While it’s been a long and unexpected journey, it’s finally time to give a more formal introduction to Yellow Cat Five, the agency we founded to lift brands from the obstacles blocking them from achieving meaningful marketing work.
If you’re interested in knowing more about our position and why we exist, give our manifesto a read.
In this post, we’ll strictly be sticking to our branding strategy and execution of developing an identity that was distinct and synonymous with our core principles and values.
What's in a Name?: The Purrrposeful Accident
First things, first. We had to derive a name for our agency. While we looked into a lot of deep meanings such as inspirational words and phrases from various languages, being the branding experts we are, we fell back on a tried and true approach — the Name Game.
We went around the team and asked everyone to give a combination of color, animal and number. We had answers such as “Orange Capybara 33” and “Blue Panda 14”, then it was our lead designer Rita’s turn. Off her tongue rolled, “Yellow Cat 5.”
We all immediately thought “hmmm, that actually flows quite nicely.” While the end goal of the Name Game was never to arrive at a final outcome, but to germinate ideas, the more we let the name marinate, the more it made sense.
Cat five (Cat5) is not just a group of felines, but also the cable that transmits broadband internet, which is synonymous with our connected global distributed workforce.
And if you peel off the outer layer of a Cat5 cable, you see a series of different colored wires tethered together to form its inner core just as our diverse team comes together to create a uniform, aligned unit.
The number five is also representative of our founding team (Rita, Mariana, Eric, Nehmi, Joe).
And of course, cats rule the internet, so we found it to be a very fitting name for a digital agency ;)
I know someone will say it, so best to address it now. But what about Cat6, Cat7 cables, etc.? Haven’t you guys already outdated yourselves?
To that, I say well others may come and go, the Cat5 is the OG (or at least the most prominent and well known of the cables). We too are digital natives. New marketing strategies and tactics will arise, but our core principles and approach will always be timeless.
How We Designed the Logo: Finding the Cat's Meow
Once we had a name, it was on to developing a visual identity. From the onset, we wanted to capture a brand that was simple and minimalistic yet versatile in order to leave our clients as the protagonists. It’s our aim to always have our clients front and center with everything we do.
With those ideas in mind, we started our branding journey by playing around with various black typescripts. Some of our early considerations included:
We were looking for something free flowing and modern to personify our minimalist approach. Eventually we would land on an adaptation of the Quostige font. Before we get to the final execution, let’s show off a couple that didn’t make it, just for fun ;)
and here is our logo.
The open letters of our logo personify our openness and collaborative character. The letter “Y” resembles a sitting cat from behind, adding a bit of playfulness and creating opportunities to explore our brand in a symbolic nature.
Furthermore, the "Y" is constructed from links from a chain — again illustrating collaboration and partnership with our clients. For a chain to be purposeful all links must cohesively form a single strong unit. As the old adage goes, a chain is only as strong as its weakest link.
The final characteristic of our brand-defining “Y” is that it also acts as a hook to literally lift brands up (as a direct play on our tagline).
Other Brand Mark(ing)s
Since YC5 is our own brand, we want it to be experimental by nature, even if this means breaking some preconceived branding principles. For instance, although you see our logo appear most often with red accenting, we have no official secondary color palette. This is best represented by the logo gif on our website.
While black and white are our primary colors and our distinct features such as our “Y” will always remain present to maintain our identity, we consider ourselves “brand fluid.”
This means we are highly adaptable and agile, especially when it comes to displaying our clients and the work we do for them.
This also opens up opportunities to display our brand during special times, occurrences and environments. A lot of these executions are still to be thought of, especially while we are in our brand infancy, but having these maneuvers at our fingertips is an exciting opportunity.
We don’t know precisely where our brand is heading, as it still is evolving, but this is what building a brand is all about. Having the space to be creative without boundaries. As the business grows, we want to challenge the notion of what a brand is and what it can be.
Until then, we'll keep clawing away and try to not get ourselves tangled.