Tilt: Branding


Tilt is an ed-tech startup building a college guidance platform for students in under-resourced communities. This project focused on creating their first brand identity by identifying its core values and images with co-founders.

Tilt is founded by two co-founders from their belief that attending a college could be the best opportunity for anyone, especially those under-resourced students, to develop the capabilities to be economically and socially mobile. When they came to me, they recently figured out the name of the company/service. Their request was first to create a logo and help them subsequently on the web, print, and other materials to build and maintain the brand.


Through in-depth interviews with the co-founders, three key considerations were identified for the firm's branding.

I start visual identity works with comprehensive research on the product and the client. Since this was a new service/company, I had several sessions of in-depth interviews with the co-founders to understand why they decided to start this business, how they are analyzing the problem, and their solutions. Such discussion led to the finding of below three key considerations:





Tilt’s service is for high school students and teachers, and the main customers would be public schools and local educational institutions.


The service will be offered on the web, with a focus on experiences on mobile devices.

As a brand-new startup service, it is essential to leave a strong impression of the name itself (so that people can remember) with a positive image. 


I selected key phrases defining what they do and who they are.

The Tilt team has twelve main attributes to describe themselves, what Tilt does and who they are. Through discussion with the client, I narrowed them down to three most representative phrases: Tilt the system, College counselor in a box, social mobility.


Ladder, Step, Box, Letter  T

I extract visual metaphors from key concepts and values of the client to use in the project. Such visual metaphors also help the client to understand what kinds of visual images they want to show to the users. Collaborative work with Tilt’s team led me to find four strong metaphors: ladder, step, box, and letter T.


A symbolic logo with logotype was selected to promote the name of the service, at the same time to deliver its visual image.

Tilt’s logo has to enable the viewers to know its name and to understand and/or get hints on what they do. I thought, first of all, the logo should contain the name of the company. Tilt is a startup and needs to let the world know of their name. In addition, a symbol representing what they do would make the logo complete. I presented to the client four alternatives using each of the visual metaphors above.

The Tilt team chose the step and letter “t” combination type.

I worked on a few more modifications and alternations to finalize the design.


I created three types of responsive logos to accommodate diverse screen sizes and use cases.

With different screen sizes and new channels for advertising, logos are no longer one-size-fits-all. Logos need to change in size, complexity, composition, or even color to accommodate and adapt to wherever they are placed. I always create responsive logos, and this principle was also applied when creating the stair-case shape symbol so that it can be used independently.

Thank you for watching :)

© 2019 Yeonkyung Kim