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“Ancient” Developers Get A Rune-Like Brand Identity, Made Of HTML

Perniclas Bedow cleverly uses HTML code to channel ancient history in the branding for a development company that has been around since the dawn of markup.

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“In modern branding, runes are not so hip,” says Perniclas Bedow, founder of an eponymous graphic design firm based in Sweden.

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But that didn’t stop Bedow from looking to this ancient alphabet for inspiration when the team at development studio Polyester came shopping for a revamped visual identity.

In a clever twist on developers’ predilection for using code in branding, Bedow reimagined the brackets of HTML tags as the building blocks of a rune-like typeface dubbed Polyester Sans. The resulting design is a perfect fit for Polyester, a leader in front-end web development “since the dawn of markup”–the tagline that served as the basis for the strategy.


“They’re ancient for front-enders,” Bedow says in a phone interview, calling from his office in Stockholm. “They are experienced and they are still experimenting, which is quite unique.” The success of the project, he says, depended on conveying those strengths.

That unusual combination of gravitas and playfulness comes through in the sculptural design, rendered in a bright color palette of forward-looking red and white. “We were a bit nervous that people would think it was ugly,” Bedow says. “But since the idea was so strong we said it was the right way to go.”

About the author

Senior Writer Ainsley Harris joined Fast Company in 2014. Follow her on Twitter at @ainsleyoc.

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