The new standard.

Licensing today is a dizzying patchwork of laws and inconsistencies. Enter APPROVED, a new licensing capability for financial services companies, from a leading financial services law firm. APPROVED is designed to make every aspect of the financial services licensing process better, and they needed a brand experience that felt different from anything else in the market. Inspired by the patchwork as a visual metaphor, we developed a comprehensive brand identity that defined their new approach and captured their unique personality.

Core Services: Research | Brand Strategy | Identity Design | Brand Positioning & Messaging | Design | Website

The challenge: standing out in a grey, transactional field.

No one starts a financial services company for the joy of getting licensed. APPROVED turns a daunting, complex process into one that’s clear and straightforward. A new brand licensing identity had to distinctly reflect these exceptional abilities and their unique methodology. And complement the other brand we’d developed for them. Enter the checkmark. It’s a simple visual construct with a strong, definitive shape. One that distills the APPROVED promise to a single element that succeeds as both a logo and a symbol.

A metaphor for navigating the confusion of licensing.

A checkmark—while powerful— would never be distinct enough to demonstrate APPROVED’s prowess. To amplify it, we needed something more. We wanted a visual metaphor to reflect the complex—and shifting—landscape of financial licensing. We found just what we needed in the pattern. A dominant visual element, the pattern is a seamless mix of shapes and colors, ideas and concepts. The resulting tapestry works in applications of all sizes—a clear visual representation of how APPROVED meets their clients’ licensing needs.

Translating an experience to an online identity.

The design construct renders flawlessly on the screen, for a fresh licensing firm web design and highly engaging online presence. This immersive web experience, executed successfully under a tight deadline, bucks the staid, conventional trends in this space. Key messages get delivered in digestible soundbites and simple visuals. Soft animations and motion add subtle energy. Highly modular components allow for full screen views and a seamless responsive experience across devices. A flexible CMS means APPROVED can keep their content up-to-date while demonstrating their thought leadership.

Sustaining the right energy across a brand licensing package.

The APPROVED brand breathes life into a dull space, adding energy to everything it lands on. Easy-to-replicate, fun, exciting juxtapositions deliver their messaging. Playful executions, with heavy applications of color balanced with clean typography, keep things interesting and legible. In a crowded market, they stand out, on brochures, business cards, tradeshow elements. And everything in between. APPROVED has a flexible, sustainable look designed to attract the right kind of attention.

Ready for whatever lies ahead.

The right brand experience elevates and changes perceptions around any industry or challenge.  Grey and transactional was replaced by lively, colorful and energetic. APPROVED now has a vivid persona that illustrates how APPROVED makes things happen, i.e. how they get clients APPROVED. The checkmark helps distill their brand promise to their three core ideas – smarter process, broader perspective, better experience. The look and the construct of the pattern extends easily into other applications, laying the foundation for ideas and metaphors still to come.