3S Studio

Branding a fresh IT startup

As a new and very promising startup, the team at 3S Studio requested my services for the company identity. They needed a logo that would best depict their passion for what they do and embrace their business model of delivering smart social software—the words that the acronym 3S stands for. Rising to the challenge, I would later find myself more and more involved with them in terms of collaborations, up to the point in which I was doing full time design work for them.


Describing the way in which they see software development—and IT in general—as a kind of art, it was clear that the identity needed to be powerful and intense while still maintaining an official look with a hint of corporate charm. I started the project as all of my other ones, by playing around on the sketchpad until I found an idea with which to continue.

Making progress on the final idea for the logo
Sketch iterations: Making progress on the final idea for the logo

The goal was to come up with something typographic but with a playful geometric twist, which in the end I believe I managed to find. Iterating on that idea I came up with what I though would be something worth taking to the digital medium for further exploration. Once in Photoshop I could use precise stroke widths for my shapes and choose a typeface easier.

A modern logo with a clean and fresh design
Finished design: A modern logo with a clean and fresh design

After a lot of trial and error with getting the proportions right for those circular shapes, it finally ended up having the flow I was aiming for, which allowed me to then narrow down potential typefaces that could play nicely with my 3S shape. Having decided on the Capsuula font, I could then work on an actual color scheme for the company’s collateral material, based on my original black and red pencil sketch.

Designated placeholders for different texts
Statements: Designated placeholders for different texts
Finding balance between the shapes
Geometric anatomy: Finding balance between the shapes

The combination of dark red and asphalt grey helped give the logo impact, steering it away from the typical blueish color schemes that are flooding corporate identities these days. Since it was a fresh company it needed to strike a balance between vibrant and restrained, while still keeping its startup charm.

Brand manual

Branding consistency is a huge problem in any major company, let alone the smaller ones. Because of this I wanted to make sure that 3S Studio remained consistent in their communication—both digital and physical—so I surprised the team with a lean brand manual, as part of their commissioned logo design.

Testing out the information layout
Paper prototype: Testing out the information layout
Figuring out what goes where
Folding test: Figuring out what goes where

The goal was to make it easy for them to know which colors they should use, which typeface, how much space they should have around the logo in different mediums as well as showcase the different versions of the logo (monochrome, inverted, colored etc.). Since this brand manual was going to be created more under the radar, I needed to keep it as simple as possible to make it both cost effective but in the same time easy for them to distribute in the future.

A foldable instruction guide on how to use the identity
Brand manual: A foldable instruction guide on how to use the identity

It was supposed to be small in size from the beginning since I wanted it straight to the point about all of the above topics, without any junk information. Therefore I glued together three sheets of A5 paper and started organizing the information on them and coming up with a layout on-the-fly. Once that was done I switched to Illustrator and created all of those pages digitally, making them also available as a easy to distribute PDF document.

Business cards

Sometime during the logo design process the guys at 3S Studio also commissioned me to come up with a business card design. Since their identity and brand manual were already well under way, it wasn’t too difficult to put together a design that would meet their expectations.

Two-faced design matching the brand guidelines
Business cards: Two-faced design matching the brand guidelines

For more impact, I proposed a two-sided vertical design packed with enough branding elements that would make it more memorable than the conventional white background horizontal cards. My initial concern was that this was more costly but in the end the guys went all in and even printed them on actual plastic. Now that is a card that will stand out!


This simple website shows visitors what the 3S Studio team stands for, what they want to achieve, what they have already achieved and what their clients think of them. It has a minimal flat design with subtle shadows, created to focus the attention on the content in a more elegant way than your conventional IT company website.
A straightforward design to generate leads

Welcoming visitors is a slideshow that depicts what 3S Studio thinks of in terms of software development as an art, as something more than just standard technical work. The friendly text/iconic menu eases access to all pages, including subsections, so as to make navigation simple and straightforward. White-space is at home with this design and the call-to-action buttons are right there to convert new leads into customers. All in all, it’s a simple design for an eager company aiming to deliver great software and doing so without the cost of compromising the end result.