In launching Yatta Checkout, we’ve reached a milestone; one we’ve been working toward for some time now. You might even have seen our (re-)branding interview in which we share some insights from the journey so far. At any rate, one thing is clear:
As we and our services evolve, so too must our brand.
Development is in our DNA
What we’re building is for a broad spectrum of stakeholders, but developers are at the heart of everything we do—and we want to keep this orientation.
In addition to this fundamental decision, we embarked on our branding journey with some other building blocks already in place: our Core Values, Culture Code and Manifesto.
The final thing we wanted to keep in focus (and the reason why we’re talking primarily about a brand evolution and not a rebrand) is our origin story.
Even if the changes in our visual language and parts of our offering are significant, we have preserved our core and essence—just giving it a more fitting shape.
Working with design specialists
To develop a visual language befitting of who we are and what we do, we carefully selected the right experts. Together with child, a product strategy and design studio, we conceptualized the new face of Yatta.
As with our previous work developing the Yatta brand, we were looking for a deep, collaborative and iterative process. We also wanted a good match in terms of UI/UX and brand design—because we didn’t want to lose sight of either once we got into the details.
With the right partners on board, we rolled up our sleeves and dived in.
Back in 2008 we were racking our brains over what to call our startup. Looking for something more than a fine-sounding artificial word, we stumbled across the powerful Japanese term “yatta,” which translates to “I/we did it”. Fans of the TV series Heroes will remember the scene where Hiro Nakamura stands in Times Square and shouts “yatta!”
One word conveying feelings of elation, excitement and achievement after getting the job done—exactly what we want to inspire in our partners, clients and team. Thus, Yatta was born.
This heritage stands out in our initial founding logo.
Obviously, this first logo was pre-seed and pre-launch—drafted without input from a designer. And that’s exactly what it needed: design. The outcome was the logo we used until now. It elegantly portrays the contradictions of our origin, of technology and of people, while remaining friendly and open. At the same time, the redesigned logo concealed its own origin; its relationship to our roots was less obvious.
Let us be clear: We loved our logo! It served us well. But times have changed—so have we, so has technology. Slick UI/UX and direct communication have become much more important. Therefore, our logo must adapt; to reflect change and development.
“A logo is not just a stamp but an artifact that brings a brand to life. As the foundation of the brand’s visual language, it, ideally, becomes part of the product experience itself and makes the brand vivid.”
—Thorsten Pfitzke, designer at child
We needed to evolve the things we already had to convey our origins more clearly. Taking our original logo as an anchor point, we explored what the visual future of Yatta could look like.
But we always came back to Hiro. Rooted in our origin story, he expresses exactly what we want to convey. That’s how we reached our new logo.
This is how we have evolved, so far.
With the logo in place, we had a great starting point to work on our visual language. But as a software engineering company, (almost) nothing happens by accident. So we built upon the three key ideas already in place in our logo:
The head—focused and sharp—representing thought.
The arms—dynamic and fluid—representing action.
The body—emotional and diffuse—representing emotion.
The elements show what we stand for as a team:
Thought—the head—refers to us as scientists.
Action—the arms—refers to us as makers and entrepreneurs.
Emotion—the body—refers to us as mensch.
Combined and united they show more than the sum of their parts. Their meaning also mirrors our software-engineering and problem-solving process: feel, think, act.
With this in mind, we extrapolated the shapes and colors that would form the foundation of our design—transporting a feeling of organic growth, energy and evolution.
But we’re still developers... We spend an inordinate amount of time staring at numbers, strings and Booleans, so we value well-crafted, appealing and functional code in our daily work. And therefore, we took the opportunity to customize a font that fits our brand and simultaneously meets our requirements for coding, too.
Together with René Bieder, we customized a font called Galano Grotesque, creating Hiro Grotesque and Hiro Mono—our very own monospace font.
Our custom fonts include some changes and additions that help our text represent who we are even better. For example, in Hiro Grotesque we changed the Y to look the way most people write it, added custom ligatures and more. And «Hiro Mono» is optimized for reading and writing code.
When you add all these things together—our logo, visual language and typography—assembled by and with a design studio and a lot of effort from the team, you get what you see here: a design system and visual feel that truly represent who we are and where we’re going.
Feel free to explore our website—and if you like what you see...we’re hiring! \o/
Development never stops; we’re always on the lookout for creative thinkers, great developers and bright individuals. Make sure to check out our open positions.
This brand relaunch is just the beginning. We plan to expand our offering on this new and exciting foundation—it’s going to be awesome.