refined connections. Presenting these to the Orenda team allowed us to filter which one was the most impactful.
Feedback from varying audiences confirmed that the brand identity created a positive reaction in people. When the software turned into reality, we wanted a brand to honor the idea, to connect with our outside world, and to make an impression on the minds of those who interact with it. We didn’t stop until it was right.