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Speakeasy is accelerating innovation by making it easy for developers to create or consume any API.

APIs facilitate communication between two software components, which is often the initial stage for development. Speakeasy allows a single builder to harness the talent and work of hundreds in a couple lines of code with support through high-quality software development kits, API tooling, and developer tools. With their previous visual identity, Speakeasy was severely limited.

There were inconsistencies between their tone and visuals, and the brand was built on a bright and playful color palette that didn't really match who they are and what they offer. Brand elements were well-designed, but they lacked strategy, or at least a consistent conceptual narrative.

Speakeasy Logo

Baseline Evaluation

To fur­ther explore how a brand iden­ti­ty can res­onate with its audi­ence, we eval­u­ate oth­ers with­in the direct and broad indus­try who speak to the same audi­ence. Speakeasy need­ed to com­bat pre­con­ceived notions about machine-gen­er­at­ed code and its lim­i­ta­tions through their competitors. 

Dif­fer­en­ti­a­tion was very impor­tant, which meant explor­ing beyond the blues, pur­ples, blacks, and blue-greens of the land­scape. The Sin­gle Most Impor­tant Thing (aka SMIT) for this rebrand was to con­vey Craft­ed by Design.” Speakeasy push­es the bound­ary of what peo­ple thought was pos­si­ble for machine-gen­er­at­ed code, and their tech­nol­o­gy pro­duces code that has real crafts­man­ship behind it, and quickly. 

Speakeasy Textural Image
Speakeasy Poster
Speakeasy SMIT


Build­ing on Speakeasy’s brand attrib­ut­es, the new logo­type is dis­tinct and own­able. It con­sists of tech­ni­cal, mono­spaced let­ter­forms in which the A” char­ac­ter is craft­ed to cre­ate two for­ward slash­es — a direct ref­er­ence to API endpoints. 

The sec­ondary mark of two slash­es car­ries that motif for­ward. The for­ward slash is a direct con­nec­tion back to end­points, rem­i­nis­cent of the way you’d see a for­ward slash in an end­point URL.

Speakeasy Logotype Exploration
Speakeasy Logo Reverse
Speakeasy Secondary Mark
Speakeasy Stickers

Visual Language

Using yel­low as a pri­ma­ry col­or is almost a refresh of the pre­vi­ous iden­ti­ty, which allowed us to car­ry over a bit of brand equi­ty while avoid­ing the cat­e­gor­i­cal clichés. We paired it with an off-black for high con­trast, along with more warm-lean­ing neu­trals. We set­tled on Everett for the type­face, a some­what stan­dard sans serif, but with its sharp angles and dras­tic cuts it feels tech­ni­cal in all of the right ways. 

Speakeasy Tradeshow
Speakeasy Color Palette
Speakeasy Primary Type
Speakeasy Typestack
Speakeasy Business Cards

During an earlier round, we explored wireframes as a concept and pushed that idea further for Speakeasy’s visual language. After all, Speakeasy at its core is about creating, managing, and consuming APIs — 
a highly technical and complicated endeavor — allowing developers to do so
 with better, more streamlined communication.
 We took a step back and started with a clean 6x6 grid, then began designing secret letterforms according to our grid. Nothing calls to mind the concept of a speakeasy quite like a hidden, coded language.

Speakeasy vis lang 1
Speakeasy vis lang 2

The wireframe characters can be scaled and cropped, or grouped together to include a hidden message in a composition. They can be used at high contrast as an intriguing, innovative, and prolific visual. Or they can be used more covertly with low contrast to create more of a textural background effect. Doing so also creates a nice grid structure within which to house content.

Speakeasy vis lang 3
Speakeasy Social
Speakeasy Tshirt
Speakeasy Laynard
Speakeasy Billboard
Speakeasy SWAG
Overall, I was really struck by the very strong process, and the bar that you set. I think this has definitely been the best run engagement that I've ever had with a contractor in all of my previous work, actually.
Simon Yu, Co-Founder, Speakeasy
Speakeasy Sweatshirt
Speakeasy Keyboard
We’d love to hear about your brand and business challenges, even if you’re not sure what your next step is. No pitch, no strings attached.