I was hired as employee #18 at the first Hootsuite Railtown office back in 2010. We didn’t call it an “office” then, we called it the “bunker” because we were basically below ground. I got a second-hand desk and a chair that would frequently go missing as they were in high demand. The internet was patchy, the power would sometimes go down. And it was awesome.
My role included everything from web ad banners, UI design, marketing assets, and to expand on the lovable Owly mascot. I would stay late and support the development team on product launches; I would work alongside to the Customer Support team to see where improvements could be made in terms of brand awareness. I would spend time with the Sales team and build assets to facilitate their success.
And then we grew! The company hit hypergrowth and continued to grow and expand the staff. I built out a team of 7 designers for the marketing department. I lead this team as an Art Director, and helped the company achieve incredible milestones through our strong visual brand.
Hootsuite’s original logo was built in Photoshop and for web only. It had many colours, gradients and elements that didn’t work well when used in different applications. We struggled matching pantone swatches, creating favicons and even scaling it.
The biggest and most memorable project for me, was the Hootsuite re-brand. I worked closely with the Director of Marketing and Brand Manager to ideate, produce and execute our first re-brand campaign ever. We outsourced an amazing agency who helped us elevate our visual brand, as well as our voice, and worked closely with them from start to finish.
The result was a new logo a clean abstract version of the owl (Owly) with a modern font for the wordmark. We ditched all pantone swatches and kept it timeless in black and white. We could finally highlight accents with vibrant colours for the visual aids, helping us create different marketing assets that looked cohesive as part of a solid visual brand.
The biggest challenge for the design team was to update all the existing assets with the new brand, and get them ready for the launch. We teamed-up with the international offices to gather all the materials needed, and explain the uses for each of them like brand advocates. To ensure success, style guides were made, informational information sessions were held, recorded, and shared across teams. The re-brand was a success.