The Hub —

Levelling up the brand experience for Scandinavia’s most innovative startup incubator.

The client

The Hub is a community platform tailored to the needs of growth startups in Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Norway and Northern Ireland. A partnership between Danske Bank and Rainmaking, it serves more than one million people across the Nordic region. The Hub connects entrepreneurs, applicants and investors to free resources, including recruitment tools, funding, events, and expert advice.

Problem

The Hub needed to find a better way to communicate their offering to their various audiences, each with their very different needs and cultures. From twenty-something graduate students in Stockholm looking for their first job to seasoned investors in Belfast looking for their retirement fund — The Hub needed a brand experience that could both serve the needs of everyone in the startup ecosystem whilst connecting them in meaningful ways.

The solution

We phased out our process to propose new solutions to the Hub visual identity, website, and platform build using Vue.js. Starting from the visual identity we created new color palette guidelines, typography systems, photography guidelines, and graphic elements such as patterns, shapes, and their applications.

After the branding phase, we started our web design process based on The Hub’s previous research. We managed to stylize and unify Hub’s identity into one cohesive brand, that will be used across multiple platforms, such as their website and web application. During the design process, we created components, guidelines, and general templates to easily scale as The Hub’s user base grows with time.

Expanding their iconic brand.

Initial requirement didn’t include us changing the brand, that is why we decided to use the existing logo and balance out sizing and spacing of the three lettered mark. During the process we tested out various color schemes, applications, typography and photography treatments.

Considering The Hub coined the tagline “Connecting the dots” as the Hub being the focal point of a complex ecosystem made of people, businesses and services we decided to integrate the idea of “Human connection” by introducing directional patterns as brand elements. Thanks to guidance from The Hub team we expanded the idea by introducing concentrical patterns that helped us introduce fluidity and visual vigor to the brand.

Creating the website and web app.

We also designed and built a new website and a series of web applications including an applicant management system, startup culture pages, job search flow, and startup finder tools. To do this, we used Vue.js and AngularJS — modern industry standard web development frameworks that improved both the speed and quality of The Hub’s digital touchpoints.

We collaborated closely with their internal development team, introducing best practices to help them onboard new team members faster as they grow.

4.2m — project views The Hub got across our social networks.
Working with Balkan Bros., has helped us deliver creatively on multiple projects through the years. Their work has always been fantastic, and we hope to work with them in the future.
Kasper Vardrup Founder and Partner at Rainmaking

The result.

In the quarter following the launch of the new brand, The Hub saw job applications made through the site increase by 69%, as well as a growth in startup profiles of more than a third.

“Data and user research have been a fundamental part in creating a new communication framework. The result is a new brand platform that embodies the Hub’s values and vision.”

— Joe Lesina, CMO at the Hub

69%

applicants increase in the quarter following the launch of the new brand

4.2m

views this project got across our social media networks

Our services

Branding

  • Style exploration
  • Identity development
  • Visual language + Art direction
  • Brand guidelines
  • Digital and print applications

Human Experience Design

  • Marketing website
  • Application and startups platform
  • Newsletter modules
  • Style guide

Development

  • Front-end development
  • Website development
  • Responsive interface development
  • Vue.js environment

“With its 6,500 users, its 21,000 job offers and almost 350,000 applicants, The Hub has well and truly established its name as one of the most successful platforms supporting Nordic start-ups in scaling their businesses.”

— Danske Bank

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