Case study: fifteenminutes Brand Identity

Founded in 2016, fifteenminutes is a Sofia-based creative agency specializing in brand, digital, and marketing. The brand's personality is fun, laid-back, and playful, and so is its visual identity. Together with Alexander Petrov—artist, illustrator, and the lead creative behind fifteenminutes—we started the visual branding process by defining the logo's main concept. We explored fifteenminutes' values, vision, and mission, analyzed the competition, and conducted detailed brand research. Eventually, we found what we were looking for in, well, the fifteen minutes themselves.​​​​​​​
Is fifteen minutes a long time? When we observe the work process of someone really good at what they do, everything looks simple and happens quickly. In fifteen minutes, let's say. But what stands behind their fifteen minutes is, most of the time, tireless passion, determination, and devotion. Years of hard work, sleepless nights, and countless mistakes. It’s not always easy. Sometimes the fifteen minutes turn into hours. Often to days. Doesn't matter. We chose to focus on those exact fifteen minutes of simple and most passionate enthusiasm, wide-eyed, fun-loving attitude, and sheer talent when everything happens before you know it.
Brand identity​​​​​​​
We needed to create a strong, memorable brand that stands out and sends a clear message to its core audience of mainly like-minded, people-driven businesses where humans talk to humans. Of course, there are some differences between how B2B and B2C businesses communicate their services; how small, family-owned companies talk to their customers still differs from how large corporations approach theirs. Yet, those differences are getting increasingly insignificant day by day; even in large-scale corporate business, every company wants to be seen as approachable and friendly. Thus, we needed to make it very clear from first sight that even though fifteenminutes could indeed take care of your large-scale enterprise marketing campaign, its main goal remained to be truly friendly, zero-BS, and fun, which will always come first. So, we got wild.
At this stage, we decided on the colour scheme: we chose two contrasting primary colours, yellow and black, to emphasize the brand's boldness, and another high-contrast pair for the supplementary palette, pink and blue, to spice it up for the sake of the fun element. All white used for branding is a custom shade with a pink tint.  The logo is a combination of shape and minimalistic type, a representation of a quarter, and a wordmark that features the full brand name.
The quirky, a bit old-school, somewhat nostalgic to us millennials design of the logo (think MTV and Nintendo, glorious days, weren’t they?), along with the bright, contrasting colour scheme, allowed us to come up with an equally bold font pairing. We picked Sergiy Tkachenko’s Fabryka 4F, a typewriter sans serif typeface, for our display font and paired it with Accademia di Belle Arti di Urbino’s Titillium for paragraph text, and finally, we added a subtle accent of Claus Eggers Sørensen’s Playfair Display.​​​​​​​
Consistent application of type and style allows audiences to easily recognize the brand’s identity across channels. Having a hierarchy for type expression builds consistency and a unified feel across communications which, in turn, reinforces brand recognition. Therefore, we set some rules. Type hierarchy applies to communication across all channels. Large headlines always use Fabryka 4F. Depending on scale relationships, subheads may use Fabryka 4F Italic or Playfair Display. Large blocks of copy use Titillium sentence case. In addition, any type is never altered by adding outlines, drop shadows or effects.
Once we aligned our core brand elements, we perked things up. Patterns play an essential role in creating strong recognition and bringing depth to an identity, and they are easily designers’ favourite branding elements. So we had fun. The main shapes derive from the geometry of the fifteenminutes mark, adding to the brand’s bold, colourful, slightly retro style when combined.​​​​​​​
By infusing fifteenminutes’ visual identity within the physical space it inhabits in the form of patterned signage, custom-printed wallpapers, and fabrics, we created an even more impactful experience for anyone who communicates with the brand. Then we ensured we used the same visuals across all channels, including social and web, to foster brand consistency.
Brand application
Once we established our clear, strong visual branding, we took our core palette of rich black, yellow, and raspberry and added more depth using tints and shades for page backgrounds and overlays. We needed layouts and navigation as clean as possible, with much more room to use large images and videos to serve the website's main purpose of showcasing fifteenminutes' work. We made sure both the content and visuals fully aligned the website to the main branding work done to harmonize all environments, online and offline.
It was very important for the fifteenminutes’ brand strategy to be consistent across different communication touchpoints. The company's tone of voice, mission, vision and even the name all perfectly fit the overall brand’s identity. We believe that the visual identity that we created has only contributed to a unique experience for everyone involved with the brand.
​​​​​​​Thank you.
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