In March 2014, Postman had been in existence for almost 2 years. Postman was “launched” through a post on Stackoverflow that still is the largest source of referrals for us. I had switched to working on Postman full-time a few months ago and the result was the Postman packaged app for the new Chrome App Platform.

Lacking any graphic design skills whatsoever, I had used a stock icon for Postman. This icon was as generic as a stock REST client app icon can be. I wanted to change this. Through a succession of random events and the help of close friends, I ended up emailing Aditi, an accomplished designer and an artist. I did not have high hopes of her agreeing to work on the project as my bank balance was not exactly in good shape. Luckily, Aditi agreed to work with on the app icon and later, defining Postman’s brand identity.

Here is Aditi on the design process and the experience of making the logo:

I first heard about Postman through mutual friends in early 2014. As a UX designer, Postman fascinated me immediately. Here was a product that was incredible useful and had so much potential to be much more. Speaking to the team instantly convinced me that I should help them out with their brand, even if it wasn’t initially a UX job. Abhinav was passionate about the product and where it was going to be in the near future. I was sold and we started working on an identity that the Postman team could love and call their own.

Their initial brief was inspiring and humorous. It went something like this: “we want something cool and geeky which has nothing to do with a postman, envelopes or delivering mail”. The design process was simple: get the team to clarify the top few qualities they identify with as a brand and then work on visualizing it into some kind of color, form, and shape. I’ve worked with several companies over the years and it is never easy to focus your product idea into a few keywords. After a few collaborative sessions, we identified these Postman qualities and I started working on sketches and concepts. After a few iterations we settled on a flying spacehero, a fun, geeky and meaningful image that the young team loved and identified with.

One thing that we did not cover though was how the logo would scale down in size in different contexts (favicon, mobile apps, dock icon etc). While we could have just resized the image with pixel corrections, we decided to do something more interesting. Aditi came up with an amazing concept that I absolutely loved.

For scaling I was inspired by apps like IA Writer that were redrawing and simplifying the logo as app icon got tiny. We had similar constraints for Postman, which had to look good in a huge variety of sizes in Chrome and in the future. So we came up with a fun little detail where the spacehero gets smaller and younger as the app icon scales down. It’s a small detail that was pure fun to add in.

Today in 2015 the app is growing at an amazing pace! We’re working on a bunch of design improvements and are happy to share Postman t-shirts and stickers. Let us know in the comments and we’ll send some your way!