FIRST CIRCLE

FINANCING
POSSIBILITIES

FIRST CIRCLE

FINANCING POSSIBILITIES

FIRST CIRCLE:

FINANCING POSSIBILITIES

 

OVERVIEW

First Circle is a FinTech brand that seeks to empower the Filipino SME, to go against the long-standing status quo of traditional financial institutions and to almost produce the fair opportunity SMEs deserve to be able to succeed. They do this by providing financing services that are fast and accessible delivered through clean, transparent and secure tech—an innovation in and of itself.

But since their launch in 2016, they found that the people who need this the most are also the people who aren't likely to trust it, or even admit that they need it. First Circle needed their brand to show compassion with credibility, vision without intimidation, and security and safety through the unknown. This is when they called for our help.

WHAT WE DID

Brand Research
Brand Strategy
Brand Identity
Collateral Design

 

WHAT WE DID

Brand Research
Brand Strategy
Brand Identity
Collateral Design

 

01

AMBITIONS IN CONTRADICTION
The First Circle context is complex, nuanced and needed to be understood more deeply. We engaged the entrepreneurs First Circle helped at different stages of their growth and rounded off that understanding by speaking to their team and the founders themselves. We found that many of their clients were contending with the push and pull of where they are and what they needed, and that First Circle and its identity and design needed to help guide them towards where they could be.

AMBITIONS IN CONTRADICTION
The First Circle context is complex, nuanced and needed to be understood more deeply. We engaged the entrepreneurs First Circle helped at different stages of their growth and rounded off that understanding by speaking to their team and the founders themselves. We found that many of their clients were contending with the push and pull of where they are and what they needed, and that First Circle and its identity and design needed to help guide them towards where they could be.

PAVING THE PATH TO GROWTH
The foundations of the design were rooted in the SME's path towards growth—where they could be. This path sought to reframe the stigma and uncertainty around FinTech and ensure that empathy is practiced and communicated at every step.

PAVING THE PATH TO GROWTH
The foundations of the design were rooted in the SME's path towards growth—where they could be. This path sought to reframe the stigma and uncertainty around FinTech and ensure that empathy is practiced and communicated at every step.

This insight not only clarified our approach to the brand and the design, but it also culminated in a visionary statement of what First Circle can do for its clients: Financing Possibilities.

This defined the design language all throughout the brand.

This insight not only clarified our approach to the brand and the design, but it also culminated in a visionary statement of what First Circle can do for its clients: Financing Possibilities.

This defined the design language all throughout the brand.

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05—smaller2
06

THE LOGO: THE INNER NETWORK
We designed the logo to symbolize an entrepreneur's literal first, trusted, inner circle. The play on white space shows the connections that branch out from it and that give one support. 

THE LOGO: THE INNER NETWORK
We designed the logo to symbolize an entrepreneur's literal first, trusted, inner circle. The play on white space shows the connections that branch out from it and that give one support. 

The network and the circle then became key components of the design system we would eventually develop.

The network and the circle then became key components of the design system we would eventually develop.

DESIGNING FOR GUIDED GROWTH
THE CIRCLE AS CENTER
We expanded the logo into a design system that combined reliable, safe and trusted elements with those that signified innovation, technology and growth. The balance of these key elements draws from the idea of guided growth, all starting with the circle.

DESIGNING FOR GUIDED GROWTH
THE CIRCLE AS CENTER
We expanded the logo into a design system that combined reliable, safe and trusted elements with those that signified innovation, technology and growth. The balance of these key elements draws from the idea of guided growth, all starting with the circle.

09a

The circle as a representation of trust & reliability.

09b

Converging circles as a representation of a network.

09c

Circles enlarged beyond the frame as a representation of growth.

09d

Paths and curves as a representation of constant movement and progress.

10

An icon system was created in levels of increasing complexity, from icons that were clean and straightforward up to those with details that centered on the line and the dot. This keeps the key visual of growth and progress consistent throughout the brand.

11

THE VOICE OF BALANCE
The approachability of the sans serif in the logo was extended to the rest of the typesetting. It is approachable and friendly while staying professional and trustworthy. The subtle curves in its letterforms represent movement, growth, and progression.

THE VOICE OF BALANCE
The approachability of the sans serif in the logo was extended to the rest of the typesetting. It is approachable and friendly while staying professional and trustworthy. The subtle curves in its letterforms represent movement, growth, and progression.

12-1

A comprehensive tone & language guide was put together to inform how First Circle speaks to its different stakeholders, emphasizing the balance of vision, empathy and credibility its voice must take throughout all its communications.

A comprehensive tone & language guide was put together to inform how First Circle speaks to its different stakeholders, emphasizing the balance of vision, empathy and credibility its voice must take throughout all its communications.

The design exhausts the possibilities of the circle and the path to continuously nudge towards the ideas of trust, progress and growth. From two key elements, the applications are able to communicate the full spectrum of values First Circle holds — from standalone rings that highlight individuality and show recognition, enclosed circular frames to communicate security, safety and warmth, intersecting circles and paths showing support through growth, to finally, circles radiating outward to represent potential.

The design exhausts the possibilities of the circle and the path to continuously nudge towards the ideas of trust, progress and growth. From two key elements, the applications are able to communicate the full spectrum of values First Circle holds — from standalone rings that highlight individuality and show recognition, enclosed circular frames to communicate security, safety and warmth, intersecting circles and paths showing support through growth, to finally, circles radiating outward to represent potential.

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TODAY
Today, First Circle continues on in its mission to serve the Filipino SME, partnering with DTI and expanding into more than 900 Go Negosyo centers nationwide. They have since launched the new brand on their website in collaboration with web developer Symph, bringing to fruition many of the insights gained from the project and expanding the design system onto an online experience.

TODAY
Today, First Circle continues on in its mission to serve the Filipino SME, partnering with DTI and expanding into more than 900 Go Negosyo centers nationwide. They have since launched the new brand on their website in collaboration with web developer Symph, bringing to fruition many of the insights gained from the project and expanding the design system onto an online experience.

FC Logo
FC Logo
FINANCING POSSIBILITIES

LEARN MORE AT www.firstcircle.ph
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