Making the logo

The 'make data better' initiative enables us to take control of our data. (Why?) It's a complex nuanced activity which we try to facilitate in a simple manner.  

 

Drawing from the same spirit of simplicity, we wanted the brand identity to convey multifaceted meaning while continuing to be simple.

 

Here we describe some key ideas that influenced the logo.

 

1. Bits on a wire.

2. Electrons in orbit?

3. Fundamental & continuous improvement!

4. The grid - Kanji 'naka'

5. Language confluences & conversational interfaces...

 

1. Bits on a wire

Electronic data storage,
transmission and processing have triggered possibilities and pitfalls. They are key modern-day paradigm changers. To capture that in the DNA of the logo we thought around metaphors like transmitting over a wire.

The shape of each individual element in the logo is like a packet on a wire.

2. Electrons in orbit?

Our tools rely on probability. The system frequently recommends 'probability of things' or 'things based on probability'. Building on the electronic metaphor from earlier, one of the most fundamental entities which we understand in terms of probabilities is the electron. We know the probability of finding one, never its exact location.

Again, the skeleton of each element is like looking closely at an entity in orbit.

3. Fundamental and continuous improvement!

We're not looking just to fix a current state of bad data; rather to fundamentally improve the processes that create issues in the first place. We decided to take some inspiration from Japanese culture - the birthplace of key process improvement ideas like Six Sigma and Agile Scrum. Machine learning, meet data kaizen!

4. The grid - Kanji 'naka'

Since we are attempting to make data better 'from within', also based on the bits and electrons ideas mentioned above, we found a meaningfully and visually interesting metaphor in the Japanese kanji symbol for 'naka' - which means 'inner', 'center', 'between'. The leitmotif is simple; it can be made from zeros and ones.

 

More clearly visible in grayscale, each element is basically the Kanji symbol for 'naka'.

5. Language confluences & conversational interfaces...

The logo blends characters from English and Japanese. Also from human and machine languages - the core shape is basically a 1 on a 0 - the fundamental characters of machine languages.

 

Pieces of our system are being designed as conversational interfaces. A useful metaphor for visualizing such interfaces is to think of words in a conversation like 'beads on a string' - which is the image each alphabet 'm', 'd', 'b' radiates when seen with its frame.