Create an ambitious, thought provoking and mysterious brand for a startup artificial intelligence company, borne in the tech-center of Austin, TX. This was the mission, brought to us by Hypergiant’s CEO Ben Lamm. We accepted it. And from the condensed, core idea of “retro-futurism”, we instigated a big bang for the new brand - forming its complete, creative universe.
We started down the road to retro-futurism by first amassing a collection of relevant imagery - depicting vintage space travel, odd gadgets that probably never worked and old, room-sized computers with lots of switches and knobs being operated by unidentified strangers. We also sought typefaces that spoke to the late 50’s when America believed in UFOs and the Air Force was investigating them. And finally, we crafted and spoke in a voice that elevated the story and encircled the brand into one central vortex of character and provocation.
Opening to rave reviews, Hypergiant the company was featured in well over 30 national and local publications - from news stations to Ad Week. Additionally, our work for Hypergiant was recently featured in Communication Arts, under their Webpicks category - representing a high-level of international acclaim for the creative.
Launching a Rocket
When you have a great client, you get do things like make rockets. In this case, the Hypergiant mark deserved not just any rocket - but a sleek, comfortably villainous rocket that makes you wish it was yours. Standing to the right of the rocket is the brand name stacked in two lines, typeset in a font that is both retro and modern. Fully completed, the logo conveys the entire brand in a singular unit. What it achieves in balance, it also achieves in artistry and character.
In addition to the mark, we see brand elements playing out across familiar spaces in unfamiliar ways. Bold color schemes. Retro collectors’ patches. Perplexing charts, schematics and infographics.
Signals From Space
Many think of branding as a mainly visual art. However, the truth is that brand creative is both visual and verbal. In simpler terms, what a brand says is just as important as how it looks. Because Hypergiant was starting from the ground up, we were able to create a complete brand structure - deep diving into voice and its application in visual work. Our process resulted in the writing of almost 150 headlines before the brand even launched - along with completed site copy and Brand Architecture. By the time company opened for business, it was ready to speak loudly, proudly and consistently in any medium.
Collateral cool enough to keep. That’s the best kind. Especially for a deserving brand such as Hypergiant. Indeed the basics are all here - brochures, t-shirts, business cards and “Thank You” cards. But they’re all built in non-basic ways. Plus we didn’t stop there. The full complement of collater-swag includes insulated water bottles, wall posters, skateboards and even astronaut ice cream. Neopolitan, of course.
Intentionally cluttered with layer after layer of design. Often times misleading. Ultra-complex. Promoting deliberately obstructed or omitted information. Most people wouldn’t call that a recipe for success. And they’re right. It’s a recipe for Hypergiant’s website and the launch has been far greater than “successful.” Already winning acclaim from Communication Arts as a “Webpick”, the site breaks most molds in both design and copy. But as any creative will tell you, first you must know and master the rules, before you know how to break them properly.
Ultimately, the site more than delivers on the promise of valuable content and case studies. The navigation is novel yet user-friendly. The design and programming provide seamless scalability of display without sacrifice in aesthetic. And the intricacies of the creative serve to further depth of brand - leading to longer and more exploratory user site visits.
Nothing to See Here
Inspiration for Hypergiant’s website was derived from the 1957 investigation undertaken by the United States Air Force known as Project Blue Book. This is where all the “Area 51” legends come from. As with most secret documents, Project Blue Book is infamous for it blatantt countliness redactions and omissions. This particular characteristic - along with a few type treatments and stylizations - carried over in full force to the Hypergiant site. Leading to an almost 50/50 split between declassified content and classified content which is either partially or fully redacted.
The artistic methods employed in the redactions varies from stamps, to hand-written words, to blackouts or Xs crossing out content. More fun than frustrating, this unique feature of the site actually says a lot about the brand by actually not saying anything at all.