One early novelty about Technical.ly’s approach to reporting on emerging local tech and startup ecosystems was that we always identified as part of a community. An audience is a one-to-many relationship; a community features a web of many to many relationships. Our community is made of technologists, entrepreneurs and their supporters — those growing local economies.
For those who have been to our events, are active on our Slack or who have seen how routinely we make connections across our sources, clients and partners, you understand why we have long identified as a “community company.” This was a controversial stance at our founding — and to some it remains incompatible with a journalistic approach.
Meanwhile, we at Technical.ly are only further wrapping ourselves in that community identity. Today, we are proud to formally announce our new brand identity, alongside a redesign of our website. Community is at its center.
Those who made the redesign possible
The launch is timed with this month’s celebration of 14 years of publishing Technical.ly and marks our first bottom-up redesign since 2012. It’s also our first wholesale logo change since our 2009 launch.
This rebrand was launched a year ago after Carrie Brooke joined Technical.ly to lead our product team. She quickly identified this as an overdue investment. She got us here — but far from alone.
The project’s design and implementation phases were led by McKenzie Morgan, our remarkable product manager. She will shape Technical.ly long into the future. Our longtime web developer, Austin Jefferson, was vital to making this a reality, and our engagement manager, Beth Ann Downey, was instrumental in ensuring we took a community-first approach in all our decisions. All design was led by Walnut Hill Creative, a boutique design agency powered by Sara Scholl, an artist and designer who has also been a dear friend of Technical.ly for years. It’s important to note the entire project was driven by women and people of color.
The meaning behind the Technical.ly logo
For longtime friends, the biggest change may be that we dropped the skyscraper from our logo. This was a beloved invention from my friend and cofounder Brian James Kirk, who spun up the concept when we were launching this site in our early twenties. It has served us well, but as we expand Technical.ly, it has become increasingly clear that a big-city skyscraper did not resonate with all the communities we intend to serve.
Better yet to center our online community, which Sara did beautifully by placing the Technical.ly “T” within a circle — which represents our community, with an opening for more to join. We maintained a palette of darker colors to fit the serious tone of a news organization, but, since we’ve never taken ourselves too seriously, we incorporated a cheeky bright green that will appear throughout our design footprint.
Personally, I am proud to announce this rebrand follows a lengthy process to establish our first five-year strategic vision — informed by dozens of interviews with readers, clients, staff and other stakeholders. We updated our organization’s vision, mission values, which we’ll also be sharing, and set ambitious goals for ourselves. The through-line is made most simple by that new vision statement: We believe innovation can come from anyone anywhere — to ensure all communities thrive.
More on that strategic vision in a future announcement but my point is that this redesign is built on a strong foundation, one that received all the scrutiny that a once-in-a-century pandemic can throw at us. That foundation and this redesign are a clear message: we at Technical.ly are investing in our community’s future.
The redesign’s approach and goal
The main goal for the redesign was to update and modernize our site, with a focus on user experience.
Given our community-first approach, our product team interviewed members of our community, including user experience testing and general insight gathering.
One of the biggest changes is a focus on making it easier for readers to visit only reporting about their hometown, or to view our newsroom’s remarkable daily output across local tech economies. As a news organization that has long been too modest, I’m especially excited about our Work With Us pages, identifying the ways we serve our impressive client roster — far beyond most news organizations.
Our team has worked hard to make our storytelling as readable as possible, and to ensure that our site is functional and easy to navigate. We are also excited to introduce new ways of showcasing our deepest reporting, which will better highlight its significance.
Like any redesign, feedback is needed. My DMs are always open on our Slack, or drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. As always, thank you for being part of the Technical.ly community.
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