M is for Motion. How our logo refresh marks the next chapter of M-TRIBES.

Take a look behind the scenes of our process of creating a simpler and more powerful visual identity and understand how the evolution of our logo design mirrors the journey of building up M-TRIBES to become a preferred technology provider for a growing diversity of businesses.

Anna-Philine Lübbke
July 12, 2021
"Not only does M-TRIBES provide technology for a world "in motion", as a team we also aim to progress at any time. The latest iteration of our company's logo design reflects how the flexibility of our developer-first technology platform M-TOOLS is empowering our business partners to create highly-relevant services in domains such as quick commerce (i.e. 10 minute grocery delivery), last-mile delivery, or free-floating sharing of scooters and other vehicles."

Johannes Schubert, CMO M-TRIBES

"Today we are launching our brand new logo that celebrates the dynamic evolution of our company." Sounds epic, but would you have noticed that M-TRIBES had a new logo, if you didn't read this blog post? Probably not …

In order to facilitate a seamless and fast experience for businesses owners and software developers in search for a reliable technology partner, our logo is playing a supportive role in our customer experience. Nonetheless, we are genuinely excited to share with you the new sign that will welcome you everywhere on your journey with M-TRIBES. And of course we look forward to hearing your thoughts.

The history of M-TRIBES in three letters.

Every logo update represents a great opportunity to reflect on some of the "invisible" processes inside a company that are represented in the rework of this very "visible" piece of our corporate identity. Got a few minutes to learn about what inspired our refresh?

Forming the tribe.

So let's go back to where it all started out … In 2017 Patrick started our company by forming a "tribe" of people that shared our values speed, impact and commitment. All of us were united by experiences in technology, a passion for mobility and a genuine hunger to move the needle. M-TRIBES explored various market opportunites for ventures in the  transportation space and decided to build up Now.delivery as a digital-first courier marketplace in our home city Hamburg.

As a specialised "Venture-Building-As-A-Service" agency our team began to empower corporates to build innovative services that aimed to accelerate the digital transformation of the industry. With a cross-functional team across strategy, product, engineering, marketing and operations M-TRIBES helped the BMW Group to prototype, test and launch the private carsharing service MINI Sharing. We are grateful about this eye-level collaboration and are proud that this innovative accessory working with the latest generation of MINI vehicles is live in many countries around the world.

Please send an SVG to marketing@m-tribes.com, if you know what we we'll look like in 2023.

Why is there no "toolbox" for transportation services?

But we wanted more than to ship cool projects and built custom software. From our experiences of building startups in transportation, we understood that fast and flexible software to kickstart brand new services wasn't available. Consequently the vision of M-TOOLS was born as a "building kit" that would democratise access to transportation technology and empower local players around the world to launch & scale highly-customised services in record speed.

In 2018 we've started to develop our in-house technology platform with Movinga as our first software "tenant". When we went all-in on the SAAS model soon after, we also decided to go all-in on our primary brand colour, repaint our HQ and our website … and refresh the logo for the first time.

Ready for the next level?

Good thing that #3F77F5-blue period didn't last forever. Within a year after its inception, M-TOOLS had become a powerful technology platform allowing to configure end-to-end software including mobile and web apps for a B2B and B2C customers, drivers and operators. In an industry in urgent need for an update M-TOOLS truly stood out offering versatility which allows to answer the requirements of businesses in areas such as instant grocery deliveries, city courier and last-mile delivery services, ride, taxi and flight-hailing, car- and scooter-sharing – to name just a few.

With our technology platform enabling a huge diversity of transportation businesses via ready-to-launch industry templates we decided to embrace the power of colours in a new way. Over the course of the last six months we introduced a new visual language on our communication channels with a fresh palette of colours, customised icons and branded artworks. During this process we were of course eager to see where a logo exploration could lead us.

Tada. This is where we landed …

The ingredients of our 2021 logo design.

Now that you understand the journey of M-TRIBES you will understand that the design briefing for the logo refresh was simple and straightforward.

Our team is passionate about inviting a diversity of transportation businesses to our community. That is why since the formation of M-TRIBES 'PARTNERSHIP' has been one of our fundamental priorities and has always been represented visually in our visual brand identity.

Job #1: Continue to express "Partnership" as an essence of M-TRIBES

However with a growing number of software tenants that are serving a multitude of communities all over the world, the true differentiator of M-TRIBES isn't our strategic insight, or our highly-praised support team, but the market-leading FLEXIBILITY of our technology platform.

Job #2: Introduce "Software Components" as an essence of the M-TOOLS technology platform

Job #3: Embrace minimalism

Our company is embracing a "superbrand" strategy, building up a universe of brands attached to it's M. To make sure that the new symbol would be able to represent M-TRIBES, M-TOOLS, M-SPACE (yes, that's our riverside HQ with attached co-working) and any other future relatives in a manner that allows for infinite design adaptions and knowing that our logos will be displayed in tiny versions such as browser tabs, app footers, etc. we knew that a minimalist graphic would be do the job best.

Looking over the shoulder.

Let's be honest: Turning off both your laptop with Figma and your iPad Pro with Procreate can cause feelings of belonging to a less developed species, when you're surrounded by a tribe of technologists that rely on M1 machines, large flat screens and often two mobile devices at the same time.

Still paper and pen proved a great antidote to overthinking and enabled us to come up with a great variety of unique ideas in a short timeframe …

One of the keys to creating a new logo: Don't stop drawing …

After a lot of sketches we thought we nailed it but the feedback stated:

"The stuff in the middle somehow gives me a feeling of instability, like stuff falling down / getting stuck, maybe partially due to the lack of symmetry, and I can't quite make sense of what it's standing for." (Thanks, Chris)

No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. Maybe ...

The candid feedback was even more motivation to come up with a design that would truly elevate and clean up our brand experience. There was a thin line to walk between expressing the "Components" dimension to represent the flexibility M-TOOLS has to offer and yielding an unwanted impression of fragility.

Ok, this article can't cover EVERY detail of our journey and I guess you understand that we were successful in the end, weren't we … :-)

Releasing: M v.3.0

Now you know the background story of our new logo, that will meet you in so many places from the app stores, Linkedin posts, to our Hamburg office and of course our website. We hope that it will "spark joy" as you interact with our brand.

And of course we look forward to hearing your thoughts as we always aim to become better at everything we do. After all our world is always in motion, isn't it?

To celebrate the new logo with our team, we 3d-printed physical M-COINS. They remind us that every employee owns shares of our company.

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Anna-Philine Lübbke
Visual Designer

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