10.11.2011 Inhouse

Simple Branding

We are now Sim­ple. We love our name and the high stan­dard it sets. We’d like to share some of our thoughts on our new visual iden­tity and how it rep­res­ents our com­pany and philosophy.


Our old mark—a sty­li­zed wallet—did not ade­qua­tely con­vey our mis­sion to sim­plify the finan­cial lives of our cust­o­mers. A tra­di­tio­nal wal­let is not a tool for sim­pli­fi­ca­tion. In fact, we took this idea a step fur­ther and will include a mini­ma­list rubber-band and chip­board “wal­let” with every Sim­ple card we ship—perfect for hol­ding a card and some cash.


Our updated logo had to be sim­ple while still making a state­ment about who we are. It had to be beau­ti­ful and func­tio­nal in a variety of con­texts. It also had to grow with us—we’re a com­pany in its infancy with mas­sive plans. For this rea­son and others we deci­ded to craft our iden­tity in-house.


This new iden­tity says a lot about us, our history and how we work.


The Icon

The Sim­ple icon is a basic guil­lo­che pat­tern meant to resem­ble a torus or ring. A guil­lo­che is a com­plex pat­tern crea­ted from sim­ple, repea­ted, geo­me­tric steps defined by ele­men­tary equa­ti­ons. It’s this easily gene­ra­ted, dif­fi­cult to repro­duce intri­cacy that has led to a guil­lo­che appearing in some form on most of the world’s cur­rency. It is a sign of authen­ti­city and secu­rity. That their intri­cate beauty is deri­ved from under­stan­da­ble, algo­rith­mic methods is what drew us to guil­lo­che pat­terns and ulti­mately led us to rep­re­sent our com­pany and mis­sion with one.


It is no acci­dent that our mark can be gene­ra­ted mathematically—variations are just an equa­tion tweak away. By alte­ring para­me­ters such as repe­ti­ti­ons, ampli­tude, fre­quency and scale we are able to create new ver­si­ons of our indus­trious icon. Whe­ther we are sym­bo­li­cally rep­re­sen­ting a par­ti­cu­lar data set or sim­ply gene­ra­ting a ver­sion more sui­ta­ble for a dif­fe­rent app­li­ca­tion, our mark remains fle­xi­ble and agile.


The Type

The type­face in the new Sim­ple logo is a slightly modi­fied Gotham by Hoef­ler & Frere-Jones. The font, inspi­red by early 20th cen­tury Ame­ri­can signage, is a strai­ght­for­ward and honest type­face. A font inspi­red by 1900s crafts­manship and sim­p­li­city, made rele­vant again using modern tech­no­logy. Sound familiar?