One of the things we love most about designing a new or rebranded identity is the power it has to help our clients reach their full potential. We wholeheartedly believe, branding is transformative and empowering when built with research + strategy + creativity.
Introducing Keep Your Cool Storage, a brand that aims to epitomize customer satisfaction with a strong presence of flexibility, creating a stress-free experience, that keeps the mercury from rising. The strategy is a balance of camaraderie and an unparalleled work ethic, bringing together a unique combination of industry knowledge, experiential wisdom and lived experiences. The motivation unites individuals and businesses alike, who need an easy, safe and secure storage rental service, that is pragmatic and organized as it is relaxed and fun.
We thrive on collaboration, so it helps when we work with inspiring people who are passionate about what they do, just like us!
We were delighted with the results of Keep Your Cool Ltd’s new identity. To give you the full story, here’s a behind-the-brand look at the complete process of how the branding was developed.
ONE (1) | DISCOVERY
Our branding approach is built by combining research + strategy + creativity. First, we'll get to know you and your business, by taking a close look at your target market, the wider industry around you and determine exactly what makes your business unique. Expect lots of questions!
KEEP YOUR COOL's, owners Dan and Elizabeth Bell, reached out, recognizing the need for a professional image and strategy before launching their stress-free rental storage business. They wanted to step out with a tailored brand identity to secure their dream clients and make a profound mark in their industry.
TWO (2) | DEVISE
Next, it’s time for smart thinking! We’ll conduct extensive research to examine your industry, target market and competitors. This knowledge will inspire the strategy + creative direction for your brand with a plan that includes a mood board, which visually explores how to authentically express your brand identity so it outshines your competition and drives a connection with your ideal customers.
Within the discovery questionnaire, we asked for a selection of words that the clients felt best described their brand. They answered with the following:
Together with our industry and competition research, these words informed the strategy for the KEEP YOUR COOL Storage brand story.
Next, the mood board and colour palette (shown below) were curated to visually convey the feeling described in the brand strategy. The mood board sets the tone of the proposed brand identity and very importantly, ensures our thoughts run parallel with our client. We must be in agreement on visual direction before proceeding to the concept stage.
The KEEP YOUR COOL approach considers today’s economic situation, where people are living in smaller spaces with more stuff and with more businesses operating remotely, self-storage solutions, have become a need for almost everyone. The target market, centres around the generations from millennials to boomers, in both residential communities and commercial sectors, who are either moving, relocating, renovating, event planning and/or have simply run out of space to store their products or possessions. The brand strategy challenges mobile cold storage industry norms and demands change through innovation but not at the expense of the brand’s mission; to epitomize customer satisfaction with a strong presence of flexibility, creating a stress-free experience, that keeps the mercury from rising.
With a dedication to quality and inspired by core product advancements, the brand is more than just portable cold and dry storage. High-quality and distinctive, yet down-to-earth and approachable, KEEP YOUR COOL’s brand objective is to provide an easy, safe and secure rental process that is pragmatic and organized as it is relaxed and fun. The approach is a balance of camaraderie and an unparalleled work ethic, bringing together a unique combination of industry knowledge, experiential wisdom and lived experiences.
The overall style direction places an emphasis on cool tones, clean geometric shapes and thrives on a friendly and upbeat aesthetic. The KEEP YOUR COOL brand is primed for mascot success, with its fun-spirited, multi-generational target market. The aim is to create a strong, unique icon that will be utilized throughout the brand identity. In addition, incorporating elements recognizable to the storage industry, in a manner that is somewhat playful and bold, yet not overly literal or redundant. As human beings, we connect visually and are attracted to faces, even that of a cartoon. The philosophy behind the ‘cool’ character persona is to associate a strong spokesperson, to act as the brand ambassador, evolving with the company in diverse ways.
The brand focuses to integrate a multifaceted combination of thoughtful elements and poignant symbolism, to create a personal connection with the audience, reaching them on an emotional level that is purposeful and spirit-driven. The mascot gravitates around KEEP YOUR COOL’s ethos of leveraging a carefree customer experience.
Symbols are extremely important to the effective entrenchment of a brand. Each represents a business' personality and contributes to brand recognition. The primary symbol of a company is its name. By selecting one that is appropriate and well-branded, it carries long-term positive implications.
KEEP YOUR COOL is an apropos moniker for this family-owned and operated business, whose lines run deeply through the refrigeration industry. In conjunction, insightful cold climate creatures are proposed to visually communicate the KEEP YOUR COOL mission and brand motivations. We draw inspiration from three distinct ‘chill’ characters, the Elusive Yeti, the Hassle-Free Husky and Problem-Solving Penguin.
