Skype: Over the rainbow

When I started at Skype in 2006 they were just moving away from using the Simpsons font (Akbar) to the old rainbows and clouds stuff that we're probably best know for. I will admit it: rainbow colors had to be on brand or they wouldn't be used. Sorry, we have guidelines!


Skype needed to grow-up from the rowdy teenager covered in (rainbow and cloud) tattoos to a more mature person people can depend on (and invest in). Everyone knew us for video calling, but we had other features, so one goal of the redesign was to develop a system to bring those things forward. We were also tasked with using stories to show how these features were relevant to people's everyday lives.


We decided those stories needed three general rules: they needed to feel authentic, they needed to be everyday (not just calling home every holiday), and we wanted to show two or more people doing something together. (A single person on Skype is like having one walkie-talkie.)


We developed a core set of guidelines for the brand and new design system (that focused around a modular element we called a "split-kit"). We also developed tone of voice and editorial guidelines. Since we were pretty busy on the social and partner fronts, we developed guidelines for those channels specifically as well. We on-boarded new agencies and employees on a regular basis (I might talk about sets in my sleep...)


© 2018 Copyright Matt Sedik

Brands, photography and guidelines are the property of their respective owners.