Homepolish is the visual adventure of designer Leo Porto in creating the identity for the interior design start-up.
The visual identity of Homepolish will be the first project to open the branding related discussions. With their help we will hopefully get a perspective behind the design of each identity, to better understand what makes some projects more appealing and effective then others.
It got my attention because of its design and direct visual connection with the activity of the New York based start-up.
With the help of Leo, the designer behind the identity, you will get to know what everything is about.
Who is Homepolish? What does it do?
Homepolish is an interior design start-up based in New York that was conceived as an alternative to the high-priced, commission-based interior designer. They take a new approach to interior design by bringing expert designers – recruited from the top firms and schools in the country with an affordable $50 visitation fee. They have been around for just 1 year and are growing rapidly in the US. With waitlists for new project, they currently work in New York City, Brooklyn, Long Island, Jersey City, Washington DC, San Francisco, Boston, Miami and Los Angeles.
“The company’s goal is to flip the interior design industry on its head by making premium design services available to everyone — residential and commercial. — no matter the budget”, says co-founder Noa Santos.
Why did they approach you? What was the problem?
I was contacted through Behance to design the new visual identity of Homepolish. They felt that their previous identity was not cohesive with the company’s nature. The main concern was that their original logo was too generic and “editorial-chic”, when their attitude was “easy and affordable”. They wanted to separate themselves from the high-end interior designers. So the task was to create something that wasn’t super luxurious but didn’t look cheap either.
Part of the challenge was the fact that the Homepolish team consists of 75 interior designers with different styles and perspectives working for clients with different styles and perspectives. So the logo had to be neutral enough to hold up to any king of imagery and design aesthetic – but could not look generic or unoriginal. They asked for a symbol as opposed to just a wordmark like they had initially. It had to be a mark that would relate to Homepolish in a memorable way, while still being simple enough to work in small applications such as web and social media icons.
“The logo and brand need to be stronger without overpowering the interior design work. Our images are our strong point so our brand should be strong but should function as a canvas on which to showcase our design variety. Our logo (symbol) has to appear as a watermark (lower right) on all of our images as well – a mix between the editorial qualities of a design company and the approachable qualities of a startup. “
What was your process to get to the final symbol? (I find the relation between the initials and the room structure really interesting!)
Before the rebrand, the company was called HomePolish, with an uppercase P. So with that in mind, I started to play with the initials “HP”, always keeping in mind that it couldn’t read as “H-P” because of Hewlett-Packard. So I pushed it further and tried abstract the HP enough so that initials would still be present in the design, but not in a legible form. After I got to the shape, I tweaked it until I thought the proportions of the rectangles were visually pleasing. I hadn’t realized it looked like a floor plan until much later. It was then when I realized it would probably be the winning concept.
What can you tell us about the colors? Where do they fit in the strategy?
They requested that I chose one accent color that would be used in their stationary and web. It was a though choice because as I mentioned earlier, the identity had to be neutral enough to work with any kind of interior design. It couldn’t be too masculine or too feminine, couldn’t too playful or too serious, etc. It was fairly quick. After doing some color studies, the teal/turquoise color felt like the perfect one. I presented it to the client and they felt the same way.
What was the feedback?
The client responded very positively to the symbol from the start, when I presented four other directions. Minor changes were made to the symbol since the first presentation. They are very happy about their new look.
Who is Leo Porto?
I am a 20-year-old graphic designer from Brazil. I was born in Rio de Janeiro but lived most of my life in São Paulo. I am currently based in New York City where I study graphic design at the School of Visual Arts. I am very passionate about branding and anything print related. You can find out more about Leo on his website, see his work on behance or just follow him on twitter @leoporto92.