Rebirth of Keystone – Building a Reactive Logo

Roundarch had an intranet years ago called Keystone, which evidently, was very slow, unappreciated and under-utilized. I, of course, didn’t experience any of this because I’m kind of new here – a lot of us are. We’re growing. And as the company grows so do our internal knowledge/client management needs. Enter the rebirth of Keystone, our confluence-based intranet.

Like most brand refreshes, we needed a clean slate to convey what keystone is all about: a new brand touch-point to ignite excitement. The challenge here was to create something a little out of the ordinary yet something that embodied what keystone is (part intranet, part wiki, part client presentation tool). The difficulty is that keystone is ever-changing, it’s never the same twice. Content is constantly in a state of flux. So are the users. So we set out to reinforce and promote innovation and creative thinking by thinking a little differently about what the logo should be.

It’s difficult to design the shapes and lines of a logo to visually represent something so ethereal as a digital space for sharing/mixing/provoking work/viewpoints/ideas, so we designed the logo to offer the user a glimpse into the inner workings of keystone. The logo mark itself is a visualization of the real-time activity taking place in each of Roundarch’s Communities of Practice. After all, a wiki without activity or an intranet without files doesn’t have a shape and therefore isn’t alive. But by giving form to these parameters floating in the ether, we were able to ground these concepts in something solid – the logo. Each triangle changes size and shape based on certain input parameters being returned to it from the confluence database. It’s not interactive, but reactive.

By choosing a color palette that is vibrant and on-brand, and assigning a color to each of Roundarch’s Communities of Practice, we developed a system whereby, at a glance, a user can see how active each of keystone’s pillars really are – and by extension – can judge keystone’s overall health by looking at the size, shape and placement of each of the triangles. The logo mark doesn’t just tell the story of health, it’s a visual representation of the mixing and converging of diverse opinions and views. By sharing a common boundary, each shape and each color tells their own story while being self-referential and self-reinforcing – like a round arch.