Designing a Visual Brand Language for Zebra Technologies

July 20, 2012

Zebra ZT200™ Series

A Visual Brand Language (VBL) helps to communicate a company’s core values and identity through product design with an emphasis on providing a memorable experience to elevate the brand recognition. Our team worked with Zebra Technologies to develop a VBL that includes the right combination of design elements (i.e. color, material, form, finish, etc.) and provides a consolidated look and feel to deliver a consistent VBL across each of Zebra’s product divisions. These guidelines will allow the company to reduce development cost and manufacturing time while also creating a more positive emotional engagement with their customers by delivering a consistent brand message – one that is distinct and enables Zebra to maintain their leadership position in the market.

The new series of printers, the ZT200™, is the culmination of user insights and implications from Zebra’s customer applications and understanding of their printing needs, evolving business needs, and operational challenges. Extensive design research was conducted to understand Zebra’s design heritage, the breadth of the product portfolio, user needs, and key stakeholder needs for a global market.

Zebra ZT220 and ZT230 Printers

As the first product to be introduced using Zebra’s new Global Product Design Language, the ZT200™ printers use color and geometry cues to help users quickly identify key controls for day to day maintenance. The new accent color, “robust gold”, is used to provide visual communication and help users identify critical touch points both on the exterior and interior of the machine (such as the media guide or ribbon spindle) and to encourage intuitive operation. The ZT200™ series represent the industrial color scheme with the use of gray, black, and gold that was determined and validated by our team through user research and testing.

The compact footprint and streamlined design fits easily in confined areas where space is at a premium in a user’s working environment. The compelling industrial design with intuitive interface provides a distinguished look that is designed to be incorporated in a broad range of products and further establish consistency within Zebra’s product line and provide a universal design language.

ZT230 Rendering

The final VBL our design team created for Zebra includes a number of signature elements that define Zebra’s brand language – including dynamic character lines, CMF, touch points, UI/Graphics, sound, and lighting. These signature elements help to standardize physical, visual, and emotional attributes of Zebra’s current and future product portfolio. The new VBL guidelines have been carried out in the ZT200™ Series and will continue to be used to create distinct Zebra product lines, as well as maintain and deliver the new design DNA.


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