UK finance startup Kikin offers non-dilutive funding – funding that doesn’t require sacrificing ownership or equity – to businesses with a sustainable focus. Its new identity, designed by Koto, has an outdoorsy feel that gives a quiet nod to Kikin’s emphasis on sustainability.
This is largely thanks to a charming suite of woodcut-style illustrations, which resemble badges stitched onto Scout or Brownie uniforms.
These are used as hero imagery across communications as well as its product, where they bring levity to graphs and statistics. They also offer a nice spin on the ‘sticker’ format seen across a lot of branding these days. In addition, the team designed a set of icons based on the UN’s sustainable development goals.
The use of fabric-inspired textures can be found across the branding, acting as a welcome counter to the otherwise crisp and clean design system.
The squat forms and soft curves of Kikin’s lowercase wordmark give it an approachable feel that eschews the tone of your average investment firm. The ‘k’ and ‘i’ letterforms have been extracted from the wordmark to create the logo, which resembles a jaunty stick figure.
“Inspired by clubs of the past whose sole purpose was to protect and appreciate the world around them, we created a brand with camaraderie and a commitment to fostering positive change at its heart,” says Koto creative director Sam Howard.
“For people to want to join your cause you have to feel approachable. From billboard to button, we worked hard to create a sense of humanity at every level and interaction, signalling a change to a more sustainable financial model.”