Boosted Branding 2017
Lead designer (I was the only designer at the company)
Direction and development of the Brand Identity for Boosted Inc. Up until early 2016 Boosted's brand had organically evolved but didn't have any sort of brand guidelines. I worked closely with Stephanie Lager (copywriter) to polish up the brand and create a strong foundation. I also worked closely with our exec team to align on who the company is, and better articulate what we're trying to accomplish.
We’re an eclectic mix of tinkerers, problem solvers, city dwellers, nature lovers, and engineering nerds tackling major commuting issues with one goal: to make urban transportation faster, easier, and a whole lot more fun. We want cities to feel smaller, campuses to be more accessible, and commutes to actually be enjoyable. We want people to explore more and worry less. We envision a world where getting there is just as good as being there. These are Boosted’s defining properties which serve as our North Star. Everything we do, build, say, and create reflect these attributes.
It’s no secret that fun drives Boosted. The pounding thrill of gaining speed, zipping through turns, feeling that insane adrenaline that just can’t be replicated. That’s what makes us feel alive and keeps our wheels pushing forward. But it’s also more than that–it’s the way we view transportation. Fun is the ease of accessibility, the freedom to roam exactly as we choose, and loving every single second.
Our products are made to go fast and get things done. At Boosted, fast is more than just top speed–it’s efficiency. Fast is escaping the torturous parking purgatory, flying past gridlock, and evading the chain of a lock and keys. It’s getting there in less time, with less headache, and while having way more fun.
Keep it simple, stupid. That’s our mantra. Everything we build, design, and write is simple, straightforward, and easy to use–just like our board. Thoughtful We build vehicles, not toys. We’re meticulous and intentional. We think and test and iterate, and then we think some more. We spend a lot of time making decisions because we know that even the smallest details have massive impact. That applies to our community as well. We’re all responsible for the way we act, ride, and live in this world–and we don’t forget that.
You don’t need to be a pro skateboarder and you certainly don’t need to wear Vans everyday to love a Boosted board. But if you do, that’s cool too. And if riding a skateboard just isn’t your thing, no problem– it’s definitely not for everyone.
Just like the Boosted board, the Boosted logo is anything but subtle. By using capital letters and a black, heavy-weight font, the logo demands attention. It’s strong yet simple, with nods to graphic minimalism, transportation, and durability.
The multiple curved lines represent the various new paths, or routes, Boosted enables riders to experience. Moving in different directions, the curved lines provide a unique sense of tension and energy–there’s visual motion, speaking to the mobility of Boosted products but also to the company’s forward trajectory. This tension is offset by the smooth, fluid curvature of the lines that unify the composition and provide balance. The logo is visually symmetrical, making it appear not just whole, but fully thought out, and reflecting the brand’s integrity.
The original logo was designed by Mackey Saturday in 2012.
Primary and secondary shades allow us to infuse color into the brand in overarching and subtle ways. Both vibrant and muted color palettes give the brand depth and versatility, allowing us to tailor content appropriately. The Boosted orange is vivid and energetic. It’s also powerful and masculine.
The evolution of Color in the Brand
Boosted has leaned on orange as a brand color, but this has mainly been due to the face that Orangatang Wheels (the skate brand we partner with for wheels) makes orange wheels, rather than using orange purely because orange is the best color for the brand.
I've been working closely with our industrial designers on how to evolve color in the product and brand as we move forward. Below you can see a presentation I put together for our marketing and exec teams. Hopefully over the next year we can start to release some of this new brand work into the wild.
We’re using the Boosted orange as the background fill color for social media platforms. Filling the space with color is more dramatic, confidently asserting our brand identity instead of timidly blending into the platform’s background.
The Nexa font is a new age version of Helvetica (everyone’s go-to approachable font). It’s modern but classic, with a touch of edge. Nexa feels human and welcoming with rounded edges and an I-know-you feel. We use Nexa Black for big headers (like the main headline on a web page) because it’s heavy and bold, Nexa Light for other headers because it’s lighter and more airy, and Nexa Regular for other things because it’s approachable and real. We also use Raleway, typically for body copy, and Reglo Bold for call-outs or unique copy interludes.
Playful, refined, relatable. With thick, substantial outlines, the Boosted icons match the bold typography and weighty logo design. Instead of leaning towards a purely minimalistic aesthetic, the outlined icons are bold while still maintaining a refined thoughtfulness and pop of personality.
Shooting in urban environments tends to result in harsh shadows, with stark light vs. dark juxtapositions. To offset this, we try to shoot with sunshine and blue skies, which adds a nice balance to Boosted’s electric orange. We also incorporate smiling faces and natural foliage to add a healthy dose of warmth and happiness to an otherwise dark and grungy environment.
Lifestyle photos are essential to the Boosted brand. Instead of placing the product in isolated environments, we always put the board in context. We favor the street over the studio. We show you how to use and ride the board, not how to look at it. Our photography philosophy is about capturing life as it happens. We use POV shots that show Boosted riders immersed in their environment. We don’t embellish with elaborate graphics or illustrations–we let the product speak for itself.
I art directed all of the photoshoots at Boosted, and/or shot the photos myself. I had the privelage of working with some super talented photographers and models for the shoots including:
A Boosted board is a beautiful piece of hardware. It's classic looking, in the way that it holds true to the traditional shape and look of a downhill longboard, yet is infused with technology making it a unique to encounter. When presenting the Boosted board as a product, we aim to let the product speak for itself through the use of natural light, and simple backdrops. We do not seek to embellish, or enhance the product through dramatic lighting or over-editing.
We also aim to accentuate the energy naturally occurring in the product in the way we shoot it. The board has a natural spring to it, like it's ready to take off at any moment. It also gives the user a sense of flow and motion and so we aim to capture those same attributes in the photos.
The experience of riding a Boosted board is hard to capture in just an image or works. It's completely immersive so leaning on video is crucial for the brand. Boosted's video content is fun and active. It doesn't take itself too seriously and aims to make it look easy to ride a board. Check out a few examples of videos we made for various campaigns. I worked with Calotype Film to create the videos below.
We also worked on a video series that sought to show the rawness and immersive feel of riding a Boosted board. We removed all music and leaned into strong sound design and creative editing. We visited 4 major US cities and created a video for each. I worked with the guys over at Werehaus to create these videos.
The Boosted voice is dynamic and electric; it’s always moving, just like our riders. Our voice plays into people's emotions and underscores the life-changing power of controlling how you move throughyour city. We get people revved up and excited, but we also give them assurance and confidence. We confront transportation issues head on and we solve them, which means we show the ugly and the awesome. We make simple, bold statements. Like that one.