This question is important. You see, several years ago, I shared an apartment in a renovated woolen mill with a guy named Mike. At the time, we speculated that the worst things that human beings do usually happen when two bored people say to each other, "hey, wouldn't it be cool if...?" Whenever we did it, that usually resulted in us, a programmer and a designer, implementing a lot of experimental projects. Reprogramming a traffic light that we hung in our living room. Starting a web comic. Creating a TiVo so we didn't have to buy one. Painting a Soviet-inspired portrait of Dave Thomas, the founder of Wendy's. Setting up a web identity for our living room couch. What we failed to realize at the time was that "wouldn't it be cool if...?" can actually yield brilliant ideas when followed with the slightly more difficult, "...so what?" It's actually just a restatement of the standard design process that anybody uses when creating anything.
Bruce Hanington's diagram of the design process
What's great about all this is that Mike now works for QA Cafe. And QA Cafe poses these questions. They are primarily known for their flagship product, CDRouter, which is used by a Who's Who of Silicon Valley's heavy hitters, including Motorola, Cisco, Apple, Linksys, AT&T, Verizon, Qwest, Texas Instruments, Belkin, and Palm. But in 2010, they devised CloudShark, an interface that does something pretty simple: it allows you to view and manage capture files over the cloud, rather than on a drive. They realized that attempting to view these files on mobile devices was not a sustainable idea, so they did what any good innovators do -- they developed their own tool to solve that problem. It allows them to do their job from anywhere, from any web-capable device. And like any good user-based system, the service is available as a web tool or as a physical device. CloudShark has grown from a simple in-house tool to a full-scale product, with its own sales figures and support staff.
Evensen Creative worked with QA Cafe to brand CloudShark, design the PCA1000 device, and support marketing and advertising endeavors. The CloudShark mark began as a whiteboard sketch, going through a couple of rounds of development, and ending up as the icon you see here. The typeface Museo was chosen because its rounded letterforms matched the smooth, cloud-like forms of the icon, and the serifs look a little like fins. The CloudShark website was developed by our colleagues at Vital Design, following our brand direction.
Click here to view the case study for QA Cafe.