Experience design agency Layer has created the branding and visual identity for US hydrogen startup Croft, working across the logo, wordmark, tone of voice, packaging and more.
The London-based agency also led the industrial design and engineering of Croft, which is "dedicated to creating a blueprint for an enduring, scalable, green-hydrogen economy, offering a vision for a new future for energy". The system itself uses nano-cartridges that can be used to power retrofitted vehicles using hydrogen, a Nanoplant to recharge the nano-cartridges and a hose module for onboard charging.
Layer designed a brand mark for Croft that takes the form of an abstracted 'H'. According to the agency, this is "an emblematic symbol for the future of hydrogen". Layer continues, "The naturally elongated verticals and narrow 'waist' suggest a road vanishing into the distance, acting as a metaphor for the journeys Croft empowers users to take".
The brand mark was designed to be a versatile asset that can take multiple forms and be used in many different ways: a graphic element, debossed into Croft products as a certificate of quality, applied as a micro-pattern to create texture, and as a 'call to action' for interaction points.
Layer designed the branding to reflect the products in being "meticulously crafted to feel as visually ordered and pragmatic as possible", it says. As such, the letterforms are tall and "architectural" to help them "hold presence at different scales", from letterheads and packaging for small elements to shipping containers.
The pragmatic, utilitarian nature of the brand is further reflected in the colour palette of mostly black and grey gradients, with secondary accents of sage, vibrant yellow and electric blue.
"Working with Croft has allowed us to flex our design, engineering, and branding teams to create a holistic system that has the potential to fundamentally improve the way people travel and consume energy," says Layer founder Benjamin Hubert.
"Electric vehicles are increasingly commonplace but have downfalls – particularly when travelling long distances on a single charge. The Croft system offers a solution to these challenges with a consumer-ready product that enables users to embark on epic journeys with a clear conscience."