The software that grew into an ecosystem
65,000 companies in Romania invoice their clients through SmartBill, the leader of the country’s invoicing software market. But the 12-year old company is anything but complacent. They have grown in knowledge and confidence and decided they can be more than that. Namely, they could become the entrepreneurs’ software ecosystem for business management by covering invoicing, accounting, point of sale, and stock management on both desktop and mobile platforms. To mark this evolution and to finally get that professional look they knew they should have, SmartBill asked us for help.
When you work with small companies (65 employees, in this case), the challenge is to make all those deeply involved and passionate people reach a shared vision. The management style is often consultative, and so the result is the output of many layers of feedback from many different minds. It’s the absolute teamwork. With SmartBill, we also had two offices in different cities to bring together.
As always when it comes to existing brands, we started the rebranding process with an analysis, talking to employees and clients to learn about their perceptions of the brand. We immediately noticed that clients were a happy crowd, and so were the employees. There wasn’t much to fix there, so we focused on updating the image to better convey the new positioning of the firm.
SmartBill was born out of the work and creativity of three inexperienced and unfinanced young people. The same is true about the original visual identity that accompanied us for more than 10 years, an identity we, our team and many clients grew attached to. But as the brand and the company matured and adopted a new positioning as the first business software ecosystem for Romanian entrepreneurs, we felt the need to switch to a new, more representative visual identity. Storience took this difficult mission seriously, embraced our values and aspirations for the years to come and created a visual identity we are happy with and which was very well received by our clients.
SmartBill’s old visual identity featuring the “smart accountant”, Bill, was not ruled out immediately, as the team grew attached to having a character in their logo. But after considering a few proposals with an updated Bill…
…the client decided it was time to ditch the too playful image and adopt a more abstract symbol that could be more representative of their technological achievements and maturity.
The winning logo features an S monogram composed of many coloured pieces (suggestive of an ecosystem), placed on a square shield. The colour choice generates a dynamic effect, transitioning from bright yellow on the letter’s extremities towards darker nuances of green and blue as it closes to its middle and shining even brighter right in the middle through the usage of white. The transition is smooth, just as any experience with a service provider should be—and is, in the case of SmartBill.
The vivid and friendly colours of the logo, along with the enlarged stripes that compose it, become the two main ingredients of the new visual style. The stripes can be used decoratively as segments of the S monogram, placed in different positions and sizes over coloured backgrounds.
They can also form illustrations that become key visuals in SmartBill’s communication, or act as highlights for titles, or as “sliding doors” through which photography is shown.