Welcome to the case study of the corporate identity of Amastelek Technologies. Here we will take you through the design process that occurred in order to communicate this brand's message and how we developed the identity in line with the client's brief and vision.
We will explain the formation of the logo mark and symbolism, colour scheming, typography and branding of the project.
The name - 'Amastelek'
The name 'Amastelek' in Amastelek Technologies came about from an African word meaning 'strong'. The company's core business deals with technology, IOT and data systems. A strong IT security system is crucial to the running of many high risk businesses, and thus the name aims to convey that their products are inherently strong at guarding against malware and other technological threats.
Sticking to this message of strength, and the traditional name behind it, we thought what better way to portray the brand as "strong as an ox." Many African cultures prize cows and oxen and they form a crucial role in daily life. In Sepedi belief systems, according to PhD candidate Uhuru Phalafala, “the cow’s function is to connect, to bridge, to invoke."
"Strong as an ox."
So, with a clear appreciation for the African culture and language, it felt natural to draw more symbolism from the source of name "Amastelek." The ox head thus became the main source of symbolism both in form and colour.
The first version of the ox was more realistic and while it was a pretty, and elegant ox head, it did not scream strength and boldness. With more stylisation, the form began to develop through increased but meticulous simplification until only a slight reminder of an ox's horns were left.
The shapes formed from the ox head lent themself naturally to the formation of an abstract and inverted 'A', and 'T' from the horns.
With this, the symbol finally took a turn to something that portrayed the vision of the brand - a bold, strong image that did not succumb to literal interpretation, and instead built upon the original inspiration into something unique only to Amastelek Technologies.
Still drawing from the robustness of the ox, the primary colour in the logo became a raw sienna / burnt orange colour which was then paired with the grey shades in technology. The majority of the logo had already placed enough emphasis on the 'strength' symbolism, so the need for a tie to technology and the corporate sphere required the use of a more subtle colour, not only to provide some contrast to the burnt sienna to let it pop, but also to ground the image as modern, and clean. With this in mind, two slightly warm greys were included to complement the primary colour.
The symbol stands out amongst other tech companies and being warm in nature, conveys strength, durability and toughness from its innate character.
We then turned towards typography that was modern and easily legible online, as this is where it would primarily be viewed, while still being inviting and not too rigid. It was important that the title typeface was easily legible to ease reading of the difficult name "Amastelek." The sans-serif typeface 'Ubuntu' was used in the titling (in Medium font).
'Ubuntu' is by a London-based type foundry Dalton Maag, and is a contemporary style typeface particularly suited to online use and legibility. This typeface also drew from the African inspiration of the brand, and tended to make us feel "taken care of" and "trusting," the feelings that we envisioned and hope that clients would feel when seeing the image as a whole.
The sub-title was then used to balance the logo mark, title and subtitle into one image. The use of a typography classic, 'Avenir' (in Book font), a slightly organic and geometric sans-serif type, helped achieve this aim.
Continuing the bold colour choice, the same symbolic aims applied in the letterhead and business card design. The designs provide clear and easy interpretation to the viewer of what Amastelek Technologies stands for, and though simple, are effective to stand out in a stack and communicate strength loud and clear!
The client loved our minimal and abstract portrayal of the brand message, and we feel that it accurately accomplished all goals that were ideated. Sans complicated and intertwined stories, the boldness from the client's brief "strong like an ox" ... translated perfectly into a project meant for The Lucky Moon. Our ethos is based on natural and minimal symbolism, and so to draw from animal forms and simple but meaningful tradition, both client and The Lucky Moon were pleased with the result. A meeting of the minds came from the start and the project overall was a pleasure to create.
Tools used: Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Photoshop
Design process: Inspiration, Investigation, Experimentation, Frustration, Illumination and Creation. (The idea is communicated, then researched and developed, then sketched and manipulated, then tested against its aim, then recreated and edited and finally resolved and presented.)
Written and designed by Tamara de Jong
The Lucky Moon™
Cows: The sacred and the profane. (2016). [Blog] Mail&Guardian. Available at: https://mg.co.za/article/2016-04-07-cows-the-sacred-and-the-profane [Accessed 21 May 2019].
En.wikipedia.org. (2019). Avenir (typeface). [online] Available at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Avenir_(typeface) [Accessed 21 May 2019].
En.wikipedia.org. (2019). Ubuntu (typeface). [online] Available at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ubuntu_(typeface) [Accessed 21 May 2019].