Clarity in a noisy world.
Every day tens of millions of conversations are made clear with Plantronics technology. The commitment to connecting people with each other in the most natural, human way possible comes through in every detail of their products and services. The company’s portfolio of integrated communications and collaboration solutions spans headsets, software, desk phones, audio and video conferencing. The experiences with the products are intuitive, but the presentation of the brand to the world didn’t reflect the same clarity of purpose.
Back in 2013, we were engaged to think deeply about how the brand could better reflect the experience of the products. What we found was
that, as with many successful brands, the expression had become cluttered; specifically, programs and initiatives had driven additions to the color palette and design language. The website looked different than the campaign, marketing had one palette, product another. New media outlets had spawned multiple graphic languages. The overall impression of the brand was—noise.
GOING WITH THE FLOW
Industrial design is critically important to the Plantronics brand ethos. In every product they incorporate a distinctive shape. An elegant curve that Darren Caddes, the VP of design, calls the flow line. Imagine half of a tuning fork or the curl of a wave. The flow line is a signature design move. And similar to the Hofmeister kink in the visual language of BMW, a device wouldn’t truly be from Plantronics without it. The Undivided™ design team, led by Ken Huang, explored reimagining the signature element. Dimensionalizing it, shading it, and raising its prominence within the brand. From there a system began to take shape.
WHAT SOUND LOOKS LIKE
The audio technology space is complex. The levels of detail present in the communications can be overwhelming. Add to that the need to underscore the human value, and the emotional connection that the products offer and the visual language can become overwhelming. We created a system, based on a “Stack” (an accordion like structure) to give shape to the complex content and a clean delineation from the more emotive photographic elements. The color palette was reduced to graphite and red. We developed a photographic style with sharp short focus and backgrounds that reflect aural environments.
What’s true comes through
The Plantronics brand identity reflects the deep appreciation for the people, products, and technology at the core of the brand. Its purposeful and simple elements are a testament to the sense of clarity their technology brings to the world as an audio pioneer and a leader in the communications industry. Though the Plantronics brand identity has evolved since then, our work was the foundation of the identity and brand positioning evolution.