Option Research and Technology Services is the top platform for options data, backtesting, and trading for institutions, financial advisors, and individual traders.
ORATS was making a big jump to a completely new website with expanded service offerings. That meant a whole new look.
I love a big bold refresh like this. Not for the sake of novelty, but to communicate to clientele, the organization, and the industry what the company is all about. It's not just a trim. This is a makeover. In a shift away from the original "Holy R" logo from their launch years earlier, we had a pretty crude hand-drawn sketch from our initial meeting. The drawing formed the company's name as a wordmark using trading symbols and so on. It even harkened back to the charts traders use on the platform.
It was perfect. Conceptionally anyway.

ORATS retired logo

Matt's napkin doodle

This is often key to a branding project. The stakeholders have great ideas. They are the company, after all. Their problem is that they don't know how to always produce that final product floating inchoately in their imagination. That's our job as designers. Graphic problem-solving. 
The task was to make a visual impression from this sketch. It had to be minimalist, scalable, and communicate the firm's unique technical prowess. These are trading data nerds, after all. The organization's entire being emanates from this. We had to lean into it.
So off to the pen and paper, tablet, and Adobe Illustrator, I went.
As I started moving graphite over the paper, then pixels on the screen, we moved closer. We weren't after slick. This is data science. Analytics. Fast moving. High stakes. Aggressive but mindful. 
We wanted something solid. 

We landed on a mark that seemed as much at home 40 years ago as it would be today. I'm a big fan of timeless. Timeless things, by definition, don't require costly repairs or replacements. I'm Midwestern. I don't like planned obsolescence. We grew up with refrigerators in our garages from the 60s. (Don't get me started on today's refrigerators.)

In the end, we got ORATS ready to tackle the next 20 years.

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