Hustle is a grassroots, peer-to-peer text messaging platform that enables organizations to communicate directly with their supporters and build real relationships at scale.
Hustle had just come off of a landmark year with presidential campaign partnerships, a crazy political landscape, and plans to support a growing number of industries. The existing brand reflected the grassroots, gritty beginnings that they and many of their partners shared. Now that they'd grown significantly and were looking at the future, it was time to develop a brand identity that conveyed a more sophisticated product.
To get to the heart of Hustle, I started by asking questions. I wanted to know what problem the founders set out to solve from the beginning, where they ended up, and why. I surveyed the entire team with questions like, "what do people love about Hustle?" "what archetype represents Hustle the best?" and "how well do you think the current brand reflects these attributes?" The answers to these questions gave us guideposts to begin building a brand that reflected the unique characteristics, values and future goals of the organization.
Hustle's brand seeks to make its users feel:
connected & impactful.
As I began refining early logo concepts, it became apparent that the founders had very different style preferences. I felt that with a name like "Hustle," we needed a logotype that felt strong enough to stand alone without a mark. The challenge was really to create something both unique and timeless, both techy and tactile.
After sketching every imaginable wordmark, these were the three wildly different concepts that I shared with the founders. We decided that the far right was the strongest & most unique, but felt too stylized. We kept most of the supporting elements from this direction (fonts, colors, icons) but went a different direction with the logotype.
Our original logotype felt approachable, easy, and quick. The new logotype builds upon those qualities with a modern, italicized slab-serif. Handwritten yet polished; personal yet powerful. The connection of the "us" letters seeks to highlight Hustle’s focus on genuine human relationships.
I encouraged the team to view the flag mark as a reminder of "why we hustle." For the company and its partners, it is intended to be a symbol of pride, connection to a cause, and a common message.
THE BIG PICTURE
our work is far from over.
I submitted my project proposal to Hustle the day of the 2016 presidential election. When the results came through, I wasn't sure whether the project would still move forward at all. We reconvened to go over the plan, and Roddy (one of Hustle's founders), was quick to assure us that Hustle's work was far from over...and, in fact, more important than ever. That really stuck with me throughout the project. I'm really proud of the whole team & can't wait to see what the future holds for Hustle.
a few shoutouts
Hustle is an amazing group of truly dedicated humans. Major thanks to Roddy, Perry, Matthew, and Chris -- it has been a privilege to work with you.
Kelsey Aroian is an independent marketing & brand strategist sent from heaven. Let's work together again ASAP.
Darius & the team at Webnique did the custom WordPress site, and were awesome to work with from across the pond.
Designer Fund connected me to Hustle and provided support & critique throughout the rebrand. Ben Blumenfeld & Enrique Allen are not only committed to investing in amazing designer-led companies, they somehow find time to provide ongoing mentorship to us Bridge Alums.