The Elusive Yeti, a curious cryptid, symbolizes individuality. No one can impose expectations, the creature and the KEEP YOUR COOL brand are both natural nonconformists. As a powerful symbol, the Yeti aids in the process of self-discovery and encourages the KYC brand to stand tall and proud while being its authentic self. The spirit of the Yeti helps one discover new opportunities and exemplifies precision, agility, truth and the cool climate. Since the mysterious creature is believed to be half-human, half-ape, it represents a lot of the traits of the fun-loving monkey. Connected to deep knowledge and intelligence, the character's courage and resourceful nature link to KYC’s ingenuity for finding solutions to the industry’s cold storage trailer limitations. The symbolism of a monkey recognizes that playfulness and entertainment are useful for the soul. Therefore, these traits remind the KYC brand that these things should be included in everyday life, propelling their relaxed attitude and cheeky demeanour. As this cool dude is truly an enigma, we draw parallels with KEEP YOUR COOL being a legend in the making.
The Hassle-Free Husky represents change and is a testament to KEEP YOUR COOL’s ability to provide helpful service while being a leader through transitional times. Gentle and loyal with an outgoing personality, the Husky character and the KYC brand are both energetic, friendly, and fun to be around. As a powerful animal, the dog symbolizes inner strength, wisdom, adventure, excitement, and something new. Embodying well-being and resilience, huskies are athletic and have immense determination. The symbol acts to remind the KYC customer that they are surrounded by people who will make sure they are guided, protected and that their satisfaction is guaranteed. With intelligence and keen senses, The Husky parallels the brand with its tenacious, graceful, and dignified nature even in the face of challenges. The spirit of the husky reassures the KYC brand that all is well, and to keep moving forward and bringing its own uniqueness to the table and sunshine everywhere it goes.
The Problem-Solving Penguin symbolizes community and togetherness, and how the KEEP YOUR COOL brand harnesses teamwork and social connection to thrive. The animal represents purpose, order and cordial conduct. The Penguin acts to remind the KYC customer their life may be in disarray right now, but there will be order and peace in the days to come. By channelling creative solutions with determination, patience, and endurance, the Penguin and the KYC brand are both problem-solvers, successful at coming up with new and inventive ways of thinking. A natural caretaker with a humanitarian spirit, the Penguin is resilient, ambitious while quite serene and relaxed about life, which aligns with the KYC brand effortlessly.
Colour Theory is a set of rules that combines creativity and science and as such is a powerful business branding tool that can transform an identity into an emotional experience by instantly stimulating desire, instilling trust and making a connection with its market’s soul.
The proposed predominantly neutral/cool palette includes black, white, blue and silver alongside an attention-grabbing yellow hue. The versatile colours communicate uber-cool energy that resonates with being organized and having more space.
Black: Authoritative and powerful, black carries a professional and sophisticated vibe.
It helps to boost confidence and increase the sense of potential and possibility. Black represents strength and elegance, a force to be reckoned with, directly linking to KEEP YOUR COOL drive and tenacity of providing a reliable and rewarding customer experience.
White: Generally is considered as a neutral backdrop that lets other colours have a larger voice. Signifying simplicity, cleanliness and virtue, white evokes feelings of renewal, bringing about calmness, comfort and perfection. It gives life a sense of order and meaning, helping to declutter and symbolizing a transformative fresh start.
Goldenrod: Characteristically the colour of innovation and intellect, yellow as an accent is designed to inject a pop of brightness. Producing a warming effect, the golden hue conveys super-charged energy. Uplifting, enthusiastic and illuminating, it radiates as the colour of sunshine. Playful and friendly, yellow is optimistic and cheerful. This attention-grabbing hue stimulates the mind, demonstrating KEEP YOUR COOL as a bold, successful and confident brand.
Azure: Inspires feelings of trust and a state of responsibility. The bold blue hue projects dependability and stability, conveying confidence, power and authority. Azure is determined, self-sufficient, loyal, goal-oriented and intelligent. As this shade evokes huge expanses of sky and sea, it brings a sense of spaciousness and calm strength. This colour exudes deep integrity, which parallels the KEEP YOUR COOL brand’s motivations of being credible and reliable.
Silver: Silver encourages better communication and confident articulation. With similar energy to grey, silver, however, is associated with clarity and honesty. Perceived as sleek and refined, it carries immense authority. The metallic is described as respectable, responsible, patient and determined. Best of all, it has the ability to be both classic and modern, as well as serious and youthful.
Shapes also play an important role in the development of an identity. It's often the most innovative approaches that happen in the background that gives a brand its deeper, layered meaning.
The inclusion of both 2D and 3D squares and rectangles represents the KYC brand’s logic, certainty, trustworthiness and order. These shapes are an ideal brand fit since decisiveness and organization are central adjectives to the KEEP YOUR COOL persona.
Patterns add a customized detail to start building brand recognition. The gridded layout mimics the shapes of storage boxes, ice cubes (to bring back the element of cold) and the container units themselves. The imagery within this direction includes professionals who are open, energetic and happy to help customers understand their options for both cold and dry portable self-storage solutions. Photography would be vibrant with a relaxed and cheery tone.
