The challenge


James and Noah, the Percolate co-founders, asked me to create a brand identity for their new company ‘Variance’. The name Variance is inspired by a framework Noah developed about how you can use “variance” as a framework for understanding process and systems. You can dig in here.

Variance is entering a new category of software named Software Performance Management (SPM), offering a systems approach to managing software based on the best-practices of people management. The goal is to empower companies to take over the management of their software - instead of having the vendor define success (focused on renewal) the companies themselves will be able to ensure the software is delivering at the highest level possible.


The Brief


The brief they gave me included two words: Not blue. After having worked together for 5 years that seemed fair.

So where do you go from there?

I started by putting together a deck of high level concepts and visual references to try to help us find the human connection. The concepts were based on the understanding that in order to improve your software performance you need to first map the organization, map the tech stack, map the variance spectrum, map the needs, and map the solutions.




Out of the concepts above we were most drawn to the idea of ‘mirroring’. I ended up creating a perfectly symmetrical ‘V’ symbol representing the mirroring o all software applications across the enterprise – in one place.


What we really liked with this solution was what happened when you split the “V’ symbol in half and flipped it. This graphic came to represent connection – between systems, between people, and between data and decisions.



Since ‘not blue’ was the only direction put down in words you would think we would be able to stay on brief. But no.


With a color palette inspired by the Toronto Raptors alternates and a Christopher Willits album cover we were on our way.