Branding a next-gen scooter
Link↗ is the smart, fun, safe way to navigate your city from Superpedestrian↗. From the physical construction of their scooters to their onboard intelligence, Link owns safety and ensures their riders have the best ride possible. In 2019, Superpedestrian's Design Lead Jeff Gerlach came to me in search of a brand identity to set Link, and their scooters, apart in the growing micro-mobility space.
Over a 2-month contract, I developed a brand identity positioning them as leaders in innovation and safety, delivered brand guidelines and gestural applications, and extended into key UI moments for their companion app.
At the start of the contract, I gave the Superpedestrian team homework to fill out a quick brand exercise. This was to get them the align on the what, how, and why of their new brand, their audience and values, and collectively agree on where Link should sit across brand qualities and attributes, and map their competitors.
With an alignment on positioning, audience, and values, I began research, sketching, and designing explorations. I wanted to create an identity that secured Link among the transportation of the future: safe, clean, and reliable, with an innovative and rebelious spirit to stand out in a saturated market.
The motion and metaphor of the ‘Line’ direction felt spot-on. The team at Superpedestrian felt it was the best concept, conveyed transit, suited the name and meaning, and the weight and boldness caused it to stand out.
Some refinements were explored to increase the legibility of the ‘N’ treatment in weight and form.
All the work I showed up to that point was in black and white to limit our conversations to the logotype itself. Now came the question of color: in the highly saturated scooter market, how do we stand out and grab attention on the street while owning our values of safety and innovation?
The team aligned on the idea of “owning safety” by utilizing a combination of safety yellow in their branding and 3M reflective materials on their scooters. For the logotype, we returned to the original retro-futurist curved ‘N’, with some final additions to the optical weight and tracking of the logotype.
I took the team through a number of typeface options to contrast pairings and compare prices. For body text, we wanted a neutral sans serif that was ideally free, open source, or system-provided to reduce licensing fees. For the display and header typeface, we wanted to establish Link as a lifestyle brand with a bold sans serif to harmonize with the wordmark and stand alone at large sizes.
The final deliverable was a brand identity guideline outlining the brand positioning, core visual language, and gestural applications. They offer direction, both general and specific, regarding the handling and reproduction of various graphic devices — including but not limited to logo, color, and typography.
Link is now available in over 15 cities in the United States and is growing its network of e-scooters globally in Italy, Spain, Sweden, and more. They have recently released an even bolder version 2 of their scooter and extended the visual system into parent company Superpedestrian’s online presence as well.
Pictures and renders below owned by Link and shown for logo usage only.
→ Designer: Piet Aukeman
→ Superpedestrian Design Lead: Jeff Gerlach