We recently wrote that 2020 was a year filled with silver linings all around—the Finnish startup scene was a winner showing us all how it can thrive even under tumultuous times. Inside our community, we saw it all, from companies breaking under uncertainty to successful pivots and startup teams getting close together like never before.
Maria 01 foundations
Maria 01’s vision is to be the most impactful startup campus in Europe. We want all startups in Finland to have a place where they can dream, try new ideas, sometimes fail, but eventually start again and find their way to growth and success.
Our primary purpose remains unchanged, which is to be the best community and place for startups to grow. We will continue to facilitate our community with the right bridges needed to access different funding options, customers, new services, and talent— with our unique location and connections to the global startup and venture community that fosters collaborations beyond borders.
As the years pass, things change.
As the leading startup campus in the Nordics, we want to continue to improve ourselves, our facilities, and our efficiency to prepare for future expansions. This new visual identity showcases how Maria 01 has evolved with the changing and challenging times while involving our community in our growth.
An overview of our new visual identity
Our refreshed visual identity comes to life with a pop of vibrant colors that reflect the cohesiveness in Maria 01 — it honors how unique we are and celebrates our differences.
Logo and symbols
We always felt that the Maria 01 logo is timeless. It’s classy and simple. We explored other options; however, our existing logo was the perfect companion when putting it alongside our color palette of choice.
We did make some subtle changes to our existing logo that don’t seem apparent with a quick look; however, the new version is more balanced.
In the past, we used an “M” symbol to build on our internal community identity. We showcased the symbol on campus in member-only areas but also exclusive materials for our members. To match this new identity with a new internal symbol, we went with a sleek “M01”.
We have selected a broad spectrum of new colors to represent Maria 01 —with our unique approach comes the bold colors. We have kept our black and white logo colors but explored vibrant background colors to pair with it. However, this is not your typical palette.
Our shades come together as one in a color block.
The block is inspired by our values and feelings our members shared when asked about Maria 01. The block symbolizes diversity, energy, joy, wholeness, and unity. We will use the color block in all forms of main brand communications from now on.
The Maria 01 color block is then taken apart into color pairing levels, including three primary colors (blue, green, yellow) and four accent colors (pink, orange, red, light blue).
We sprinkle versatility to all use cases of our visual identity by forming color pairing levels from the color block. Each different color combination represents different ways of communication. For example, to seal deals we use our primary colors.
Typography and motion
We decided to go with a minimal typographic palette to have
maximal continuation and consistency. That’s why we selected Mint Grotesk (a custom contemporary font). Furthermore, we wanted something simple to balance out the boldness of our color palette.
One of the attributes behind this new identity was the need to showcase movement in our identity. We achieved that effect by coming up with a set of assets that display our typography in motion. A key aspect of our community is its ability to keep moving forward and reinventing itself.
Last but not least, we want to leave you with some images of our identity in use. Within the next weeks, we will be working towards fully implementing this new identity across all touchpoints, both externally and internally.
Our designers: KOBRA Agency
This new identity was possible thanks to the creative masterminds: Kobra Agency. Kobra Agency is a creative agency founded and led by experienced designers based in Helsinki. We are super thankful to Kobra as we managed to involve our community and team to the end, facilitated by them. You can take a peek at their work here.
Background of our new identity
During 2020, we went through a strategy renewal process that led us to co-create our community’s values. Simultaneously, our team kept growing with new expertise and backgrounds. As a team, we worked on our strategy and made significant progress, but even so, something still didn’t feel right.
The main problem was that the new strategy work’s spirit and aspirations weren’t in line with our (back then) visual identity. When you also see how the startup community was taking more significant risks in 2020, we also had to reinvent ourselves.
Why change it now?
When Maria 01 started, we did not know how and if this exciting “old hospital campus, turned startup campus” would stand the test of time. Many people back in the day came to this community with the hope of just finding their “turf.”
Our team, operations, and startup and partner offering have changed throughout the years. However, our visual identity was the one piece of the puzzle that remained unchanged.
Our previous identity didn’t represent who we are today and the future ahead of us. Our last identity’s colors were lackluster, and it lacked flexibility for the versatile operations we run.
We wanted something bolder and radiant to show our personalities, the vibe of our campus, and send the strong message that this campus is open for everyone.
What to expect from us in the future?
This new visual identity aligns with our values. It helps us open up the Maria 01 brand to all those who want to experience it without taking part physically.
In the future, we want to explore the possibility of providing you an accessible way for you to take part in the community wherever you are in the world – it could be through a digital membership or, who knows, maybe our very own e-commerce shop.
Whichever direction we take first, you are welcome to stay tuned with us via our newsletter by signing up here. We get in touch monthly with curated news from the startup ecosystem and events we believe you should not miss.
Thank you for reading!