The Branding Process: Plott
Northwest Instruments is known for its impressive portfolio of commercial measurement and surveying systems. The company enlisted INK to create a new consumer brand for its smart measuring tools. INK was tasked with naming, positioning, and ultimately, developing the brand identity for the consumer brand. After surveying the company, performing a competitive analysis, and doing a good bit of research and brainstorming, we had a name – Plott.
The purpose of the brand is to empower creatives to think, share, and conspire within their environment. The name “Plott” is as much a reference to area and space as it is to scheming and planning within the creative process. By enabling you to visualize and sort dimensional data into the context of your environment, Plott guides its user and solves problems in real-time. It is a partner in your creativity, helping you see the possibilities of your environment and providing solutions that not only help you start you project, but to see them through to completion. With this positioning in mind, we began developing three identities, complete with logos, mood boards, and various mockups.
Plott’s key audience is the “Creative Do-er” who looks to technology to help them solve their problems and streamline their tasks. With this person in mind, we wanted to achieve the perfect blend of human creativity and sleek technicality. The first mark we developed referenced the importance of gathering and organizing inspiration and ideas in the creative process by integrating a paperclip into the design. The second mark was inspired by the technical nature of Plott’s products that help you understand a space. Thin lines and geometric shapes hint at the technical drawings of a blueprint. Lastly, the third identity combined creativity and technicality utilizing bold, primary colors and basic geometric shapes, complemented by luxurious textures and modern scenes.
Ultimately, the team chose a revised version of the third identity for its ability to best relate to the “Creative Do-er.” Geometric shapes are used to add a bold, graphic element that feels fun and approachable. Imagery is suggestively playful with bold colors and pattern, but also smart and sophisticated with stark contrasts. The Plott pallet leans heavily on the sharp contrast of black and white with accents of bright primary colors. When using color, the results are sophisticated, not elementary. Overall, the Plott identity is aspirational yet relatable to even the most novice DIYer.