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Design

A New Switch: Our Visual Identity

It’s now time to uncover Switch’s new look

Written by

Sara Rodrigues

Date

17 May 2021

It’s finally the moment that we've been waiting for so long: our new website is live and with that, we proudly present our new identity. This project was carefully thought and studied and necessary to take a step forward in Switch positioning in the market.

Our new image reflects our youth and audacity as a team, the transparency, simplicity, and effectiveness inherent to our product and way of working, and our maturity as a company within the payments industry. We believe and strive to keep our company values present in everything we do and they are now reflected in our new visual identity.

The context and the challenges within

Switch represents much more than a SaaS product. We arrived in the market with the mission of breaking barriers and democratizing the complex and highly fragmented industry of payments by providing merchants, PSPs, and acquirers access to their entire value chain through a single API. For this reason, we often mention Switch as an abstraction layer, an idea that was the starting point to create the new brand identity.

Together with the idea of abstraction, dualism became also a reference to construct a new identity for Switch:

Simplicity vs Complexity. We operate within a complex industry full of complex and ambiguous concepts, with multiple points of contact, integrations, and interactions between clients and stakeholders. Switch strives to make all these connections as simple and straightforward as possible through a single integration flow and unique point of communication.

Retro vs Futuristic. The origins of Switch are inspired by the beginnings of the payment industry: coins, cash registers, bank checks, manual bank reconciliation, you name it. Understanding history is what makes us want to improve it. We’ve built a future-proof solution with cutting-edge technology that follows the history that is yet untold.

Unit vs Multiplication. From a single API, we’ve created numerous possibilities of expansion into multiple components, value-added services, and features. Besides, Switch is adaptable to any kind of payment stakeholder and brand.

For the new identity, we combined our origins as a company with our vision as a brand through futuristic, metaphoric, abstract, and bold design elements considering small revivalist touches from the first forms of payment technology.

Our main goals for the new brand identity:

  • Create a scalable brand that could convey our message and our business;
  • Create a noticeable, modern, and outstanding brand for the industry;
  • Make our new identity adaptable to every communication channel including website, documentation, social media, email, and content, and make our brand visible in everything we do;
  • Design a timeless, expandable, and unconventional brand.

The new look and feel

To visually and realistically represent this idea of abstraction and the dualistic concepts, to start our creative process, and to translate it into graphic elements we got inspiration from the mathematical fractal.

A fractal is a never-ending and complex pattern that is self-similar across different scales. These patterns can be created by repeating a simple process over and over in an ongoing feedback loop.

We used fractal to visually represent the dualistic ideas of simplicity vs. complexity and unit vs. multiplication while the mathematics in it mirrors our pragmatic approach to technological development. With this in mind, we came up with the idea of building a geometric net to be the base of all our forms of design. From this net, it’s possible to create a system of shapes resulting from the combinations of the geometric elements drawn on it.

From the idealized net, elements such as icons, backgrounds, textures, patterns, and illustrations can be scaled, repeated, rotated, masked, and colored to create an infinity of variations.

The entire identity is built using the core elements: geometry and color. A new set of graphic tools were developed to help Switch communicate effectively and concisely in all types of media. The tools consist of a distinctive color palette, a new typographic combination system, and pure graphic shapes with solid colors and gradients that enable the creation of an infinite series of varied, yet connected graphic patterns.

New custom icon sets, illustrations, and photographic styles are now established to create a consistent visual system and express a wide range of messages.

Switch product components using fractal and abstract elements


The elements

Logotype

The Switch Logo remains the same as it always has been. It’s clean, approachable, effective, and it fully works with our new vibrant identity. We wanted to retain these qualities and improve our brand book by designing a system of uses and combinations, covering all aspects of the logotype including spacing, clearance rules, and redline specifications for media communications.

Colors

The color palette is formed by dark grey as a representation of a sober industry and Switch’s pragmatism and by some hints of purple that represent our audacity and modernity. Together they create a symbolic and harmonious aesthetic. You will often find gradients resulting from the sum of the four main colors: dark grey, light grey, purple, and lilac.

Depending on the context, the brand can swap between a ‘dark mode’ for more technical and product-based communications, like the product components pages on the website, and ‘light mode’ for other types of communications like our careers page and blog.

Typography

Our typefaces are Montserrat and Spacemono, both sans-serif typefaces but very distinct to each other.

Montserrat is a contemporary and rational font with a friendly and human touch to it and, on the other hand, Space Mono takes us for a ride in a galactic universe with a technological touch.


Conclusion

The new identity of Switch balances approachability with professionalism. It’s sturdy and strong while also allowing for flexible expression. Most of all, it preserves our authenticity as we are fluff-free and prefer a sober approach, we are straightforward, and pragmatic but also unconventional, and thorough. We have set aside the trends to focus on reflecting the history of Switch and its values into a new identity that also symbolizes a step forward to a more mature stage in the industry and the company.

Together, the Switch logo and the new brand elements represent a unified brand, a commitment to consistency, and a better platform to support and communicate our mission externally to the market and to be used as our fingerprint internally at Switch.

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