Virtual Transport Solutions LP consists of several partners that know logistics frontwards and backwards. During their time in the industry they noticed a common pain point that desperately needed to be addressed. Thus they formed Virtual Transport Solutions LP (VTS) as an umbrella company to support their ideas for logistic solutions. The first being an app called See My Freight.
Because of the nature of a beta product, many of the ins-and-outs have to remain under wraps for the time being. For now however, we can discuss several specific features
See My Freight preface
Since See My Freight was funded by a brand new company (Virtual Transport Solutions LP), the pressure was on to be as quick and efficient as possible. VTS needed regular “tangible” updates in order to attract investment in their product.
The goal was a simple one – fail quick. The idea of “fail quick” is a common practice in product design. In product design this idea basically means to rapidly prototype an idea and get it in front of decision-makers quickly to ensure that the idea and vision was properly understood without investing too many resources. A lot of the investment pressure was placed on our design team. They needed to get something in the hands of VTS as soon as possible so that they could begin to demo the product to potential investors.
Before we can discuss the ins-and-outs of the UI & UX strategies, we have to wait until See My Freight comes out of beta stage.
Being a new product (and a new company) there was a need for a whole suite of marketing materials. First and foremost we needed a way to build hype, capture interest, and lead information. We built a landing page that would successfully fulfill those needs. However, in order to design and build a landing page you typically need to flesh out the branding first. We had the privilege to brand the product with an identity and app icon.
Initially existing on the appstore, See My Freight (SMF) needed a distinctive icon/mark that would both relate to the trucking industry and the software/tech world. We wanted to bring a fresh perspective to an industry that tech has seemed to leave behind while not alienating the current industry professionals. As I researched existing companies in the trucking industry, it became apparent that their brands were strikingly similar. Nearly all of the trucking companies were extremely masculine. Not only were these companies perceived as masculine through their colors and shapes but also in their blunt copy style and overall brand presence. There are a few ways that I leveraged SMF’s brand mark to unite these 2 worlds (trucking and tech).
The typography is very important for the SMF branding (isn’t it always though?). We knew we needed a homerun typeface combo to really hit this branding package out of the park. The headline font needed to represent both the trucking and software worlds. After all, this whole branding project is really about marrying two worlds that have seemed to have forgotten each other.
Our design team ran through countless combinations to try to get the typography to sing the way they wanted it to.. and then they ran into ‘Rubik’ – a typeface by Huber & Fischer. Rubik coupled with Google’s Roboto font was an amazing discovery. Rubik was originally designed for a Rubik’s Cube Exhibition. It was intentionally created to mimic the shape of a rubik’s cube. The letter forms are blocky with a subtle rounded edge and each of the capitals are specifically designed to fit in a cube of the rubik’s cube. We believe this is why this typeface stood out to us so much. Each letter form is designed with a square in mind, the square being an extremely important shape and characteristic of trucking and shipping. The rounded edge ads just enough of a modern-tech-vibe to be the perfect typeface to marry these two worlds.
This was a project that all of our developers were excited about. The nature of the app called to use some of the more modern frameworks that the developers loved to use. Since we’re still in beta, the development is still very much in production. We can’t wait for the logistics world to get their hands on such an industry-leading product! We have a long list of features and tools to add to the product once version 1.0 is launched.
Virtual Transport Solutions, LP preface
The founders behind See My Freight (SMF) have larger ideas and plans after this first product. They decided to form an umbrella-like company that will cover all of their ventures. Because of our ongoing relationship, they trusted us to help them with this project as well.
Virtual Transport Solutions, LP (VTS) also needed a whole suite of marketing materials. Pretty much the same plan as SMF. We needed to capture leads through a landing page that also builds awareness for their first product. However, before jumping right into the landing page we needed to flesh out the company’s identity and branding.
Initially we were mostly interested in warm color schemes (specifically orange and red) in order to communicate with the current industry trends (being masculine) and to compliment the branding completed for SMF. However after much collaboration and feedback from the client, we were asked to put together some examples using the same tones as SMF. The client ended up moving forward with a concept that was originally designed for SMF, just with a slightly different treatment.