Graphic showing Glassdoor's new line illustrations of cartoon characters inside buildings against a green backdrop

Glassdoor’s refresh positions it as the new watercooler

The workplace insights platform has launched a new visual and verbal identity, which encourages people to see it as a place for community and conversation in a post-Covid world

Transparency sits at the heart of jobs insights platform Glassdoor. Launched 15 years ago, it has become an invaluable tool for many people when it comes to choosing their next employer, thanks to candid reviews, ratings, and salary indicators. Anyone with a twisted sense of humour will also know it for being the home of workplace gossip and savage truths, often written by disgruntled employees past and present.

Quotation marks feel like an appropriate symbol to put at the heart of its new branding, designed by Koto, which is brought together under the new tagline ‘Where work talk gets real’. The punctuation might look like a mistake at first glance, but when placed together, the quotation marks resemble the shape of the brand’s initials, ‘gd’. The thick, uppercase wordmark is simple but a clear move away from the more corporate design that came before.

The brand’s ethos runs through the suite of icons, which feature missing pixels to “reflect the concept of ‘staying open”, the agency says. These unfinished lines are picked up in Josep Puy’s characterful illustrations, which will be used across marketing, branding, and the platform itself.

The illustrations, plus the zingy colour palette that runs through the branding, are key to visualising the data that’s so intrinsic to Glassdoor’s product, turning dry stats into something more engaging.

Bespoke emojis have been created for digital touchpoints, as well as a new custom typeface developed with Giulia Boggio – a sans-serif with playful touches hidden among simple, practical letterforms.

The chatty, familiar language and friendly drawings encapsulate the brand’s mission to encourage open discussion, positioning itself as being on a level with employees and a trustworthy space to gain and share personal experiences.

The new verbal and visual identity has been rolled out at the same time as Glassdoor’s new app and website. As part of this, the platform is introducing Communities, its new social media-style feature enabling conversations between people about work, where users can choose to be anonymous or identifiable.

The new feature comes off the back of Glassdoor’s acquisition of Fishbowl – like Reddit for professionals – and is a response to the changes wrought by the pandemic. “People are more distributed than ever. And you hear people feeling lonely, disconnected from their office and their colleagues,” CEO Christian Sutherland-Wong told TechCrunch.

“Our work with Glassdoor was focused on creating a holistic brand that exudes confidence and open-mindedness, amplifying users’ voices through transparent conversations and real workplace insights,” said Deanna German, creative director at Koto. “We wanted to represent the evolution of Glassdoor from being a destination for insights, to a thriving community for real workplace conversations.

“By strategically positioning the brand and designing a visually captivating identity, we have empowered Glassdoor to truly own their brand experience and thrive in their next phase of growth,” German continues. “The logo, typography, illustrations, icons, and unique brand voice act as powerful amplifiers of Glassdoor’s mission, reflecting their commitment to participating in a healthier and more transparent work community for all.”