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StepZen

A fresh new look and site for a startup of ex-Googlers.

The main challenge of this project was hitting a look, feel, and tone that was bold and technical, yet still soft and approachable.

Homepage preview for StepZen
Site preview for StepZen
StepZen logo with text
Preview of mark on different backgrounds
Preview of custom icons for StepZen

The folks at StepZen, a group of lovely ex-Googlers, reached out looking for a new brand identity and marketing site for their new developer product. They needed a new identity that is fun, simple, and conveys energy and connectivity to resonate with this audience.

It was clear after initial sketches that there was something special about the flow of an S and Z together, creating a space of endless opportunities to explore, pitch, and iterate upon. In the end, we narrowed in on the symbol that was softer and less busy than initial sketches. The font used is Rehn Condensed Regular and it was a perfect match from the start, feeling technical (but not overly so) and condensed to eliminate long and awkward spacing within the letters of the name.

Through a journey of unused icons, we were able to evolve from a more nature approach to possiblity speak to a “zen” experience and to dots to convey movement, before exploring and deciding on manipulating code brackets to depict the shapes of an S and Z.

Visual exploration of unused icons, including a leaf and dots arranged as S and Z letters

For the site, we decided that lots of whitespace with punches of bright yet still calming colors was the right fit—fostering a zen experience with also remaining exciting but avoiding a “lifestyle” brand direction.

We continue to work with these folks on evolving marketing and product design needs. In December of 2020 StepZen landed $8M in funding and we couldn’t be more excited for them.

Abstract outlined cubes with white lines and gradients
Abstract outlined cubes with white lines and gradients
Abstract outlined cubes with white lines and gradients
Abstract outlined cubes with white lines and gradients

Requirements

  • Illustrations
  • Technical feel
  • Iconography
  • Brand identity
  • Art direction
  • UI/UX