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The rebrand aims to reflect Perplexity's mission of providing myriad high-quality information sources in one place through advanced natural language processing and machine learning.
Founded in 2022, Perplexity reached 2 million monthly active users within just four months.
It recently raised $25.6 million in Series A funding as it positions itself as a major new AI search competitor to ChatGPT and Google.
Logo Evokes Doors & Open Books
The most striking part of the rebrand is Perplexity's new logo, featuring a dynamic asterisk icon.
According to Smith & Diction, the icon is intended to evoke concepts like revolving doors, open books, and computer cursors.
This nods to Perplexity's ability to provide users a doorway into myriad sources of knowledge, like an AI-powered research assistant.
The asterisk shape also represents Perplexity's key capability - citing sources for each sentence to make it easy to verify information and get more context.
Vibrant animations by designer Justin Lawes bring the asterisk icon to life as a spinning cursor, emphasizing the sense of possibility and discovery.
A Distinctive Wordmark With Character
The wordmark is set in FK Display, chosen for its subtle personality within the grotesque genre.
Details like the softly clipped edges matching the icon points show attention to detail.
And the ink trap-inspired touches of curvature add a warmth that references vintage printed reference books.
The choice of a lowercase "p" mirrors how people use search without perfect grammar or capitalization, and it allows more balanced kerning overall.
Soft intersections of letters like the 'p', 't' and 'y' offer a subtle nod to old printed reference books.
The stylized letterforms pair with the icon to create something recognizable and ownable for the Perplexity brand.
Identity Evokes Techy Sophistication
Beyond the logo, Perplexity's brand identity maintains a minimalist aesthetic across posters, notebooks and patterns designed by Smith & Diction.
A techy dark blue evolves the hyperlink blue of old to something more sophisticated and modern. Warm earthy hues and darker blue tones create an unexpectedly pleasing color palette.
The posters showcase the identity in a visually impactful way, anchoring eclectic graphics from across the internet with the grounded Perplexity wordmark.
This seems a conceptually on-point approach for a brand seeking to organize the wild world of online information.
On brand touchpoints like Instagram posts result in a cohesive and aesthetically pleasing brand experience.
Besides the above applications, there are also other design like PowerPoint peresentation, app dashboard and more—check them out in this post on Medium.
A Mood-Setting Color Palette
Color is used strategically in the rebrand to maximum effect.
The brighter signature blue evolves the traditional hyperlink blue into a more modern tech-forward tone.
Darker blue shades and complementary earth tones lend sophistication.
The palette aligns with the contemporary minimalist aesthetic while ensuring prominent visibility against the search interface. And it provides flexibility across contexts while retaining brand identity.
For more on Perplexity's branding, be sure to head over to Smith & Diction's Medium post.
Final Thoughts on the Perplexity Rebrand
In summary, Perplexity's branding redesign is a forward-thinking move for this promising AI startup.
The identity system crafted by Smith & Diction checks all the boxes:
- A versatile, metaphor-rich logo
- Beautiful supporting brand imagery and posters
- Sophisticated, cohesive visual system across touchpoints
- Personality reflecting Perplexity's helpful, transparent AI
- Polished, professional look befitting its growth
For Perplexity's leadership team, the rebrand is a bet that their AI search tech will shape the future.
For designers, it provides a case study in how to craft an iconic identity for a company poised for rapid growth.
And for the millions who already rely on Perplexity, the new branding puts a slick, approachable face on the AI assistant they've come to depend on.
Based on Perplexity's exceptional early traction, this is likely just the first of many brand evolutions still to come.