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Rebranding Focus Lab

Founded in 2010 as a two-person design and development partnership, Focus Lab has grown into a globally renowned B2B brand agency. Our previous brand served us well for a decade, but we've expanded and matured since that first logo was drawn on a napkin. It was time to give Focus Lab the Focus Lab treatment.

“The cobbler's children have no shoes” — and the brand agency had no brand guidelines. As we often see with our clients, our brand had developed organically as elements were needed: a website refresh here, a new illustration style there. However, it lacked strategy, story, and — critical for scalability — documented rules.

With a process and personality known and trusted by some of the world's largest brands, we were poised to level up to become one of the top B2B brand agencies in the world. To do that, we needed a distinguished brand position — one that reflects our industry thought leadership and the fact that the work we do is important.

After a decade of growth, Focus Lab needed an identity that matched our industry reputation and our ambitions.

Brand Strategy

The strength of our process is a major differentiator and a key part of our clients’ success, so we knew this exercise couldn't be half-baked. It was only appropriate that we go through the same experience. The Focus Lab partners became the “client” with the same responsibilities as any other: initial homework, timely feedback, and approvals. Our team's time was scheduled as it would be for any client project. Deliverables were robust, revisions were deliberate, and deadlines were respected.

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Focus Lab competes with B2B brand agencies, a category saturated with enterprise firms, small shops, and everything in between. While sharing many of the same service offerings — branding, communications, design, and strategy — Focus Lab's industry tenure, proven process, and commitment to delivering exceptional experiences are unmatched, cutting through the clutter and directly engaging with organizations moved to transform.

Our brand attributes were Focused (naturally), Proven, and Humble.

Our primary audience is B2B technology companies who have been tasked with a new branding project for their own organization. They value process and results, so Focus Lab’s proven success empowers them to become agents of change for their company and enables them to win against modern competitors.

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Communications

While we've always prided ourselves on our people-first values and humble, down-to-earth culture, our communications tilted too much toward personal appeal and lacked an earned boldness. We needed a confident, clear voice to reflect our expertise and industry credibility. And to grow, we needed to clearly state our value — and the value of brand in general — to individuals who may not be savvy to the value of brand-building in their business trajectory. Finally, we'd transitioned from a branding and web development agency, to solely a brand agency, to B2B brand specialists. TL; DR: We had some communications work to tackle.

Most of all, we needed to answer, “So what?” Why does all of this matter to our clients?

We created a robust messaging framework that included insights about our audiences, the competitive landscape, and our existing messages — all of which informed our refreshed communications guidelines. This framework served as our north star to communicate who we are, what we do, and why it matters. It included powerful messages that truly reflect our brand, such as our revised purpose, “We exist to help unlock the potential in the people around us.”


With what we wanted to say documented, we needed to define how we wanted to say it — our brand voice. Reflecting our brand personality, attributes, and the emotions behind our words, we identified our voice as bold, focused, and approachable. Focus Lab’s confidence comes honestly from hard work and experience. Our voice starts conversations, leads with purpose, and inspires change. Above all, we are secure enough to speak and listen, succeed and falter, teach and learn.

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Logo

The logomark started with a feeling. That feeling when something clicks. A burst of clarity when you discover exactly who you are. The exact moment when you realize that all the potential — something that’s been in you this whole time — has finally been revealed. That's what we want to bring to our clients and what we believe brand is capable of.

We explored asterisks, star bursts, keyholes, fractals, comets, and more asterisks. Eventually, we found our Flare: asymmetrical with a sense of motion, simple yet unique, classic and timeless. We paired it with a logotype built from a modified version of the Karelia typeface. It carries a mechanistic, grotesque flavor while showing uniqueness in its irregularities. As a logotype, this is the sweet spot between wild and conformist, fitting in and standing out.

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