GeoCities: A New Kind of Neighborhood

Cover of the Brand Guidelines book

Objective Pick a brand that is dead, dying or defunct, and create a new vision for it. Identify a core brand promise and extrapolate a new business direction, then rebrand it with a logo and a full visual identity system. Present the brand story, new direction, logo and brand guidelines in a book and a website.

Concept The original GeoCities was a website that created virtual communities and could be called a precursor to today’s giant social media networks. It was shut down in 2009, and my brand story is that Yahoo! re-launched GeoCities in 2012 to reconnect physical neighborhoods using innovative technology.

The new GeoCities mission statement is “to enable communities and reconnect neighbors.” The organization will encourage community activity, develop the local economy, enable greater communication and develop relationships. It achieves its goals with innovative technological solutions and unique services.

Visuals The new logo is based on a rounded hexagon shape, as a reference to organic networks and patterns such as beehives. The negative space inside the hexagon forms the shape of a house, referencing GeoCities’ new role in physical communities. The lowercase wordmark is a combination of Sentinel and a custom adaptation of Berthold Akzidenz-Grotesk which has been altered to complement the Sentinel letterforms.

A color scheme of blue, yellow, green, red and navy, in a collection of vivid and pastel shades, create a cheery, friendly palette. The rounded hexagon from the logo is the main graphic element, along with rules and colored typography. Photographs are tiled inside rounded hexagonal shapes, or framed within a single large hexagon. Photographs feature everyday moments within a community, and are juxtaposed with natural patterns such as tree leaves, clouds or ripples. The typefaces are the modern, clean sans serif Galaxie Polaris, paired with the friendly slab serif Serifa in bold for titles and quotes.

Detail of the cover
Logo design
Logo spread