WeEncourage


Brief summary
WeEncourage is a Helsinki based startup that utilises state-of-the-art technology (AI and Blockchain) to empower girls and women around the world. They are creating a global community of impact makers, as well as an incentivising system for families to send their daughters to school.

When I joined the team in autumn 2019, my first task was to define a visual language for WeEncourage. I designed the key brand elements, such as colours, typography, iconography, logos and various templates with detailed guidance on how and when to use them. Once the key elements were in place, I created business cards, illustrations, stickers and animations to promote the young brand to an international audience. A little further into my internship, I went on to collaborate on the UI/UX with fellow designer Kristina and CTO Phi.


The logo


The logo is a visual metaphor for realising one's full potential. It’s inspired by the journey from caterpillar to butterfly, a symbol of endurance, change, hope and life to people around the world. The three squares could also be viewed as a chain of blocks in a blockchain network; or in a wider sense, technology as a whole. They stand for innovation, resilience and predictability. These values, squared with spontaneity, fun and human interactions, make up the identity of WeEncourage.


The palette



We decided to go with a colour palette that is fresh, hopeful and inspiring. Searching for the right colours was a winding journey that took us through a number of iterations. There were many things to consider, like understanding the psychological effects that colours have on the viewer, or avoiding too much likeness with other brands. Moreover, it was vital for us to find a palette of colours that truly reflect what the brand stands for.



Typefaces


I designed custom letters for the logotype, so that it would have a distinct character while also harmonising with the logomark. The letter ‘e’ borrows its shape from the butterfly’s wing. The lower half of the logotype is written in D-DIN regular, a font that I value for its simple, legible and unadorned design. It balances out the more quirky looking custom letters.


The initial plan was to use the D-DIN family as the primary font family across the brand. For practical reasons we went with DM Sans, however, since we are, at least for the time being, constrained by the availability of fonts on Google Docs.


Illustrations



I created a small collection of illustrations as a complementary part of the design system. Since the team composition is always changing at WeEncourage, with new interns joining and leaving every few months, it was all the more important to define a clear visual language with a cohesive mood and style. I went with simple flat style illustrations that relate a sense of community, friendship and empowerment. For the technical illustrations, I explored a more photo-realistic style. It got me wondering whether it’s best to keep the visual language as simple as possible by chosing only a single style, or if it makes sense to combine two distinct illustration styles into one cohesive visual language.


UI/UX


About halfway into my internship, our international team had grown significantly, and I was able to focus on the web design. I benchmarked a number of existing fundraising platforms while examining what might set the successful ones apart from the rest. I studied our target audience, defined personas, created user journeys, flowcharts, wireframes, and a UI library. When my intership was nearing its end, my teammates Kristina and Laura-Maaria took it from there. I’m excited to see what they create!

Illustration by Kristina Mancheva

The team


The growing team at WeEncourage is always happy to take new interns on board. If you are curious to experience what it’s like to work in a startup and you think you’ve got the right set of skills, you are always welcome to reach out to Anna or Sharmili! You can also read more about their mission over on medium!



Thank you for reading!


Tools used
Adobe Illustrator
Adobe Photoshop
Adobe InDesign
Adobe Animate
Sketch
Blender
Creative Fields
Branding
UI/UX
Published
January 2020
Mark