Renew Venture Capital

Soon after beginning Pixel Recess, Mark and I started to speak with many companies who had good ideas and solid teams who just needed anyone to chance in order get them to the next level of success. Frequently they wanted to work with us, but also needed investment to survive and grow. Mark’s career before starting Pixel was in the Impact and investment space, and he started to see a path to return
As the studio evolved into becoming more venture focused, building a venture capital firm (firm? is there a better word? collective? consortium? gaggle?) felt like the perfect ecosystem to launch. We began talking about how we could authentically and uniquely place ourselves in the overgrown world of venture capital, without replicating their shortcomings. That meant bringing partners that made us better, and emboldened our focus on Impact and historically excluded founders. But first, we needed a brand.


Create a brand that reflects our desire to be new and different, looking to the future needs of the world, and emphasizing importance of empathy and caring into how we approach founders. Since Renew is an adjacent brand to Pixel Recess, we wanted to attempt to incorporate visual elements that echoed this relationship without fully being intermingled.
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Market Strategy


The branding for Pixel Recess was influenced by child-like fun and whimsy, mixed with elements of simple shapes and collage construction, reminiscent of elementary school art classes. The same influences would not be the same for Renew, but somehow still had to feel related. Well, it didn’t have to be the same, we just really wanted it to be in the family.
First and foremost, it had to look new and modern. It has be as simple as possible without being unrecognizably abstract. Futuristic. Interconnected. As big as the universe. As with any visual branding we create, those that last the longest tend to be those that askew trend and embrace simplicity and a certain timelessness.


Simplicity will always mean recycling past ideas, or creating things that have been done before. I pretty quickly eliminated the idea of using “R”, “V” and “C” as it created more complexity than I thought necessary for a singular mark.
We spent a lot of time trying to find the right shapes for the N and W. Some things seem easy, but are quite the opposite.

Color Palette

The color palette is directly related to Pixel Recess, but with an emphasis on the pink hues first, and blue second, while yellow hues are used only for highlighting links and text. Using such vibrant color would not only provide a modern and bold feel, but also require design elements be set on darker backgrounds in order for it to be readable.
These are the colors.

Final Brand

The best brands in the world remain the best because they are unchanged. Designers like Paul Rand, Massimo Vignelli, Milton Glaser, Susan Clare, even Aaron Draplin, create brands that throughout time remain relevant, clever, beautiful, and flexible. For Renew, I kept referring back to the NASA “worm” logo. Specifically a book in my library which details their entire scope of messaging in a graphics standard manual. That is what we needed.


Sometimes brand logos are themselves the words. Logotype. It’s not merely a typeface that is used alongside some other graphic symbol, it is both at the same time. Once the pattern and shapes were developed for the “R”, the other 3 letters took shape fairly quickly – aside from the variations explored on how best to represent the “N” and much more difficult “W”. For me I wanted it to feel as if it has always existed. And that it was meant for a high purpose, exploring the universe, uncovering new realities. Quite lofty aim, but nonetheless an important point to echo for the vision and mission of Renew.


For brand continuity, the choice of typeface followed what was use for Pixel Recess. A typeface what was readily available on multiple platforms, robust weights, easy to read, which didn’t compete with the logo style, Source Sans Pro. The only difference is that the serif typeface choice, which is decidedly more traditional and slightly more elegant, in Playfair Display.



It was important to create something custom and unique to represent a brand that wants to catch attention and break with traditional ideas (around venture capital). The eight areas of focus for Renew had to remain consistent with the brand guidelines, simple shapes, subtle line separations, varied with similar hues for dynamic range. Oh, and they had to be understood and reinforced by their accompanying text (I defy anyone to try and create an image that represents "Regenerative Economics" simply).

Abstract Illustrations

While the icons above border on being illustrations, they are more iconographic because they represent a specific conceptual, however abstractly or clearly. When conveying far grander and more abstracted ideas, illustrations are often more effective than photography. And just people something is “illustrated” does not mean it’s cartoonish or childish.


The Renew team is one of the greatest assets it has. And having some great headshots by an amazing photographer was a must. Working around a global pandemic to have everyone in the same place at the same time, that might have been the hardest part.


One of the first things that was developed – even before naming other Partners and branding – was developing the mission and purpose of Renew, and the necessary accompanying decks. A style was developed for these decks that was easy to adapt into website. It is meant to feel clinical and professional, like a report you might get from NASA on the discovery of aliens farming on Pluto, with abstract gradients reflective of bursting life and energy.