Leafless Design and Branding
Branding Art Direction Web Design UI/UX Design Front-end Development
A couple years ago I had the opportunity to cofound a startup, Leafless.co. Leafless is a self-publishing site aimed at cutting through the noise of the eBook world, striving to make it easier for authors to share and profit from their own work. I met my cofounder, Richard, at a startup event and ended up joining forces with him as his "Designer CoFounder." (It's a thing. Look it up) This gave me a unique opportunity to build a brand and experience in it's entirety, from the ground up. We raised some seed funding (just $300K or so) around the beginning of 2013 at which time I chose to leave my position at Archer>Malmo to work full time on Leafless. I took the role of Chief Creative Lead in the company, managing all things design. I made sure our brand was consistent, I worked with our developer on all the UI and UX work on the site, designed external and internal communications, and more.
We initially launched under the name of Screwpulp - a joining of the names for the "Screwpress" and "pulp" or "paper." It was a very edgy name. We were in fact building a very edgy product so the brand and all it's language carried that tone. Everything was stark black and white, very strong, and had this rebellious overtone. We were bucking the traditional publishing model, so it fit. It was well recieved. People loved the name and brand. Well, most did...
About a year later, things weren't moving ahead as strong as we liked. Through some customer research we realized that there were enough people who were put off by our name to illicit a name change. Spending more time testing ideas and getting customer feedback we ended up with a new name and a slightly less edgy brand, Leafless. The name seem to fit perfectly - what do you call a book with no pages? Leafless. We got tons of positive feedback after the changes. This was huge, because big name changes can potentially have a negative impact on a brand, but everything went smoothly. We got lost of great compliments from our customers. Even managed to get some positive press out of it.