MANILA – Aspiring designers and creative professionals can learn a thing or two from the co-founder of Kumu, a social media app dedicated to Filipinos.
Filipino-American Clare Ros stressed the importance of clarity, authenticity, and experimentation as she listed branding tips for startups.
She believes it is not about following a specific aesthetic, but about coming up with a cohesive identity system that will make an impact on its target market.
In the case of Kumu, Ros and her team created a blue tarsier mascot named Karlito to connect more with Filipino users.
“We wanted to incorporate bright, uplifting colors that express energy, optimism, and open doors to creative possibilities,” she said.
“Our vibrant brand palette symbolizes the passion and explosive growth of Filipino communities around the world, while Karlito channels our brand’s tone of voice which is honest, real, and hopeful about the future,” she added.
Check out Ros’s three tips, in her own words, below:
1. Establish a clear hierarchy. No matter what you’re designing, make sure the hierarchy of information is clearly defined. Organize all design elements to reflect this. Clarity in design helps the viewer quickly understand what you’re trying to express.
2. Be authentic, contextually-aware, and unafraid to reach your audience on an emotional level. This could mean employing a bold design, or utilizing a quieter approach. Pay attention to context and communicate in a way that it resonates within that setting.
3. Don’t be afraid to experiment. It’s rare you’ll make your best work on the first attempt. Push yourself to work outside of your comfort zone even if it means you’re making work that doesn’t sit right with you at first. This is the space where you’ll typically grow. The design process can involve numerous iterations of testing and refining concepts, evolving designs, and forming new solutions. If you fall back on proven routines from the beginning, it’s unlikely you’ll innovate your designs or thinking. So be sure to push yourself and try new things.
Kumu is available for free at the App Store and Google Play.