Lob’s website experience is not optimized for Internet Explorer.
Please choose another browser.

Lob Culture
July 31, 2020

Meet the New Lob

It is my pleasure to introduce you to the new Lob. We are excited to reveal our updated brand identity, as well as key design decisions made along the way.

The launch of our new logo comes after thoughtful consideration of our values and how they are reflected in our brand. While our previous logo served its purpose for the company we once were, we wanted our brand to embody the business we’ve grown into. We believe our new logo will provide us stability through shifting trends, be accessible and recognizable across various mediums, and more accurately reflect our modern, reliable, and inclusive corporate identity.

Our fresh new face ✨

Why did we rebrand?

When Leore and Harry started Lob in 2013, we were serving 0 customers, had one API and were just barely getting started. Now, Lob is used by over 7,000 businesses of all sizes, from Fortune500 companies to newly minted startups, and has delivered mail to 1 in 4 homes in America.

Despite explosive growth and change, our brand remained unchanged. Late last year, we set out to question everything about our current brand, and if it represented all we do in transforming how companies connect their online and offline worlds. We recognized the need to build a new brand that not only served our company today, but could help take us into tomorrow.


Foundation

Where we started

Our original logo, untouched since Lob’s origin in 2013

Our original logo served us well as an early stage technology company. Since those early days, we have grown our team and customer base, diversified and expanded our set of values, and continue to pioneer innovation in the industry. Simply put, we outgrew our brand.

In addition, there were a few clear design improvement areas: the kearning could use tightening, the stroke thickness of the icon and wordmark could be normalized, and the icon colors either made to be more varied or all the same. But the biggest misalignment in our logo was that its sterile robotic aesthetic, while in itself fine, just didn't align with the warm and inclusive brand personality we have today.

Trying something incremental

Our first thought was to breathe new life into the old logo through a utilitarian rebrand, improving the aesthetic but keeping the core components unchanged. After some design explorations within this utilitarian rebrand space, nothing felt right. We soon recognized that the three-line icon motif, in any form, did not help define what Lob does, the brand we wanted to build, or our company values.

Pushing the envelope

We decided to push the envelope further, exploring different icon concepts altogether. Given Lob is a sophisticated  API company, with various products and more to come in the future, we couldn’t constrain our future selves with literal icon concepts (e.g., mail). The concept of Lobbing and/or an abstracted L for Lob were the only icon concepts we felt comfortable with.

While these are just a sampling of sketches made, we found no icon concepts to be sticky enough, or strong enough, or explain-what-we-do-at-glance enough, to validate the need to keep an icon+wordmark logo structure. So we unanimously decided not to.

Building out the brand

Once we decided to move forward with a wordmark  (and essentially a clean slate), we could begin to really nail down what we wanted our brand to reflect. Below are the 4 key tenets we used as parameters to ensure we were always on the right track —

Durability.

We wanted a logo that could withstand cyclical design trends, as well as unforeseeable industry, economic, and behavioral shifts.

Consistency.

Whether embroidered on swag or blown up on billboards, we wanted a logo with easy-to-maintain visual cohesiveness across all applications and use cases.

Reflective of our values:
  • Modernity
  • Chutzpah 
  • Reliability
  • Delight
  • Inclusivity
Recognizability.

Recognizably Lob!

Durability

It was important to us to have a timeless logo design, like a pair of white sneakers that are always in style and can go with just about anything.

We focused on a geometric sans serif construction, no icon, and monochrome coloring. Both icons and strong typographic personalities risk aging poorly, and multi-color themes are harder (and more expensive) to work with. Still, it required significant iteration to land on a truly durable mark that encompassed everything we viewed Lob to be:

Too consumer-y, Too delicate, Too playful
Just right! This feels reliable, modern, gender-neutral, friendly; has timeless durability; is easy to use for consistency; and is legible, of course.

Consistency

Not all Lobsters are designers. We wanted a logo that could scale easily, and work cohesively and consistently in all instances. This was something the team had struggled with in utilizing our original logo. 

By overlapping the letterforms, we could manipulate the logo’s height:width ratio so that it occupied 1:1 ratio settings (squares, circles) nicely. This way, we didn't have to dictate when to use icon, icon+wordmark, just wordmark, etc — in all touchpoints we can use the same Lob logo, stress-free and consistently. Even our favicon fits the full logo!

Very few things bring me more satisfaction than seeing our logo sit snuggly as a favicon

Reflect our Values

Modernity and Chutzpah

Lob is leading the charge in bringing mail to the 21st century, making the incredibly complex simple and easy breezy. We are bold disruptors, not afraid to shake things up.

Visually and phonetically, Lob doesn't occupy a lot of space. We wanted to use this attribute to our advantage, embracing our 3-letter name and empowering it with a strong presence — iconic; the person at the party that needs no introduction.

I designed the wordmark with a bold weight and modern sharp/round geometric shapes, overlapping letterforms and uniforming cap and ascender heights for a feeling of unison: the three letterforms blending into one unified shape, like a stamp.

Reliability

We chose a cerulean blue primary color to embody that hey – we are fun, but you can count on us to get the job done well every single time.

Delight

I vividly remember my first Lob visit. I walked through the office doors to Frank Ocean flowing like butter through the lobby, watching the Lobsters greeting each other (and me!) enthusiastically, and surprisingly well-dressed for San Francisco. The quirkiness, confidence, and warmth of the company overwhelmed me (and has remained strong to this day!). That is the feeling of Lob and what makes us as a team so special (and the cherry on top for why our customers and partners love us).

We made sure to reflect this feeling in our cool-toned color palette, balancing friendly and chipper with zen and calming.

On the left: Larry Lobster colored using our original (limited) palette; on the right: Larry Lobster colored using our new refreshed palette

Inclusivity

Power in Diversity is one of Lob's core values. We didn't win the Timmy award for Diversity for nothing — beyond having a team with a plethora of backgrounds and nationalities, there is a general feeling of 'Lob lets you be you'. Our brand aesthetic is gender neutral and intentionally designed to appeal to anyone!

Lob’s personas: Retention Rhonda, Technical Terry, and Product Peter

Recognizability

In addition to consistency across touchpoints, we wanted to be recognizably Lob. Below are some design-thinking 'rules' used as guidelines for a unique and consistent Lob visual design universe:

Rule #1: Monoline stroke weights

A monoline design has a consistent line weight from point A to point B. To be monoline, the line width needs to stay consistent. It can be thick, or it can be thin, but it can't be thick AND thin. Our wordmark style and brand typefaces are monoline, as are the strokes in our graphics.

Rule #2: Cut-outs

Inspired by paper cut-out art, our visuals are made up of unique 'cut-out' shapes, with an ever-so-subtle gradient twist.

Asking yourself "Could I cut this out with paper?" keeps our visuals crisp and consistent.

Rule #3: White space!

To reflect our software's simplicity and ease of use — as well as generally add more zen to the universe — we very intentionally surround ourselves and our designs with lots of white and blue-grey negative space (ahhhh). We apply color with intention, only choosing to add it when value is gained, such as with illustrations, graphs, CTAs, etc.

Conclusion

We are excited to have a new brand that makes us look the way we’ve felt for a long time. If you’ve read this far, you’re either a designer, my mother, or already (or about to be!) aware of how special Lob is. Thank you for reading.


Lobster love,

Emily


Continue Reading