PortfolioCase Study

Safaricom Alpha

Identity Design

Our team captured the essence of Safaricom’s new innovation lab with an iconic brand design.

Strategy — Identity — Product — UX — HR

The Context

In November 2017, just after the dramatic Kenyan elections, a number of Martians were asked to join Safaricom’s innovation lab as expert consultants.

It was a no-brainer: who would pass up the opportunity to potentially create new products and experiences for Safaricom’s 30million+ customers?

The Problem

The innovation lab was relatively new, so once the leadership had been set up prior to our joining, someone nicknamed the team Alpha. It stuck.

But then someone less creative opened a blank document and cobbled up a hodge-podge of colors making up the word alpha. It looked like something out of the 90s!

Safaricom Alpha (old logo)

Our Approach

The task at hand was weighty: we needed to create a timeless identity for the innovation lab set up by one of the most successful companies in the region.

We decided to create a bold symbolic icon that could stand alone, but that would also blend seamlessly with the rest of the logotype. Within a couple of weeks we thought we were finally making headway, but boy oh boy … we were not ready for Dr Kamal’s scorching feedback!

Version 01 — Client Feedback   🤬

I’m uncertain about a lot of things, but this I’m sure of: I absolutely hate this! I hate it. It reminds me of a disgusting eye infection.

Version 02 — Client Feedback   🤔

It’s a little better … but now it looks like a fish kissing a wall or something. Keep at it, you’re almost there.

Version 03 — Client Feedback   😍

I love it!!! Ah, this is great! You’ve nailed it! Great job.

Symbolism Explained
The main triangular-shaped symbol is actually a letter A turned 90°, which makes it arrow-like and forward-facing, dramatizing the futuristic nature of the unit.

The replicated and staggered shape also gives the illusion of rising motion. As for the logotype, the ascending and descending letters indicate exploration of the depths of technological capability with the aim of achieving maximum benefit for customers and humanity at large.
Safaricom Alpha animated logo
Media & Motion DepartmentA Skyline Team

Our Media & Motion Department created dynamic motion graphics of the logo for use as an intro and outro in videos and presentations.

Brand Application
After a later minor edit (adding Safaricom’s red swoosh), the brand has now been successfully applied across all facets of the innovation lab: from the reception, to posters, to presentations, right down to T-shirts and mugs.

We couldn’t be more proud of what we’ve created together with the rest of the amazing folks at Alpha!
Safaricom Alpha branding posters
Signed. Martians.