Koto brings editorial finesse to Index Ventures’ new publishing brand

Brand and digital studio Koto has partnered with Swiss venture capital firm Index Ventures to launch a new brand called Index Press as the firm consolidates its three decades of company-building insight into a bespoke series of physical publications and online resources. 

Index Press is a culmination of resources, from books, podcasts, and articles to interactive apps. A companion tool called TeamPlan has been launched alongside the brand. It was developed so that founders can benchmark performance and make data-driven decisions, aligning their growth with successful tech startups like Airbnb, Figma, Plaid, Robinhood, and Slack.

The studio was chosen for the project thanks to its extensive collaboration history with firms within Index Ventures’ portfolio, such as Blablacar, Trailine, and Discord. Koto also has a proven track record working with venture capital industry giants like a16z, Partech, Lightspeed Ventures, Cherry Ventures, and Blossom Capital. 

Index Ventures’ foundational philosophy is that “Ideas don’t build businesses, People do”, so the Index Press brand concept evolved from this. One of the main ambitions for Index Press is that it would be able to deliver impactful insights in a saturated content landscape, acting as “A Signal in the Noise”. 

Koto creative director Sam Howard believes this ethos “emphasizes the practical, direct nature of insights sourced directly from the experiences of individuals and companies within Index’s network”.

Koto identified two primary challenges, one relating to design and the other to managing stakeholders.

Devising a flexible design system that could adapt to diverse platforms was a must for the brand, as was “ensuring content remained engaging and accessible across different mediums”, says Howard.

Collaboration was key to managing stakeholders. According to Howard, this approach “enriched the project, harnessing a wealth of ideas and expertise to deliver a truly impactful outcome”.

Another consideration was that the Index Press brand had to be related to but distinctive from the Index Ventures parent. “Establishing Index Press as a distinct entity provided a focused platform for this initiative, preventing overcrowding of Index’s primary venture communications”, says Howard. 

Koto’s strategy involved subtly integrating Index’s established visual identity while “infusing a modern, editorial flair inspired by the publishing realm”, he adds, explaining how this equilibrium ensures “a symbiotic relationship with Index Ventures while empowering Index Press to chart its unique course as a vital resource hub for business leaders”.

The Index Press logo is a perfect example of how this strategy was implemented, as it was deliberately designed with a shared brand DNA in mind. The logo is anchored by the ‘i’ symbol, which Howard describes as “the portal to a treasure trove of information”. 

For the typographic approach, Koto opted for the Sans Serif ABC DIATYPE to echo Index Ventures’ authoritative voice. A secondary typeface – the LL Bradford serif font – was brought in to represent contributor voices. 

“This dual-font approach mirrors the diverse perspectives central to the Index Press brand, creating a visually dynamic and engaging experience”, says Howard.

Spotlighting the diverse founders of and contributors to Index Press was the focus of the bespoke art direction and illustrations. Koto chose an artistic style to reflect the “contemporary, editorial essence of the brand, fostering warmth and approachability while conveying the expertise of these individuals”, Howard adds.

As for the colour palette and graphics, Index Press needed a method of navigation. Playing on the “Signal in the Noise” ethos, Koto devised a system that streamlines reader navigation as each theme is assigned a unique colour, and the various content types are represented distinctly. 
Howard says: “This ensures an immersive experience where users can easily access the desired content amidst the content abundance.”

The launch of Index Press coincides with the release of the parent company’s latest book, “Scaling Through Chaos: The Founder’s Guide to Building and Leading Teams from 0 to 1,000”. 

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