The Make Ready Logo

Delphia Learning

Delphia Logo

The Situation

Delphia is a startup learning and leadership consultancy firm. They needed branding that expresses competency in front of c-level executives at Fortune 50 companies, while also creatively differentiating. It's no secret that the world of consulting is large and not known as a bastion of creative design. The landscape consists mostly of san-serif logotypes and shades of blue and green. Delphia's brand personality is different, bold, and represents a new way forward. 


The first step after research for a new branding project is the search for inspiration. The Delphia brand draws its name from the Ancient Greek city of Delphi. Greece was the center of learning in the ancient world in arenas from mathematics to philosophy. Some of the most powerful minds of yore would gather on the hills of the metropolises to discuss their ideas. Delphi was no exception, but it was specifically known for something else. Delphi was known for its oracle. The Oracle of Delphi was a succession of mythological high priests at the temple of Apollo who would get glimpses of the future. It was where ancient kings and powerful men would go to try and learn their future. Would they succeed in battle? Would they have an heir? These concepts of learning and future seemed like ideal inspiration... let the sketching begin!


Sometimes you have to pursue a direction to see if it will work. The problem with the Greek inspiration? It didn't speak to the "newness" that the brand needed to express. It was too past-looking and not forward-looking. It had awesome potential, but we knew before the concept made it out of the Moleskine and into Illustrator that it was not what the brand needed. Good design requires removing your ego and letting the process lead you. If you get too attached to an idea, you miss possibilities. The point is to solve a design problem. Personal preference plays a part, because design is a subjective thing, but it's critical to let the needs of the project guide you. 

Another place that we turned for inspiration was modern learning science. It's amazing in the past twenty years how much knowledge we have gained about learning. As we scrolled through pages of graphs and facts and learning research branding, we stumbled across a new direction. It turns out that there are two main types of learning curves: traditional and steep. So we began to play with them. They were meaningful,and they had an interesting shape... 

When we finally pitched several variations of the two concepts to the client, there was one that resonated. It was one of the more abstract concepts involving the two types of learning curves intersecting within a box. The curves are fluid and abstract, yet unique. The box provides structure. Just like Delphia, the logo represents creating a structure for learning to take place. The fluid abstract curves create tension with the rigid box, making for a unique and visually interesting mark. 

We used orange, magenta, with some gray neutrals as brand colors in a gradient behind the logo. In a world of greens and blues like corporate consulting, Delphia's palette is eye-catching and bold. The orange and the magenta, paired with the two learning curves, create a duality that represents Delphia’s blend of past and future - anchored in the present, but looking forward.