Placeholder is a digital marketplace for industrial real estate. They help companies monetize and access underutilized warehouse space at a time when e-commerce and supply chain changes are creating more need than ever before for flexible access to space.
40% of leased warehouse space (or more) often sits empty due to companies overbuying space, seasonal usage, or changes in requirements. Since companies are still paying for this space, they look for new ways to utilize it to help offset their rental costs. Placeholder started their business to create a way for companies to monetize their unused space by renting it out to others on a flexible basis. They approached us to help them create a unique and consistent brand identity that would help establish the name Placeholder as an actual brand and not as a placeholder name.
Concept & Strategy
We kicked off the project by holding a brand strategy workshop with the leadership team, where we helped them define their brand mission, vision, purpose, values, and brand personality. The overall concept was to combine traditional warehouse imagery and translate it into a modern, friendly, and reliable brand that would appeal to everyone from tech-savvy to traditional tenants and landlords.
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Since the brand name could be mistaken as a placeholder name, we wanted to give it added meaning by using the logo to encapsulate what Placeholder does. The isotype is shaped like a bold letter 'P', inside which you can discern the letter 'H'. Fittingly the symbol also acts as a location pin on a map. Finally, the internal forms evoke the concept of order and stackability.
The color range is clean, minimalistic, and elegant, directly relating to the sector with the bright orange. We have established two primary colors: Ignition Orange and black, with the secondary color Concrete Gray. White Ghost is used as our background color, and a range of grays is used for UX purposes.
The challenge was finding an adequate typography that would stand out from other startups while being relevant to the target audience. After several iterations and discussions, we decided that the best way to create a unique brand personality for Placeholder was to create their very own font that would match the entire visual identity and logo. We use two typefaces, the custom typeface Placeholder Sans and the sans serif typeface Karla. We use Placeholder Sans for headlines and display, and Karla for body text, call-to-actions, and any instances where we want to focus the user’s attention.
Since we are working with real spaces, it was clear to us from the beginning that photography would constitute the major imagery. For the photographs, the focus was on clean spaces and warehouse interiors where the orange color is present to match the visuals of the brand.
We also handcrafted a set of icons that are consistent with the logo and typeface. Simple, light, and friendly, they communicate the core idea or component of the brand. While each icon is visually distinct, all icons maintain consistency in terms of line weights and visual style.
A brand comes to life once its identity is applied to different touchpoints. For the branding exercise we did for Placeholder, we created visuals for their OOH, print, and digital ad campaigns, as well as providing guidelines for future usage of the brand elements. The Placeholder team were especially thrilled when we showed them their merchandise.
"They went above and beyond for us during the brand refresh project."
It's a rare case when you can not only get incredible results but also enjoy every single stage of a process that's uniquely well-orchestrated and efficient.