Typography also impacts the development of a brand’s identity, similarly to colour and shape theory.
The varying san serif weights presented, connect with the modern aesthetic. The predominantly straight-edged type is strong and linear, imparting notions of strength, professionalism and efficiency, all characteristics of the brand ethos.
THREE (3) | DESIGN
After presenting the visual brand direction, the clients decided that they wanted to move ahead with the Yeti character as it gave a fun vibe along with exhibiting trust and confidence. Our strengths lie in creating brand identities that translate our clients' vision and bring their message to life in a visual way.
The greatest challenge of creating a brand identity is incorporating several aspects into the design while still keeping it simple.
We had several considerations in mind during this stage, including:
Keeping the design versatile and functional
Developing a personable character to be the face of the brand
As always we start by using pencil and paper to brainstorm visual ideas. From there the ideas with the most potential are refined.
Since design is subjective, we provide clients with a choice, by presenting two (2) different concepts that we confidently believe answer the directive.
However, an identity is more than just a logo; it’s a complete visual system that should add depth and personality to the brand. Show the world you’re invested in what you do with a practical, versatile toolkit of brand elements that take your business to the next level!
As part of the concept presentation, we also deliver a brand storyboard that includes the other design elements needed to complete the visual identity— secondary logo, submark, colour palette, typography, patterns and social signatures. In addition, digital in-use renderings are developed to showcase how each concept could appear in real-life applications.
For both concepts, the subjective elements were extracted to showcase the systematic approaches used to create each brand mark, with the aim to connect with the audience on a deeper level.
CONCEPT 1 - The Young-At-Heart Yeti Mascot
This concept centres around KEEP YOUR COOL’s chill character, rightly so, for the mascot design. The young-at-heart Yeti, is a hairy half-man, projecting wisdom and intelligence with a friendly demeanour. Standing at a towering, 7’ feet, 2” tall, the gentle giant epitomizes cool, (figuratively and literally) with his snow-capped mountain of hair, cold climate eyewear and laissez-faire attitude. A little longer in the tooth, this rockin’ dude’s larger-than-life personality is nothing short of legendary. Squares and hexagons are subliminally used to symbolize stability, resourcefulness and permanence along with strength and reliability. The idea of strength is further illustrated by the purposeful structure of the brand’s name in the chiselled (ice) blocked lettering. The sans serif typography injects the wordmark with a high contrast pairing of bold and light weights. The blend of cool and neutral colours emanates a fresh and modern feel. Azure (blue) inspires integrity, representing dependability and conveys confidence. Whereas yellow, used as an accent, embodies innovation, intellect and super-charged, fun energy. The inclusion of silver, speaks to the brand’s refined and dignified nature, carrying immense industry authority.
CONCEPT 2 - The YOLO Yeti Mascot
This concept showcases an alternative depiction of KEEP YOUR COOL’s chill persona for this second mascot design. The you-only-live once Yeti is fearlessly authentic with some of the likeness of its monkey descendent, he is suave, yet friendly and always ready to chill out. Proving size doesn’t matter, this pint-sized curious cryptid is a smooth operator, with his slicked-back hair, blackout shades and ever so approachable wave. Circles dominate this design to give a sense of integrity and perfection while attracting more attention than their right-angled counterparts. Carried over from the previous option, the sans serif typography projects strength and takes an authoritative but neutral position, supporting any message without overpowering it. The flexible and diverse type is adaptable to communicate energy with line weights ranging from italic to extra bold. Uplifting, enthusiastic and illuminating, yellow radiates as the colour of sunshine, taking on a larger more fun-loving presence. Yet, the hue is balanced by the cool blue and the sophistication of black that together exude confidence, power and authority.
The KYC team thought the Young-At-Yeti emanated the unparalleled uniqueness and unmatched cool vibe they were looking for right from his bread of wisdom up to the snowy mountain hairdo -- this character is yeti to chill.
FOUR (4) | DEVELOP
A few minor tweaks were made to the crest bring back the goldenrod to give the mark some warmth. Due to our considered design approach, we usually have minimal design refinements, if any at all.
Next, we built out the content and digital required. To put it simply, this is the process of designing all the other items that will be needed to communicate and launch the brand identity.
For this new identity we created the following collateral:
Social Media Strategy
Vehicle and Container Wraps
FIVE (5) | DELIVER
Altogether, this process took 10 months. The client launch package always includes a plethora of logo files for both print and web use; including all the brand elements, colour palette, patterns and typography (font files).
Thanks to the brand storyboard, the KYC team understands how to use their new brand identity going forward.
We also provide a step-by-step web tutorial to assist clients with making simple updates whenever needed.
For all our brand identity clients, we offer ongoing design services to ensure that future projects align with the new branding.
THE TAKEAWAY When you invest in your brand, you're building a level of confidence within yourself, your business and your clients.
KYC's new brand fully communicates a level of professionalism, confidence and sophistication that will inevitably have their clients trusting them on a whole new level.
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