MatTek Life Sciences is a biotech company focused on reliable in vitro human tissue model innovation, located in Ashland, Massachusetts.
I started working at MatTek Life Sciences as an intern in May 2019. Since then I have been promoted to Creative Content Manager, rebranded (twice), created materials for our holiday parties, and completed countless supplemental projects. I have to admit that rebranding MatTek was, and is, one of the most rewarding projects I have had the pleasure of working on.
I kicked off the project by having our CEO and director of marketing answer some basic questions about MatTek and the direction they would like to see the company move forward in. It was an efficient way to help me get to know the brand and target audience. The answers serve as a creative brief that will dictate the direction on which I based my research and the style I will push the company.
My Brand Sprint consists of Four Stages followed by an open section for notes.
What, How, and Why? – By establishing a target and purpose for your brand.
Who is it For? – With your brand’s purpose now defined, establishing your audience and the people
you serve is the next step.
Why do they Choose You? – Your audience has chosen you, whether they know it or not because their values align with yours.
How are you viewed? – One-word; Emotions, Customers, Future, Initial Thoughts about Business
From the brand sprint, I quickly realized the company’s current industry placement did not reflect the industry they were striving to be competitive with. The director of marketing had expressed in their brand sprint response that Corporation was too broad and Life Sciences was the market they should be perceived as and we’re already competing within. This singular response gave me the “ahh ha” moment. The moment when a designer can see the entire potential that a company can really thrive. This was the moment I could make their visions a reality all based on some simple responses about the company they think about every day.
I made a list of all the related keywords and the most important ideas to be displayed in the logo and brand package. With this in mind, I research competitors and dominating forces within the life sciences space. After learning more about the life sci industry I created a presentation with all the main points previously expressed and complemented their ideas with a mood board to bring this vision to life. During this session, I received feedback that it would be essential for the brand and logo to convey MatTek and encompass all its business units. A business that has grown and prospered for 20+ years and isn’t just another company in this space, more personalized, trusted on the name and stigma they have all built. Brand presentations are important to confirm what they expressed I had properly understood. They had expressed they would like a rebrand/refresh. I could update the brandmark on the condition the logotype would have to stay similar to their current lockup. Now we could both confidently move forward in the ideation stage and I had my work cut out for me. Modernizing a life sciences company with a focus on better science and non-animal testing.
My initial ideas for MatTek displayed unique and visually interesting initial logos that placed MatTek into this new Life Sciences Industry. After revisiting my notes and I began sketching logos with 5 shapes within the entire brandmark, MatTek’s 5 business units, that grow or morph as human life and cells do. I would walk around the historic mill building (known for creating clocks), with my 4 x 6inch Pantone sketchbook, jotting down all sorts of marks. Anything that came to mind. I watched automated robots pipetting liquid into plastic dishes and scientists skillfully navigate their benches moving from dish to plate. I kept coming back to the idea of growing human cells, expanding life, in these little glass dishes. I narrowed it down to three brandmarks.
The first concept encompasses all five business units. The bounding shape is reminiscent of a diamond, an element found within their previous brand, facing/growing to the top left. This represents growth and upward mobility. Lastly, the rounded edges hold true to our previous brandmark, infinity, and friendly.
The second concept proposes a new edgy life sciences company, here to disrupt the industry. The dynamic shape presents a vibrant, modern feeling. The shape has two lines overhanging on the top and bottom to enhance the subtle message of a stepping ladder. And once again the diamond on the bottom is a memorable factor from their previous brandmark.
The third and final concept was a highly suggested direction to explore. This is the ‘M’ concept. Again the five points depict the five internal business units. The shape of the five diamonds would be an arrow if not for the middle diamond, this diamond keeps us rooted, to grow upward. All converging points are met in the middle of their shape and the existing shape, to represent the balance of the company. Triangles specifically are used to enhance stability and energy and honor our old rhombus shapes. And, it’s an M.
We ultimately decided on the brandmark with 5 rounded dots (rounded and diamond shape to commemorate the previous logo) embracing MatTek’s upward mobility and growth within their industry.
I present MatTek Life Sciences!
Above is an example of a landing page promoted for communications on social.