October 4, 2010

Branding nGen Works

By Katy Garrison

After seven years in business, nGen’s original brand didn’t accurately represent us anymore. A new team with a new focus needed a new look.

After months of brainstorming, many sketches, long nights, and even longer Basecamp threads, we got there. We now have a system of marks, typefaces, layouts, colors and design elements that support our brand and communicate our value to our clients — experience, imagination and reliability.

nGen Works logo

I was drawn to the quiet confidence of an entirely typographic identity, which freed me to concentrate on the letter spacing, grid and proportions.

nGen Works logo construction

Taking inspiration from newspaper headline typography made the typeface selection fairly straightforward. Mercury, a contemporary serif with sharp corners and tight curves, felt like the perfect place to start. By refining the serifs to face forward and exaggerating the ears of the “g” and “r,” the typography itself became our identity.  

nGen Works horizontal logo construction

Crafting a monogram to complement the wordmark felt right from the beginning. I chose to lower the “W” for greater legibility and emphasize the diagonal strokes to unify the two letter-forms.

nGen Works monogram construction

As a small act of rebellion, I intentionally created flat graphics with vibrant colors to stand out in a market oversaturated with gradients.

nGen Works colors

I combined the crispness of Mercury with the toughness of Tungsten, a style mix that works because both evoke a classic Americana vibe. Together, they’re vibrant, strong and hardworking.

nGen Works typefaces

Graphic elements were inspired by vintage infographics. They provide a visual context for our simple messages and are part of the voice of the entire site.

nGen Works icon set

My goal was to represent nGen Works as it is today, while staying true to the boldness of its past and its promise for the future.

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