We all know Google from the outside: the clean white landing page, the sleek and practical interface, the suite of perfectly packaged products. But the engine that powers Google from the inside is something wilder – a team of tens of thousands of engineers, each infusing their work with limitless creativity. And this boundlessness comes with the job. After all, entire worlds can be built with code, the only limit being the coder’s own imagination. The starting block for infinite possibility is as humble as Google’s interface itself – a blinking cursor on a blank page, the very first thing a coder sees when they start their journey.
When Revery teamed up with Google to create a brand identity for a new internal team – Core Dev UX – our first challenge was finding a way to communicate the vast possibility of coding via design. How could we unite this sense of infinity with simplicity? How could we use design to support the team behind Core Dev UX, rather than simply change the look of their workspace? How could we speak to the power of coding without speaking over it? We found our answers through story.
Working as an embedded team within Google, our Revery design team became the jack-of-all-trades for Core Dev UX. This allowed us to understand the story at the heart of Core Dev UX – the humbleness they brought to their work, the empathy that powered their problem solving, and the brilliant possibility behind it all. Together, we realized that Core Dev UX didn’t need an identity so much as they needed an integrated system, a sort of narrative structure that could shape and inform the many pathways of their workflow.
The brand identity we developed centered on a color story and typeface suited to someone who spent each day looking at a screen, and the central uniting aspect that we set out to find wasn’t a logo or a mark, like we thought it might be when we started out. We realized early on that the static and the traditional didn’t seem to fit. So, the central piece of the brand identity we built was less of Core Dev UX’s logo, and more of its heart – the blinking cursor, that simple, powerful reminder that everything begins from here.
What evolved from our efforts was a flexible design system – something that could extend to different teams, different projects, and different arms. Relying on the core pillars of the developers’ story – humbleness, empathy, and possibility – we created digital product designs, UX designs, slide templates, websites, data visualization systems, icons, illustrations, branded team swag, and anything else that Core Dev UX wanted to bring to life. While this was a design-heavy project, our goal was to use design in the way a developer might use code – in other words, so seamlessly that it becomes invisible.