December 7, 2018

Designing a human-friendly brand identity

Kevin Cheng

In this post, we talk about how we renewed our identity towards a broader vision of human-friendly artificial intelligence.

Logo Redesign Jesse

Why a logo matters more than you think

Imagine you are in a foreign country and your AirBnB runs out of shampoo.

You rush to a store. What brand do you buy?

A good logo gives visual robustness to a brand. A great logo reveals a company’s identity, welcomes and engages new customers, and builds brand loyalty and love. A great logo must be backed by a great design process. Here's how we did it.

What we wanted our logo to embody was founded to make enterprise software more human-friendly.

Here's what our initial logo looked like in 2017.

original logo for Tactile, Inc. now

We liked our founding logo - it was our founding palette. which included the world's first 100% offline, patented sync platform for Salesforce data.

By 2017, we were working with Fortune 100 customers to drive revenue growth with an AI Assistant and an intelligent edge platform for sales.

We felt it was time to renew our palette towards a logo that represented our broader vision of human-friendly artificial intelligence

How we experimented till we got it right    

In an industry where AI discussions often anchor on technology versus on people, we see ourselves as a human-friendly and natural AI experience.

So we focused on designing a logo experience that would feel human-friendly, extend across our product and marketing efforts, and help us scale the company.

To start, our team studied logos present in the AI and technology space as well as logos that convey the approachable and accessible ideals we were looking for.

Our design team evaluated everything from visual brand elements to color schemes to font weight, iterating on options with company font, Gotham, as well as hand-drawn script styles.

As a startup, rapid collaboration and feedback is our daily oxygen. Our design team shared several refined logo edits with everyone in the company for votes and preferences.

We debated both practical and meta questions. For e.g. how do we literally depict "artificial intelligence"in our logo.  The inclusion of AI in our logo was important to our brand because we strongly believe in the augmentation potential of AI for salespeople in the 21st century.

For some folks, AI means Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt - they wonder if advances in AI will result in smart machines ending humanity as we know it.

To design a friendly and approachable logo, we studied how ‘.ai’ vs. ‘AI’ vs. ‘A.I.’ were perceived by different people, including friendly users and employees.

Another hill we climbed was bringing both our signature orange and magenta gradients into the logo. Those colors are vivid, so we had to make sure that they weren’t overpowering.

We also spent a lot of time exploring various script-style logotypes which proved to be difficult. Ultimately, trying to balance a classy and legible look with the expectations of what styles work within the tech industry was enough to persuade us out of that direction.

Where we arrived. Here's our current logo

We arrived at a logo that aspires to be human-friendly and approachable. We drew inspiration from examples that echoed these themes, as well as our own past designs. The result was an all lowercase logotype with varying font weights between ‘tact,’ and ‘ai.’ We fine-tuned letters and their interactions with each other to make the font soft and united.

Newly designed logo for

The two dots in the logotype show our product icon colors, contributing to the friendly and approachable tone we aimed for.

Finally, since scalability is essential to a good logo, we made refinements so that the logo is clearly legible at different sizes through various display mediums.

Kevin Cheng
Kevin Cheng
Head of Global Marketing and Communications at

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