September 2, 2014

Branding Unmark

Plain released a bookmarking service in March. This service, available as a web app, presents bookmarks (or just “marks” as we like to call them) in such a way as to help the user easily digest them and act upon them, rather than just be another channel for digital hoarding. We bill it as the to-do app for bookmarks. Save an article, read it, check it off. Save a link to a product you wanted to pick up, purchase it, check it off, so on and so forth. This interaction of turning saved links into an action list is critical for us as it is the biggest differentiator between our system and other, more established ones.

We used that point of view when naming it Unmark. To us, it seemed to be a perfect fit—a succinct term that can describe both the main interaction in the app (v. I unmarked that youtube video when I was done rofl’ing.) and possibly the content itself (n. Holy smokes! I saved 42 new unmarks today.) It was catchy, almost entirely unused in any way even remotely related to us and, would you look at that—a decent TLD was available. Done deal.

The goal with the logo was to keep things fresh with bold colors, clean lines and a strong identifying mark. I usually start sketching ideas stemming from letterforms used in the name. To me, monograms and icons incorporating initials always seem the easiest to identify with separately from type (think Facebook’s f, etc.). After working through some shapes and rough concepts, some ideas looked promising.

Unmark Logo Sketches

I explored a few concepts further and brought color schemes into play to help decide what colors would best represent Unmark.

Slightly Refined Concepts

Things are progressing nicely at this point, but I could tell that the middle one just didn’t have the impact I was looking for. And, ultimately, I thought that the one on the left shared too many similarities to Pocket’s logo (, so I moved forward with the concept on the right.

Final Mark

A few nips and tucks and we landed on the finalized logo mark, loosely incorporating both a U and an M (for UnMark), the bottom of a bookmark banner (since it’s a bookmarking app) and an upward arrow (often used to denote a link). By turning the entire mark 45° we drove home the arrow representation a bit more and helped alleviate any likeness to a home icon. I also liked the energy that is created by the diagonals.

Unmark Logo

I realize that a lot of the conceptual explanation behind work can come across as self-indulgent garbage. I’m with you. However, this is how I approach branding work and I always like to peek behind the curtain of fellow designers so hopefully it will interest a few of you out there as well.

Check out Unmark at