While branding is mostly about set rules, design systems and consistency, the Editor X brand champions change and agility above all. A little over a year since our launch, we wanted to look back at the branding work that made Editor X what it is, and the ongoing work that allows it to develop into what’s to come.
As an advanced web creation platform built for professionals, Editor X poses a unique challenge and opportunity for the team crafting its visual identity. “As designers ourselves, we’re our own target audience,” says Amit Asulin, Head of Editor X Brand, “so it was important for us that the brand speaks our language and that we truly relate to it.”
"As designers ourselves, we’re our own target audience, so it was important for us that the brand speaks our language and that we truly relate to it.”
- Amit Asulin, Head of Editor X Brand
An agile brand built for scale
Good branding requires the design and content teams to work in close sync and collaboration. In the case of Editor X, all stakeholders involved agreed that the brand should be dynamic from the start.
“As a relatively small team of writers, designers and product specialists, we’re extremely agile,” says Content Lead Maria Hayday. “Our technology is constantly innovating and so are we, so we wanted the brand to reflect that, and feel like it’s ready to evolve at any second.”
This decision led to a somewhat unconventional branding approach, where the color palette, typography and grids didn’t come in until later in the process. “Working as a team, we each poured our hearts and intuition into the work at first, until the most relevant styles just naturally caught on,” says Amit. “The clear rules and brand book followed suit, but when they eventually did come in, it was from a much deeper, well-reasoned place.”
A product-first approach
The team’s first step was carrying out extensive research. Starting with the mandatory competitor analysis, the hunt for inspiration quickly branched out into everything from art to fashion to vintage instruction manuals. “We gathered so much knowledge and tools that we were eager to put into practice, we just didn’t know what shape they’re going to take on just yet,” says Amit.
From looking outwards, came time for introspection. The Editor X product and the creative freedom it offers are the backbone of the work that we do, and the branding had to arise — and keep evolving — from that very core.
The team deliberated over important questions, from deciding on the brand’s name to it’s language and essence, and striking the right balance between its different values and elements — how edgy do we want to be? How technical, or how serious?
These conceptual discussions took on a more concrete form once the first assets came along, followed by design briefs and deadlines. With the product’s launch in New York around the corner, the team got started on a website homepage and the design of a real-life exclusive event. It was time to put theory into practice.
But first, a logo
A logo is, without doubt, the single most important asset for any brand. There can be something intimidating about trying to encapsulate a brand’s mission, values and tone in a design that will sometimes be as small as 20x20 pixels.
The Editor X logo stemmed from the letter X, whose sharp angles and negative-shape triangles feel techy and carry the promise of motion. After multiple iterations, the design team created a right-pointing arrow that seems forward thinking, as if spearing ahead.
From there, they refined and perfected the design with the help of various teams within the company. The team worked with animators to breathe life into the logo, which opened up new interpretations and showed off the versatility of the design.
Together with the UX team, they checked all logo placements within the product, and assessed their various needs accordingly. This led to the creation of several versions of the same logo, which would all coexist under the same brand — a simplified 2D version for web and product, and a more complex 3D logo for social media, live events and more.
Other logo versions include a full wordmark and the isolated X letterform. Coinciding with the vision of the brand as dynamic, a logo that can take on different forms felt only fitting.