One of the plot devices in my current novel, @gypsy, is a startup company called And Beyond, Inc., which releases the fictitious software, Infinity. The gist of the software is that it turns your smart phone into a social network, circumventing websites like Facebook, and expanding the possibilities of big data within the context of the novel. But this isn’t a book about startups: the software was created to catch the attention of the local conglomerate of inner-city Wizards.
Whether you call this an exercise in design, or an exercise in insanity, creating an identity for the company was a useful writing tool, which helped me to define the visual narrative of the company, and therefore the direction of the story.
I knew I wanted a company based off of symbols — largely because I was too lazy to design a bunch of new logos. In my head, the primary software is called Infinity (∞) with internal documentation managed by Pilcrow (¶.) The software is written in a fictitious language called Tilde (~) which focuses largely on glyph representations of code (ala Brainfuck) but, not quite. More on creating fictional programming languages later — that is an exercise in insanity.
The company And Beyond, Inc. is acquired early in the novel for a paltry hundred million dollars, with a titular character and CEO of the company remaining on-board as a decision maker. Shortly after the acquisition, the software is packaged into the core mobile OS of phones as they come onto the market. Infinity enabled phones display a mark near the wifi indicator. Infinity cannot be turned off.
Company clothes were sort of a no-brainer. I wanted to continue the company’s minimal aesthetic and color palette through their attire. Because several And Beyond employees are characters in the novel, this helped me to define what these characters might be wearing when they’re called into a scene.
If you’re wondering where the colour palette came from, I was thinking of the infinite vastness of space, and the interconnectedness of the stars in the night sky, which aligns with the symbolism of the company, and surreptitiously drives the story.
Learn more about @gypsy.