Founders Paul and Alex love cycling, but they had a lot of issues with the cycling industry, namely it’s lack of accessibility, price of entry and exclusiveness. They decided to do something about it and Moloko was born.
Moloko is a guide to cycling. They help people of all levels find the right bike, equipment, and clothing, and provide support and guidance on all things cycling. You only need to chat to these guys for a few minutes to get a sense of their passion, and after hearing a few stories about some of the people they’ve helped get on a bike and start riding, it’s clear that they’re genuinely changing people’s lives.
From the moment I met Paul and Alex, It was clear that there was a great opportunity for a partnership.
We collaborated with Moloko on their Strategy, Brand Identity and Website.
Our first step, as always, was a 1-2 day workshop for us to learn as much as can about the business, goals, preferences, perspective, and customer base. We call this Foundation (formerly known as Discovery). Some brand design studios are driven more by aesthetics, but our approach is rooted in user strategy, data, logic-driven problem solving and intentionality. This is the only way we’ve found to ensure our work leads to measurable growth.
What’s always cool about the Foundation workshop, is that although it’s intended for us to learn as much as we can about the business, often our partners comment on how valuable it’s been to take a couple of days to dream and fully form thoughts around the goals and future ambitions of their business.
A few weeks after the workshop, we present our Brand Positioning deck, including customer personas, messaging, tone, brand principles, and strategic brand development opportunities. With all of this in place, we can move on to the aesthetics, knowing we’ll design something that meets function and form.
It was during this process that we came up with the ‘Your Guide to Cycling’ tag which went on to inform everything we did thereafter.
BRAND IDENTITY DESIGN
We all agreed that the logo and visual identity needed a refresh to better reflect the brand's personality and in-person experience.
The logo design process was a collaborative and iterative journey. We started with the Tiempos typeface from Klim Type Foundry as the base for the new logo. The italic version of the font allowed us to retain the dynamic slant and approachable vibe of the original logo.
We made further refinements to the character height and width, slants on the character stems, and rounded edges. The final touch was adding strokes to connect the 'm', 'l', and 'k' to the 'o'. Although based on Tiempos, the end result was a bespoke and one-of-a-kind logo typeset.
I'll never forget the moment when Paul and I sat down to review the final logo design. We had spent countless hours finessing the pixels, and the result was this timeless and versatile logo that truly embodied the Moloko brand. We couldn't wait to share the new logo with the Moloko community.
With Tiempos being such a perfect fit as the base for the logo with its warm and gender-neutral vibes, we felt like it was also the perfect fit for headlines. Classy, yet modern.
To strike a balance, we paired it with Inter, a versatile sans-serif font that's open-source and easy to implement across all touchpoints. Together, these fonts deliver legibility and accessibility while exuding that Moloko charm.
It's a refreshing departure from the often masculine and cough boring world of cycling branding.
Colour, on the other hand, was an adventure. One day while scouring through their Instagram I found a photo Alex had taken in Barcelona, the earthy, wholesome, and warm tones in the image felt undeniably Moloko. But it was too autumnal as a palette, we needed more balance. Alex was also keen on having a diverse palette to meet their digital marketing needs, so we slowly added additional colours that evoke the experiences of Moloko's rides and tours.
Alex and Paul's photography was a joy to work with (I mean what a delight to have such a massive bank of beaut imagery to work with from day one). We wanted to ensure our palette tones matched their photography and colour grading, and so began a lengthy (but fortunately fruitful) iterative process to balance the tones across the entire palette. We also needed a diverse range of combos that worked as a complete palette, creating a series of colour combo sets that now sit in the brand guidelines. The colours are also grouped into season, meaning Moloko can vary the use of certain colours to match certain times in their ride calendar.
So much of the storytelling is done through their photographer, and so we ensured to make it a central point of the identity.
It’s funny with these things. At times you feel like you’re a million miles away, but then with only a few small adjustments, it all seems to come together, finally seeing the forest from the trees.
Reflecting on the palette just now as I write this, it is quintessentially Moloko, which makes me think we’ve done alright.
Finally it was time to turn our attention to the website. Moloko arranges their rides, escapes and social laps from their site as well as their bike rental service. It’s the centre point for everything that’s happening at Moloko.
With such diversity in their offering, the website became quite complex, so we opted to break into a few different phases. Phase 1 focussed on their bike rental service, membership and general ‘about us’ content. Our plan is to work on Phase 2 later this year.