Black Pixel

The Secret Ingredient

Black Pixel is an independent iOS design and development studio. They have done work on apps used by millions, but few know their work because their contributions are typically anonymous. They were looking for a complete revamp of their brand identity and online presence. Black Pixel needed a way to show the world how distinctive they are without showing the visual work that makes them distinctive. Quite a challenge!

The Kickoff

To help them recreate their identity, I organized a project kickoff meeting with exercises and workshops to help bring a personality to their brand. We brainstormed ideas like, “if Black Pixel were a famous person, who would they be?” The answers ranged from “Abraham Lincoln” to “Peter Gabriel.” We settled on three examples to give an identity to our early design thinking, articulated as Style Tiles.

After presenting the Style Tiles, Peter Gabriel emerged as the selected representative of Black Pixel’s personality, and I directed the design of the systems that would make up their new website. Because the site couldn’t show much of the visual work they did, I choose to emphasize other aspects of Black Pixel’s culture: employees, location, and process.

Not so secret

In addition to the hush-hush work they do on iOS apps, there were a limited number of projects developed by Black Pixel that were in the public eye. For those projects, I gave them a variety of templates in which to display their work that functioned both to enhance the visual excitement of their products and give them a flexible platform for launching new projects.

Let’s Light This Candle

Black Pixel’s project process is built on the idea that every project should be solid, useful, and beautiful. I worked with the Black Pixel team to distill their process into easily explained steps that would translate well to their potential clients. For each step of Black Pixel’s process I presented the concept of taking an app from idea to launch. I like this idea of “launching” an app and decided to represent this idea as the process of a rocket being built and launched into space.

They’re Not Like Everybody Else

Black Pixel has an impressive list of talent; the folks that work there are among the most respected in their field. It is a global company with employees located in both North America and Europe. Given their thoughtful approach and careful attention to craft, Black Pixel wanted to set themselves apart from the cliché “ninja” title and decided that a “Shoalin monk” was a more suitable moniker for their employees.

Project Details
Role: Creative Director, Designer
Year: 2012
Studio: Happy Cog