Early in 2019, I was tasked with developing a brand identity for Azavea’s newest innovation: a SaaS product for labeling imagery – specifically satellite imagery. There are many excellent labeling tools, but there none developed with geospatial data as the star, and that’s where GroundWork came in.
Starting the branding process
The team had chosen the name based on the idea that labeling data sets the “groundwork” for every machine learning project. With this concept in mind, I began exploring potential images that could highlight GroundWork’s important role.
I began sketching monograms for the logomark:
Initially, I was most drawn to three visual concepts: a lightbulb, map marker, and hot air balloon. Each pointed out a key differentiator for GroundWork. The first referenced the fact that ground is the reference point in an electrical current through which voltages are measured, which related to how GroundWork helps organizations establish “ground truth” in machine learning projects. The second was more simple, simply referencing that GroundWork is made for labeling map data, as that presents unique challenges to practicioners.
The mark that the team liked most ended up being the third option, which may be the most abstract and playful concept of the three: a hot air balloon. This was meant to represent the perspective that accurate labeling will offer a machine learning project by highlighting the high vantage point from which satellite imagery is taken.
I paired the mark with the approachable geometric typeface Urbane and developed a color scheme for UI and collateral applications.
All of this was applied to the GroundWork marketing website, for which I completed the initial wireframes and design. My fantastic colleague, Matt Williams developed the website and added additional illustrations.
The whimsy of the GroundWork logo has been carried through follow-up design work, such as supporting illustrations, apparel for employees, and stickers.