BOOKMARK | CASE STUDY
Marketing & Social Assets
Bookmark is an AI-powered website builder that empowers small business owners without any technical experience to create a personal website in a matter of minutes. With the assistance of an Artificial Intelligence Design Assistant (AIDA), Bookmark removes technical complexity and delivers a fully functional website for any small business.
Over the past five years, Bookmark spent a lot of time focusing on the product. Now that they feel confident in their product development, it was clear that the brand strategy and identity were an afterthought. The goal was to refocus the brand strategy and refresh the identity to help Bookmark reach the next level of growth – positioning them as leaders in their industry.
The solution started with an audit of the brand and its competition. From that, I refined the brand strategy centred around what makes Bookmark unique: automation (AiDA), empowerment, and accessibility. Once the brand strategy was concrete, I refined the symbol, introduced a more distinctive colour palette, a new typeface, and graphic elements.
Since the brand refresh launched
• monthly website visitors increase
• bounce rates dropped
• conversion rates have more than doubled
• a new partnership has been made with Moneris.
Through a series of exercises in the strategy session, I extracted and refined the brand attributes. The brand attributes defined the brand’s culture, customers, voice, feeling, impact and x-factor.
Bookmark’s mission is to support small business owners in starting, building and growing their online presence. To understand the needs of these customers, I created user profiles to represent the range of the users. This painted a clear picture of their demographics, story needs and solutions.
I worked closely with the Bookmark team to understand and define their brand. Through conversation, brand exercises, and user research, we crafted the positioning statement.
All website builders require some level of technical skills/ability, but most small business owners do not have the technical skills necessary to build a website. This frustrates users and has them looking for alternatives. Bookmark is their solution. Bookmark is the only website builder that uses an Artificial Intelligence Design Assistant (AiDA) to remove technical complexity and deliver a fully functional website.
The slogan "Make Your Mark" is guided by Bookmark's purpose "to support entrepreneurs in starting, building and growing their online presence." It means, in a metaphorical sense, to make your mark in the world with your business. It also hints at the meaning behind the name, to create a website people want to Bookmark.
For Bookmark to become a leader in their industry, they needed a strong and distinctive identity that is both timeless and flexible. To achieve this I created an identity system made up of 4 core elements.
The old logo had potential but lacked refinement. The all caps wordmark in a thin weight made the brand look/feel a bit high-end and did not match the symbol's weight – resulting in the logo feeling disconnected. The symbol being on an angle created tension between the two elements and made the logo look off-balanced.
The new wordmark is set in title case with a thicker font-weight, making the logo feel more approachable while still looking professional and better matching the symbol's weight. Because Bookmark is an affordable website builder, it was crucial to make the logo look/feel not too high end or cheap, somewhere in between. The new symbol is more refined and set on a flat horizontal baseline to eliminate the tension between the two elements – making the logo feel balanced and unified.
Starting on paper, I explored different letter B styles to tie recognition back to the company name and geometric symbols to represent the product. I then chose the strongest ideas and recreated them digitally to test them amongst one another, ensuring the final decision was justified.
After testing different symbol explorations, we decided the most effective option was a refinement of the old symbol. Choosing to refresh the logo rather than redesign it kept the brand equity and awareness intact. I used a grid to construct the new symbol to ensure balance, alignment and symmetry.
A lot of thought went into the design of the symbol. Thinking about how I could create an effective symbol from a design standpoint but also convey a message about the brand and product. The new Bookmark symbol was constructed based off two ideas:
This symbol is the most commonly used in web browsers to bookmark a website. I decided to create a symbol based on the cliche bookmark symbol to hint at the meaning behind the company name; Bookmark empowers you to create a website that people want to bookmark and save for later.
This symbol is the most commonly used to represent a platform. Because Bookmark’s product is a platform to start, build and grow your online presence, I wanted to convey that idea within the symbol.
After finalizing the symbol, I started exploring a font to complement the new symbol. During this phase, I explored clean, approachable and bold sans serif typefaces that shared similar forms and weight of the symbol to ensure the full logo would feel unified.
Before finalizing the logo, I compared it to its competitor's logos without the use of colour to ensure that the logo was unique and distinctive enough to stand out.
Before exploring a brand colour for Bookmark, I did a brand colour audit of their brand colour compared to their competitors. After completing the audit, I noticed that all of their competitors, including Bookmark, use blue as their brand colour or CTA colour. This positioned Bookmark well to use any colour other than blue as their brand and CTA colour.
After completing the competitor's brand colour audit, I started to explore colours other than blue to help differentiate Bookmark from its competitors. I compared the colours amongst one another, testing them to make sure the final decision was justified and fit the brand personality.
After exploring different colours, the Bookmark team and I decided that red best fit the brand's new personality. Before finalizing the new brand colour, I tested it against the competition to ensure that it was unique and distinctive enough to stand out. Because no direct competitors used red as their brand colour, it firmly positioned Bookmark to be known in the industry for their punchy brand red.
The old brand colour made the brand look/feel a bit too corporate and did not properly express the brand's personality. The new brand colour is eye-catching and approachable – expressing the brand's new character. But more importantly, the new brand colour differentiates Bookmark from its competitors.
The Bookmark brand colour is very versatile as it passes contrast on both white and black backgrounds — but in cases where the red can’t be applied, then the logo can strong in black or white.
I created a new brand colour palette for Bookmark that is approachable, diverse and modern. The primary colour is Cherry Red, which also serves as the brand colour. The palette includes three secondary colour that compliment the brand colour and boost brand awareness.
Bookmark needed a brand font that would compliment the new logo and express the brand's unique personality – one that is modern, approachable and flexible enough to fit a wide range of visual communications. Because of its versatility and approachable letterforms, we chose Gilroy to become the new brand font.
To support the brand's visual language, I created a graphic element constructed from the symbol to help with brand recognition and ensure consistency across all applications.
“Working with Kaejon is inspiring and uplifting. He is very professional and direct in his approach to tackling your brand and developing designs and strategies. Essentially, he has a knack for cutting through the noise and he doesn't waste time. Most importantly, he is committed and plugged in. Conversations were fluid and the work exceeded expectations.”
— David Kosmayer, CEO at Bookmark