Their users are both shippers who need freight moved rapidly and at low cost, and drivers, who often have trouble finding consistent work that carries them to desired locations, often at the expense of family time and a quality wage.
Fr8Hub’s ambitious goal is to provide a more efficient solution for pairing shippers and carriers using digital tools, which will remove costly middlemen and allow drivers adequate compensation while still reducing the cost for shippers.
What we did
Rainfall designed an intuitive experience that streamlines interaction for both shippers and carriers and caters to their individual behaviors. By developing an efficient and engaging interaction model, more loads are posted, more drivers earn better wages, and more users return to the marketplace, choosing Fr8Hub over its competitors.
Starting at Point A
Our initial brief was simple: Develop a brand that communicates the security and transparency of Fr8Hub’s platform to the trucking community and is absent of photography.
This posed a substantial challenge as it meant that we needed to create all visual elements from scratch, but offered an opportunity for differentiation in a market saturated with heroic images of semis traversing the American landscape.
The wordmark for perpetual motion
Fr8Hub is exactly that, a hub where shippers and carriers are constantly connected to maintain a steady stream of goods. Though the name is now written with an “8” this was not always the case. We explored a number of marks for the name “FreightHub” that communicated the convergence of technology and speed, both literal and abstract in form.
After further discussion, we decided that by stylizing the spelling of “Fr8” we could symbolize connection, movement, and efficiency through typography alone. At larger sizes, subtle dashes are incorporated into the mark to more literally identify the company’s relationship with the highway.
The resulting wordmark needed to be sturdy yet approachable, so we chose Calibre Bold by Klim Type Foundry for its creation. The typeface was inspired by German street signage, effectively a nod to transportation typographic standards.
Without photography to use as an anchor we needed to create a strong visual element that would be the basis for promotional materials and instantly recognizable throughout various applications.
Fr8Hub is based in Texas, and after touring the arid landscape of the Southwestern US, we experienced a recurring theme. Semi trucks baking in sun soaked parking lots, casting long shadows with the passing of each day. We distilled this image into a graphic representation of a semi truck casting a long shadow that suggests a road and the opportunities that lie ahead.
The strength of this mark is that we can separate it into either a tractor or trailer for materials that relate to carriers or shippers, or use the unified image when speaking about the brand as a whole.
Clear, legible typography
From our initial deliberation about Fr8Hub’s identity we were inspired by the nostalgia of 1950s truck stop and gas station signage, and the bold use of sans serif typography over solid fields of color. After deciding upon Calibre for the mark we quickly determined that it had the flexibility to serve as the brand’s singular typeface, due to its availability in several weights.
Combining light and bold type became the foundation for communication in Fr8Hub’s marketing materials, symbolizing a dialog between consumers and the brand. Just as Fr8Hub facilitates the transport of goods from Point A to Point B, they also provide answers to consumers’ questions. By pairing two typographic weights, headlines became metaphorical conversations, resulting in concise messaging that is a dialog with its viewers.
Inspiration from sign painting extended to the creation of a color palette, especially as we surveyed competitors’ color choices. We found an overwhelming use of green, likely implying that their services move, and light blue, a favorite in product design for its calming and non-confrontational quality.
By avoiding green we naturally eluded the cliche use of traffic signal colors and instead stepped back into the Texas heat for insight. A bolder collection of colors emerged which reference early branding for Mobil, Phillips 66, Gulf, and Conoco.
A need for simplicity led to the sweeping use of what we call Rich Blue, Warm Orange, and white, with additional secondary colors including Dry Red, Pavement, and black for contrast.
Custom icons are essential for all of our clients because they efficiently communicate information while illustrating the personality of the brand. For Fr8Hub every icon was constructed from a series of lines to imply the many available routes and shipping lanes provided by the platform.
An ever evolving family of icons range in function from simple wayfinding aids to more detailed informational concepts and work effectively at all sizes for both print and digital applications
Finishing at Point B
A close partnership with the team at Fr8Hub resulted in a brand that connects the spirit of truck driving with the sophistication of contemporary design. Over the course of several months Rainfall had the opportunity to develop and test materials directly with consumers prior to launch.
An iterative process encouraged constant refinement and resulted in an identity that effectively speaks with its audience and communicates Fr8Hub’s values of efficiency, transparency, and trust with considerable impact.