News / Graphic Design

Pentagram’s Michael Bierut takes high quality used car company Vroom for a spin



Driving always looks like it’d be fun. Imagine the thrill that comes with strapping yourself into a Vauxhall Nova and hitting the open road armed with a stash of chocolate eclairs and Steve Wright’s afternoon show on Radio 2 for company. Alas, not everyone here at It’s Nice That can drive, so the closest we get to living out our road trip fantasies come when we find ourselves ferried between the pub and the club in the back of an Uber on a Friday night. As nice as the journey from Nunhead to Brockley is, it isn’t quite Route 66.

Still, despite our inability to drive the things, we’re interested in cars, and can happily spend hours scrolling through eBay listings for old Ford Cortinas and Austin Allegros. Someone else who we think might share our petrolhead passion is Pentagram’s Michael Beirut: the man himself has designed a new brand identity for Vroom, a new online platform for buying and selling high-quality used cars.

Pentagram say that “buying a used car used to require haggling with a high-pressure salesperson to get a better deal and hoping that the auto actually lived up to the hype,” which if slightly frayed memories of accompanying our parents to forecourts on dismal Sunday afternoons in search of the perfect Mondeo are anything to go by, is an accurate assessment of the car buying process.

So Michael and his team have hooked up with Vroom for a brand identity that emphasises the “convenience, accessibility and ease of use,” of the service. They created a custom typeface — Vroom Sans — which uses italics to engender a sense of “forward motion and driving a car.”

“The slant of the logotype carries through to other elements in the visual language, including a series of custom icons inspired by dashboard symbols and a diagonal background line that echoes the angle of the typeface (at 10 degrees),” Pentagram say. “The branding utilizes a bright, sporty red that captures the energy of the name and sets Vroom apart from the blue typically used by tech companies. An extended palette of primary colors borrows from speedway racing flags.”

If all that wasn’t enough, they even enlisted the help of ad agency Anomaly who in turn recruited Tim and Eric — yes that Tim and Eric — to direct a TV commercial.