28 Sept 2023
Building a brand with AI
We recently collaborated with an innovative company named twig, (you can read the case study over on our work page) and the experience was profoundly enlightening. Twig is not just another name in the corporate world; it's a testament to the transformative power of science and technology meeting.
Our challenge was crafting a brand identity that harmoniously integrated rigorous design elements, and straightforward, impactful language. That all sounds normal enough a challenge for us, but twig needed an edge, something different in how their world works. So much of what they do is defined by AI, and in the advent of generative AI, we wanted to authentically integrate this into their brand.
Why Generative AI, and where to use it?
Twig's three tech pillars, (aptly titled twig:tech) are meticulously designed. Each segment offers a clear explanation of its role and its contribution to the overarching mission: pioneering bioengineered ingredients that are sustainable. Each pillar reflects a key part of the process:
Bio:Builder = their best in class strain tool
Grow:Bot = their dependable, and scaleable robots that are automating the time intesive experiments bioengineering requires
ML:Bridge = The AI model that their experiment data gets funnelled through to make the most intelligent decisions for the next experiment, and to eventually deliver sustainable products
Each of these products, and the surrounding environment that the brand lived in, we imagined to be defined by AI, just as their science is.
Each part of the ecosystem has a key part to play, and we wanted to build something unique for them that had more impact than just an icon, or pictogram, so we dived into the concept of generative AI with excitement and trepidation.
Diving into Midjourney:
And so, our journey into Midjourney began. Senior Designer Ana Grigorovici faced the unending and then unrefined task of building potential routes and prompts through Discord to figure out how to authentically deliver a set of prompt rules that ensure no matter what the needed outcome is, it will always feel on brand for twig.
It started, as you'd imagine - wild. Examining different types of art direction, prompt wording, suffices, and the mechanics of urging the machine toward something you're actively searching for. Writing for AI is very different to writing for humans, and it doesn't guarantee results. Here's an example of the prompts, and how the tool within Discord actually looks:
/imagine: A world where the sky changes colors based on the collective mood of its inhabitants.
This could evoke images of a constantly shifting, emotional sky, influencing the world below.
/imagine: A forest where the leaves of every tree are translucent and emit soft, bioluminescent glows at night.
Picture a serene, glowing forest that comes alive with luminescence as darkness falls.
/imagine: An underwater city with glass domes, inhabited by both humans and marine life, with corals growing on buildings.
This can create a blend of futurism and marine biology, sparking ideas of harmony between man and sea.
/imagine: A vast desert where the sand dunes are made of fine, shimmering gold and silver particles.
This might stir images of a luxurious, radiant desert landscape with shifting metallic sands.
/imagine: A mountain range where each peak is carved in the likeness of different mythical creatures.
This conjures a majestic landscape filled with legendary beasts, each telling its own story.
Beyond this, we have the details. Aspect ratio, which version of Midjourney you want to use, the art style, the colours, mood, tones. Each of which can evoke a completely different version of the image for you to play with. Below is an examply of how that prompt comes to life:
Where to start for twig:
With their brand style already clearly defined at concept stage, we set to work unpicking moodboards we'd build, and using some of those prompts to create things like glass jars, bioreactors and products, to varying results.
Refine, refine, refine:
After hours of tweaking, iterating building and working with an engaged and interested client - we arrived at a set of prompts and shapes that felt right.
Scalable, dependable rules:
twig's brand guidelines now have explicit and defined rules around how to use generative imagery effectively, and authentically. Both in completely unique imagery, and imagery that uses midjourney's blend function. Unless anyone can tell us otherwise (email at firstname.lastname@example.org) we believe this is the first brand guideline document that includes a tone of voice for humans, and a tone of voice for AI.