Pocopay

Money in the 20th century was made of paper, metal and plastic. Now it has become purple, liquid and touch sensitive. Pocopay is a service for the European market that aims to change everyday banking forever.

Client: Pocopay
Illustrators: Ryan Chapman, Carl-Robert Kagge

Animation: Tolm
Year: 2016

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We got a phone call from Linnar Viik, a somewhat legendary figure on the Estonian IT scene. At the first meeting he showed us something that said “payment droplets”. No, we didn’t understand it either.

A few months later he set up another meeting. This time he had a name: Poco, meaning “little” in Spanish. The service targeted the European market and was meant to change everything the banks are – big, slow, expensive.

He already had some wireframes drawn up. These featured a big circle that was to become the central UX device, allowing users to drag and drop payments or requests. That sounded cool. We were in.

Our initial task was to develop the brand strategy, create a visual identity and help to implement it for the Android app. The solution was built on a brand new infrastructure independent from all the legacy systems in banking.

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Firstly, we did some research on FinTech, analyzing both the offerings and visual language. We also spotted a few possible competitors from UK and Germany. Early on, it was clear that we already have something to set us apart from all the others.

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The currency circle. The “liquid currency” concept was central to the product and it made sense to built the visual identity around it, forming a coherent, strong system. We did explore some other avenues, but quickly returned to the circle.

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Having set the main concept, it was pretty straight-forward. The name itself was a perfect fit as it’s letters can be constructed from 4 circles. It took some trial and error to get it right. At this point we agreed to change the name to Pocopay for clarity and ownability.

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As the identity was meant to work not only digital-first, but mobile first, we designed the logo so it could be scalable with the icon integrated into the wordmark.

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GT Haptik was chosen as the corporate typeface for its geometrical construction, on-screen legibility and nice-looking numbers. We also knew that if modifications would be needed the guys at Grilli Type will always help us out. More on that later.

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For a strong brand presence, one core colour can work wonders. We settled on purple. It was not used by any competitors (or anybody in FinTech) and it certainly did not leave anybody cold. As we soon found out while preparing some investor pitches for the CEO, Indrek Neivelt. A secondary colour palette was chosen based on the core features of the app.

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App icons for iOS and Android.

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Several concepts for the start screen.

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The currency circle was meant to be a fun, almost tactile experience. But how would it actually perform, how liquid would it be (we talked frozen vodka vs jelly here, btw) and can the developers actually make it work? We had to find out. Here is the first concept for liquid motion animation.

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Final renders with each animation describing a feature through a liquid metaphor. Animation by Tolm.

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Besides the usual stationary package, one of the first deliverables was a bank card. Here we asked ourselves the obvious question: “Why is the design on the card placed horizontally, when in actual use you hold it vertically?” A few tries and yes, a vertical design actually works.

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However much we liked GT Haptik, it was not perfect. The uppercase letters were too wide for in app use and it had some quirky features that needed toning down. So we worked with Grilli Type to create a custom version. A special tabular-only typeface was added to be used for bank statements and other features inside the app.

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Another huge part of the project was the website. From outlining the content to design and development, it was all done in less than 2 months. The site was launched from the back seat of a taxi. True story.

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The website needed illustrations. We turned to our trusted friend Ryan Chapman as his simple, colourful style worked so well with the identity.

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A week before the launch event we realized that the venue is looking too bleak. So we asked designer/illustrator Carl-Robert Kagge to play around with the identity and come up with 6 custom artworks. These were printed in A0, framed and displayed. 5 of them now adorn the walls of Pocopay offices. The 6th? Yes, we got to keep that.

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Contact

AKU Collective OÜ
Pagari 1 – 4, Tallinn 10133, Estonia
info@aku.co

+372 518 8402
VAT: EE101524281
Reg nr: 12224294

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Team

Alari Orav
Designer / Partner
alari@aku.co
+372 518 8402
LinkedIn

Kaarel Kala
Designer / Partner
kaarel@aku.co
+372 5564 1828
LinkedIn

Uku-Kristjan Küttis
Designer / Partner
uku@aku.co
+372 5560 7782
LinkedIn

Sven Erik Raju
Designer / Developer
sven@aku.co
+372 5692 3042

Jaan Sarapuu
Designer
jaan@aku.co
+372 5905 5704
LinkedIn

About

We are forward-thinking designers who love interesting problems. Our work starts with a simple “why?” and follows a tailor-made process, involving both reason and intuition. We aim to provide meaningful, honest and surprising solutions.

AKU was founded in 2012 by Alari Orav, Kaarel Kala and Uku-Kristjan Küttis, who share over 40 years of combined experience in design and communication. We have worked with a wide range of clients from long-standing institutions to fresh start-ups, both locally and internationally.

Selected clients

Huffington Post
Click & Grow
Connected Health cluster
Eliko
Estonian Centre of Architecture
Estonian Design Centre
Estonian National Museum
FC Flora
Joon
Kokomo
KTA Architects
Mondo NGO
Nortal
Parliament of Estonia
Pocopay
Pühaste Brewery
Salto Architects
Tallinn City Theatre
Tallinn Music Week
Union of Estonian Architects

Awards

We have received over 20 Estonian Design awards, including ADC*Estonia Designer of the Year, Young Gun and a Grand Prix.

Full Award List

Capabilities

Branding
Strategy
Naming
Visual Identity
Art Direction
Packaging

Environments
Signage/Wayfinding
Exhibition Design

Print
Books
Periodicals

Digital
Web and App Design
User Interface Design

Estonian Design Awards
ADC*E Designer Of The Year — Uku Kristjan Küttis, 2014
Silver — Tallinn Architecture Biennale 2013 Catalogue, printed works. 2014
Silver — Exhibition Estonian farm architecture, exhibitions 2014
Shortlisted — Tallinn Architecture Biennale 2013, corporate identity, 2014
Bronze — Tallinn Music Week, corporate identity, 2014
Bronze — SISU poster, printed works, 2014
Antalis Best Use of Paper — Sisu poster, 2014
Gold — European Parliament Elections 2014, Broadcast Environment, 2014
Bronze — European Parliament Elections 2014, Broadcast Identity, 2014
European Parliament Elections 2014, Broadcast Identity, 2014
Silver — Tallinn Architecture Biennale 2011 identity, 2012
Silver — Rótary Klubi, printed matter, 2012
Bronze — ETV Channel Identity, 2012
Shortlisted — Kaleidoskoop poster, printed matter, 2012

ADC*Estonia
Silver — Kohvik August, corporate identity, 2015
Bronze — Music Estonia, corporate identity, 2015
Bronze — SISU 2015, printed works, 2015
Bronze — Tallinn Music Week 2015, illustration, 2015
Shortlisted – Joon, corporate identity, 2015
Shortlisted — Tõnis Saadoja exhibition, printed works, 2015
Bronze — Estonia 100 branding, corporate identity, 2013
Shortlisted — Estonian Design Awards 2012, corportate identity, 2013
Shortlisted — ZEN pre-paid phone card, corporate identity 2013

BalticBest
Silver — European Parliament elections, design, 2014