Building a home for makers and creators

Foundry is a community site that celebrates makers and helps showcase their creations to the world. Foundry’s mission is to give makers a place where they can build their personal brand and connect with each other.

001. Brief

thirteen23 was tapped to help name, design, and build Foundry. We partnered to create a complete community for makers from the ground up.

002. Solution

We lead the end-to-end product launch, which included user research, naming, branding, marketing collateral, and web design and development.

003. Outcome

Foundry launched at SXSW Interactive this year and has since grown to include makers and entrepreneurs from around the world.

Brand research

We interviewed makers across the country on their process, how they share their work, and how they collaborate with each other. We also researched existing products and the competitive environment. From our research, we defined 5 unique personas to guide Foundry's brand, strategy, and design.
Foundry icon grid

THE FOUNDRY LOGO

One of the unique elements of the Foundry brand is a set of “tiles” used throughout the brand system. These tiles act to represent common types of makers — a sort of periodic table. The tiles are flexible enough to be used together or individually.

BRAND PRINCIPLES

Foundry needed a strong brand that could span across print and digital while also being distinctive to the maker space. The brand also needed to scale to support future growth. The final identity is bold, playful, and celebrates the experimental nature of making.

PALETTE AND TEXTURES

We wanted to build flexibility into the brand language, so we established a robust color palette and a mix-and-match series of subtle, engineering-inspired patterns for backgrounds. We also encouraged casual photography choices that spoke to the real, day-to-day lives of Foundry makers.
Strategy

PRODUCT STRATEGY

Foundry is a community for makers, so working closely with the makers to understand their challenges and aspirations was essential to designing the community space. We combined the user personas with detailed interviews, bios, and suggestions from the makers to guide the website’s strategy.

Foundry.net

We handled the strategy, design, and development of the Foundry website. Knowing the site would grow exponentially after launch, we prioritized features and focused on developing a scalable backend. We also established a product road-map, including a detailed timeline for secondary features beyond our ambitious SXSW launch.

BUILDING A FUTURE-FRIENDLY CONTENT MANAGEMENT SYSTEM

We knew the site would evolve over time, so we built a custom CMS to give Foundry complete control over its content. This allowed the team to easily customize and highlight featured projects through a simple user-interface.

MAKING IT EASY FOR MAKERS TO TELL THEIR STORY

One of the big goals of the site was to empower makers, so we built a custom project editor to make uploading work simple and streamlined. Our research helped guide the features of the editor, including the ability to embed videos, images, and use rich text.

Hardware House

Foundry sponsored the 2016 SXSW Hardware House, and we branded and designed collateral for the event. The event is a full day of talks and showcases centered around the latest in consumer electronics and emerging technology.
Hardware

BRANDING & COLLATERAL

Hardware House needed a visual identity that complemented Foundry but was strong enough to stand on its own. Our final branding encompassed print collateral for the event, including banners, signage, and merch.
The final product looks like a piece of art. You combined the branding and graphical elements perfectly to tell the Foundry story.
— DAVID ENDLER, CEO