As one of the first employees of Tandem I was involved in helping create and iterate a new brand for the bank. We started with a single question, “What is a good bank?” and a desire to reinvent banking to improve people’s lives.
For the first few months we operated under the guise of ‘#agoodbank’, a non-brand that we leveraged to gain a greater understanding of what people really needed from a bank. We ran discovery workshops, interviews and created a community of people we called ‘Co-Founders’ — a group of ordinary, un-banky people who would help shape and build the kind of bank they wanted.
Anyone could become a Co-Founder and each one got a share in the bank and their own membership card. We even created an app to allow Co-Founders to see what we were working on and for us to test ideas and gather feedback.
For the next six months, we set about defining the brand for the new bank. I was involved in and helped facilitate numerous workshops, Co-Founder events and testing sessions with Wolff Olins and other Tandem employees. We explored multiple names and directions before finding ‘Tandem’.
The output from working with Wolff Olins was a ‘minimal viable brand’ and a set of guidelines that the Tandem team could take and evolve over time. The guidelines included brand principles, a logo, a new font, colour palette, typography, photography and iconography styles, TOV principles and user personas.
The brand expression was born from the collaboration with Co-Founders. This is embodied in the logo and all other graphic elements. The hand-drawn line is the basis for the typeface, icons and other elements used across brand communications and digital products.
Co-Founders are the lifeblood of Tandem and will continue to help shape our customer offering as we head towards launch.
Ricky Knox, Tandem Founder & CEO
Eager to show off our new brand, we decided to design and build a responsive teaser website. The site’s main aim was to act as a destination for people who wanted to join the Co-Founder community. It also had to demonstrate that Tandem was something new and refreshing for the world of banking.
One of the first ideas we had for the brand was to use the conjunction of ‘AND’, present in the word ‘TANDEM’, to further reinforce the message of people coming together.
We designed and developed an animated photo grid. The grid generates a unique composition of Co-Founder photos for each visitor, with synced messaging and transitions, and allowed us to represent the diversity of the Co-Founder community. All of the images used on the site are of real members of the Co-Founder community.
The website was later expanded to include an about page and a blog. It was used for around 8 months and contributed to roughly 6,000 Co-Founder sign-ups. It also acted as a point of reference for the press or investors. It was the first public display of the Tandem brand, successfully setting us apart from our competition.
As the first member of the Tandem Design team I was involved in many aspects of the brand creation. However, the Tandem brand and resulting assets are the result of a big collaborative effort from the Wolff Olins team, Co-Founders and Tandem employees, notably John Alderson, Ricky Knox and Michael Noonan.