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In 2021, more than 53 million Americans — about 1 out of every 3 workers — are freelancers. As one of the largest freelancing platforms, Upwork facilitates this increasingly prominent mode of work by connecting talent with a wide range of projects worldwide. Already a popular resource, Upwork’s impact has been particularly felt during an unprecedented global shift to remote work over the past year. The brand has never been more relevant, and they needed an identity to match — one that expressed not only formidable industry-leading experience, but also the professional relationships and vibrant community cultivated on Upwork.
Our rebrand is collaborative at its core. In partnership with Alto and talented illustrators, animators, and photographers, we sought to craft an identity that would communicate the brand’s authentic story of creative innovation, fostered talent, and human connection.
The concept of connection runs through the entire design system, perhaps most noticeably in a new logo for Upwork. Maintaining the iconic ligature between U and P, we brought together the previously separate words “up” and “work” into a single, monochrome mark. Set in a bespoke cut of Neue Montreal, it signals the arrival of a more refined and confident brand. Grounding the typographic system is Upwork Neue Montreal, a matter-of-fact sans serif; the custom serif Upwork RZA adds a warmer, personal sensibility. Working together, this pairing strikes a balance of technical precision and human warmth — a duality embodied in Upwork’s product.
Leveraging the recognizable Upwork green as the brand’s signature color, a more expansive color palette offers a wider range of expression with various tones and vibrancies. This new palette marks a shift away from a predictable corporate identity into a more unexpected creative space.
Balancing character with utility, an agile modular system allows the brand to seamlessly adapt to different contexts. Taking an editorial approach in key communication moments, the new identity puts freelancers front and center with a fresh library of brand photography that illuminates the real people at the heart of the platform.
This more human approach expresses a renewed understanding of the importance of community, taking Upwork from a transactional tech brand to a more earnest one; a brand of trust, expertise, innovation and creative confidence.