Creating product love for SMBs

Designing a workplace app and visual identity that matches the vibrancy and joy the product enables.

Services Provided
– Visual Identity
– Collateral Design
– Product Design
– Website Design
– App Design
– Brand Guidelines
– Copywriting

Born out of another company, Coast did not have a name or identity of its own. Though customers used Coast on a daily basis to run their business communications, research showed they were somewhat ambivalent about the product.

Our goal was to change this perception by creating an irresistible design experience that spoke to two distinct audiences: the small business owners who need to keep their teams on track, and the part-time, desk-less workers who need the freedom and self-expression to do their best work. We were looking to deliver on the promise of Coast’s name—a feeling of flow-state, momentum, and seamless motion.

Balancing the personality of youth with the credibility of business owners, we created an identity that embraces all aspects culture by allowing adaptation. The logo hints at the happy end-state of a team being more than the sum of its parts. We took Coast out of stealth mode with a joyfully disruptive identity that challenges the norm.

What We Learned Along the Way

Balancing two tones.

Business owners and part-time staff have very different motivations for coming to work each day. We needed to create an identity that was flexible enough to balance “getting stuff done” with “collaboration and delight.”

Joyful differentiation.

While the field of workplace apps is crowded, few move beyond the expected iconography of chat bubbles, quote marks, or cellphones. There was a unique opportunity to stand out with something bold and expressive.

The logo as canvas.

Coast helps accentuate the personality of other teams. We wanted to create an identity that stood on its own, but still had space for people to customize. The logo operates as a canvas for personalization.

“Emotive Brand not only crafted a unique visual identity for us, they took the time to show us how that concept could grow and expand over time. This project has evolved into an ongoing partnership, and I’m thrilled to be collaborating.”

Miwa Ikemiya, Co-founder and Chief Design Officer, Coast

Brand Flex
We created a brand that has the unique ability to flex to two audiences. It has a sense of sophistication and solidity when the brand needs to be more recessive. And when the brand needs to be at its most inspiring, there are bursts of magic, delight, and excitement. The final result is a brand that feels credible and very human.

Origins of the Logo
The new name, Coast, is synonymous with a sense of lightness, positive and effortless momentum, and the ultimate sense of freedom. Using Coast feels magical. On first look, the identity is an obvious C for Coast. But as with all interactions with Coast, the delight comes through in a subtle smile at the end.

Pixel Perfect and a Brand in Constant Motion
We developed a fully-designed motion language and guidelines. We thought about how the brand behaves in every product interaction in order to exude product love and delight.

A Fully Digital Experience
We extended the personality of the brand into every detail—moments of ease and simplicity in onboarding, moments of delight and satisfaction in completed tasks, and moments of effortless momentum in chat interactions.

Brand and Product Love
The final result is a brand and identity that represents the many features and facets of Coast—expressions of collaboration, connections between small business owners and employees, and moments of delight and humanity.

Experience that Works

Focus on the emotional end-state.

While other workplace apps focus on product-level details, Coast speaks to the emotional outcome of when your team is perfectly aligned. It’s more aspirational, engaging, and ultimately builds product love.

Hand-drawn charm in the digital age.

Of course, small businesses use tech, but they’re still grounded in the real world. Coast needed an identity that brought a human, hand-drawn quality to the world of digital applications.

Boldly emerge from stealth mode.

When a company decides to come out of stealth mode, it needs to make a big splash. We crafted a playfully disruptive identity to cut through the noise and give Coast the best entrance possible.

Walk the walk.

The only way to create an authentic identity for a technology company is to actually use the product. This entire project was run on Coast’s platform, which allowed our designers and strategists to create something impactful from the inside out.