Research & strategy
Karen van der Kraats
For a small two years I worked at the core of WeTransfer's creative heart to build a design system that is able to scale across multiple products. In a tight knit team we built an identity that starts from a blank canvas and always feels on the move.
WeTransfer as a tool is almost stupidly simple. As one product strategist described it eloquently ‘Click, boom’. Moving files from one place to another. At the same time the product company was creating multiple tools to move those ideas along the entirety of the creative process. With the end goal to make the sharing, collecting and execution of ideas easier and more fun. For this growth trajectory WeTransfer needed a stronger and more flexible identity. One that is both visually bold and outspoken but can also exist in the background and be a platform for ideas to shine upon.
Our concept started (like many concepts do) on a blank canvas and the literal movement of ideas on and off that canvas. We wanted to celebrate the unique-ness of ideas and be a cheerleader to creators using our products. Because of this the foundation of the brand is black and white with a strong and opinionated voice and tone.
Omnipresent throughout the identity is a wobbly shape that expands and retracts over various media. We called it the “core shape” as it’s at the core of the movement of ideas. It's serviceable and always on the move, just like your ideas.
We collaborated with our friends from Grilli Type to work on a custom version of their GT Super Display typeface for the brand. We asked them to combine the wobbly “core shape” with old-school newspaper typography. We ended up with a bold and chunky font for our brand expressions providing a strong look to the expressive voice and tone that WeTransfer has always had. Read more on the typeface here.
My role within the consisted of co-art directing the type design by Grilli Type, building and maintaining the design system, working on product campaigns, and in general pushing forward how the identity would evolve over time. A lot of my work revolved around building a foundation where other team members would be able to design with. I built up a strong relation between the different product design teams and helped them align their design work. I oversaw major updates to Paste and Collect from a visual design perspective and helped them come closer together.
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