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Design Deep-Dive: The Art & Science of Iterable’s New Logo

When I first interviewed at Iterable, I was drawn to the opportunity to have an impact on the brand of a hugely promising organization. What really sealed the deal, however, was the people. The talent and industriousness in everyone that I talked to was balanced with kindness, warmth and authenticity. It was clear that Iterable was a company where, truly, the sky was the limit.

Today, more than a year later, I’m more excited than ever to debut our new brand, which is a reflection of just how limitless Iterable’s future truly is.

Animated Iterable logo

Why Rebrand, and Why Now?

As our CEO and co-founder Justin explained, Iterable needed a logo that reflected the true value of its product as succinctly as its name does. The business has matured in the seven years since its founding, and our brand needed to mature with us.

Iterable’s leaders have always held a strong, unwavering point-of-view on the marketing technology industry and how they conduct business within it. Our value proposition is well-defined and we are at the size and scale now that we can carry it with confidence.

Any company can say that their look is “new and improved,” but our audience of marketers can tell when a rebrand is genuine. That’s why authenticity was so central to our design process, and here’s why I believed that we succeeded.

How We Got Here

The first part of every design process is research. I interviewed dozens of employees, from all walks of life—new hires and Iterable OGs, folks from every department, even a dedicated focus group with underrepresented and marginalized communities.

The goal was to gain an understanding of what makes us tick—not an aspirational version of our brand, but who we really are at heart. 

Most of the questions I asked were qualitative in nature:

  • If Iterable were an animal, what would it be? Why?
  • What would be Iterable’s theme song?
  • Imagine Iterable as a person: What do they look like? What’s on their Spotify playlist? What did they want to be when they grew up?
  • Now imagine Iterable in 15 years: What’s different?

This research was illuminating and ultimately allowed us to measure Iterable’s positioning on various dichotomies: where we ranked on the lines between exclusive and accessible, corporate and friendly, understated and bold. 

The result? A thoughtful, well fleshed-out brand personality defined by five core attributes.

Iterable's brand personality

Iterable’s 5 core attributes of its brand personality.

Iterable’s Brand Personality

Unlike our four corporate values which help maintain Iterable’s culture, personality attributes determine how Iterable would be characterized if it were a human being. They function like a north star, and help us express ourselves consistently and authentically.

Condensing hours of research into a specific personality was as much an art as it was psychology. With too few traits, your personality is bland and undefined. Too many, and they become meaningless. We settled on five, but what’s more important than the individual traits is how they balance one another:

  • Focused. We pursue ambitious goals, break conventional wisdom and are driven to get things right. We embrace challenges, take risks and are unwilling to compromise performance—however, our outlook is decidedly positive, and we don’t take ourselves too seriously.
  • Playful. Iterable enjoys finding pleasure in work. Light-spirited and unpretentious, we’re attracted to puzzles, exploration and experiments. We’re always asking “What if?” and “What’s next?”
  • Humble. We are genuine, approachable and easy to talk to. We dislike pretense, and favor authentic connections over standing on ceremony. Our work ethic is intense and we take pride in our accomplishments, but ultimately we see ourselves as collaborators.
  • Upbeat. Optimistic and confident, we take pride in energizing and motivating others. A grounded, can-do attitude helps us cut a path forward despite long odds or obstacles.
  • Brilliant. Our teams place a high value on innovation and embody both analytical and intuitive decision-making. Rooted in humility, we prefer to demonstrate this in ways that make others look and feel smart, rather than tooting our own horn.

How do these five brand personality attributes inform our design decisions? We make sure we express them in a manner that is well-crafted and unpretentious by using fresh layouts with a sense of movement; vibrant, saturated colors; and simple, precise use of content.

A Generative Approach

The conventional approach to designing a logo is to create a static image and use it in the exact same way with all forms of media. However, today’s leading brands don’t just design logos—they build complete, seamless experiences across all points of engagement.

A brand isn’t expressed in a single image, but rather in the content you read, the events you host, and every other method of building deeper relationships with your customers. And when it comes to our customers, Iterable’s logo does what its name suggests—it iterates.

Iterable's logo constellations

The generative approach to Iterable’s new logo.

The concept of a generative brand—with a logo that dynamically changes according to its application—isn’t new, but it hasn’t been widely adopted, because it goes against what most folks understand a logo to be. And it can be risky; if poorly implemented, the brand can look confusing and chaotic.

But once again, the team impressed me with their ability to embrace non-traditional methods (if you’re a designer and you’re reading this, you know what a rare joy that is). The next step was to bring in the right people to help us pressure test and refine the concept. Our partners at Teak, a creative agency based in San Francisco, brought a level of experience and insight that was absolutely crucial in bringing this brand to life.

Their team was a perfect personality fit from the start, and they worked seamlessly with us at all stages of design development. They literally opened up their studio to me, and I’m eternally grateful for the many brainstorms, working sessions and the limitless supply of pink Starbursts and LaCroix. Seriously, hire them!

The End Result

If you’ve ever worked on a rebrand before, then you understand the tendency to imbue meaning into every aspect of a logo’s construction. Our team can indeed provide a highly detailed rationale behind the colors we chose, what they represent, and why they’re positioned as they are.

Ultimately, however, the driving force behind all our collective decision-making comes down to who we are:

  • The colors are upbeat and playful
  • The generative format is witty and agile
  • The wordmark is strong and industrious

I couldn’t be happier with what our team has accomplished with this new brand, because I believe unreservedly that it is an honest and true reflection of the people and values that make up Iterable’s culture. Design trends will come and go, but this logo is a faithful portrait of who Iterable is—and I couldn’t be more proud to have been a part of it.

If you think our new logo is cool, wait until you see the Iterable platform.

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