July 2012 – December 2013
Build a democratic invention community.
Quirky is a free community-led invention platform that brings people’s ideas to life. Invention is hard. It requires a diverse set of skills, and it costs a lot of money. Everyday people have brilliant ideas but no way to see them become real products. Quirky makes inventing and selling products possible by pairing inventors with product designers and big manufacturing companies that can bring their ideas to life.
I joined Quirky as Design Director in 2012 and oversaw brand management, marketing, packaging, and platform design for the social development product startup. I led graphic design, photography, and web teams in their work creating the brand image for Quirky. I was then tasked with leading the brand’s complete redesign in the early part of 2013.
Visual identity strategy
During the research and discovery phase, the team and I identified a few key conceptual directions for the new brand. The concept we focused on was to create an identity for Quirky that aligned with the mission of "Making Invention Accessible." We identified the new brand's vision to be “By the people, for the people.” An identity that allows people to make their mark and participate with the brand at every level. And to further align with Quirky's large scale goals we wanted to create a movement where everyone is involved.
At the heart of the new visual identity lies a simple principle: that the one great equalizer in the creative field, the one all-embracing skill, is the ability to draw a stick figure. Anyone, anywhere can draw a basic figure, and at Quirky, we believed that the ability to invent should be just as universal.
The design team and I imagined a brand that changed every day. A brand that would make invention as accessible as drawing a stick figure. Our products would carry the stamp of each inventor. Our brand become an ever-changing representation of the people within the company and the larger community of the platform.
So we designed and released an avatar app and asked each community member to draw a simple picture, a unique identifier, which was combined with others to form a diverse, ever-changing pattern of the Quirky community. This change impacted every facet of the company, both physical and digital, from user profiles and web design to brand assets, consumer packaging, and retail displays.
The consumer product packaging went through a revolutionary design change, with the introduction of skin packing, a new kind of packaging that uses heated plastic to bind items to cardboard, creating a beautiful, eco-friendly form factor that’s truly one-of-a-kind. From the front, each unit appears as a standard retail box, but flip the card around and you’ll simply find the product revealed.
Our new identity also came to life using employees own stick figure drawings that got recorded during the recruiting process. When a new employee arrived on their first day, they were greeted with a welcome package, business cards, stationery, and swag all bearing their unique avatar.
One of the first reveals of the new branding was this pop-up store wallpaper teaser.
And a big part of the project was overseeing the application of the new Quirky branding on the product and platform.