ProtocolHelping a tech media startup bring their vision to life

In 2007, the DC-based Capitol News Group (CNG) pulled off an impressive feat: It entered the crowded space of Beltway media with Politico, a far-reaching commentary and news site, and managed to make it essential reading for key players in the capital city. Following that success, CNG approached us in 2019 as it planned another new media property, this time aimed to upend tech media. 

Godfrey Dadich was invited to build the new publication’s brand. This would entail establishing and validating a name, honing its voice and editorial position, and creating a design system that would work across multiple platforms.

We began the exploration with research. We quickly recognized how being headquartered in DC gave the new publication a unique vantage point on the complex policy issues surrounding the tech industry. We helped CNG develop an editorial strategy centered on the overlap of politics and technology, which would differentiate the publication from the many media outlets headquartered in Silicon Valley. The new publication would target business and policy leaders who want to understand how technology is changing both commerce and society.

The nameplate we designed contrasts the circular rhythm of the “o”s and “p” with the rectilinear slabs. The linear strokes represent the disruptive forces and the elliptical strokes represent adaptability in order to seize opportunity in the face of that disruption.

We validated and ratified one of the potential names that CNG surfaced: Protocol. The word has a dual meaning, and both interpretations are perfectly suited to the new endeavor. In technology, it applies to the rules that govern how data is exchanged; in areas of diplomacy, it describes the rules governing affairs of state. The name also complements the existing Politico brand tonally, phonetically, and visually.

We crafted the nameplate for the new tech media publication Protocol to reflect its editorial vision and brand. We also made sure that it offered a strong visual complement to the visual identity of its sister publication Politico.

After completing the editorial strategy and naming exploration, we crafted a versatile visual identity for the new publication including a color system and logo for Protocol—including a simplified peelable version for social use. We then created guidelines for how the brand could come to life in a consistent design system.

We’re proud to have helped an ambitious new media property  develop strategic and visual principles that will allow them to stand out with a distinct and original point of view.