Forging a fiery new open source identity
Sidero and New Kind mold a malleable story from bare metal to the cloud
Kubernetes was born with enormous promise—and new growing pains. Running it on a general-purpose OS required the development of new operational and security tools and processes, which introduced potential fragility.
A team of Kubernetes veterans set out to find a solution, founding a company called Talos Labs. They built a new open source operating system for Kubernetes and automated its installation and management across the stack. This made it simpler to securely deploy, manage, and run multiple clusters in multiple locations.
Industries: B2B Technology
Services: Company Messaging, Identity System, Naming, Positioning, Storytelling
Why New Kind?
I'm very pleased with the results of our work together. Our collaborative effort has made Sidero look and sound more mature and professional and the messaging has taken our website and pitch decks to the next level.
Sr. Solutions Architect
BUILDING TOWARD BREAKTHROUGH GROWTH
The new open source platform gained traction in the Kubernetes community. The founders were ready to expand their offerings and signal their growth into a mature, established, and trustworthy company.
To do so, the Talos team needed to solve two challenges. They first needed to change their name and logo, as both were not ownable from a trademark perspective. Second, they needed to hone in on their market positioning, key differentiators, and company story to elevate new possibilities for enterprise customers managing Kubernetes across every layer of the stack.
Talos called upon New Kind to work collaboratively with their team to translate open source technology into a compelling story, catalyze their branding efforts, and ultimately help them scale with soul.
CREATING AN ASPIRATIONAL NAME FROM ANCIENT MYTHOLOGY
Renaming a company is an exciting journey of highs and lows. We acted as guides across the emotional peaks and valleys, and helped the Talos team generate, choose, and implement a new name.
In deep collaboration, we stretched ourselves to consider wide-ranging new ideas and looked inward to consider names in the existing product portfolio in new ways.
In ancient Greek mythology, Talos was a metal automaton and protector of Crete. It proved a fertile jumping-off point for naming exploration. Together, we identified themes from atomic theory to robot helpers to ancient law, expanding out from the original character.
Ultimately, we elevated a product name that continued the Classical bent. Sidero is the Greek word for iron and a Latin prefix meaning celestial, a natural bridge to concepts of strength, malleability, and inspiration.
Positioning, Story, and Messaging
BUILDING A BRAND ON A FOUNDATION STRONG AS STEEL
New Kind conducted internal and competitive research as well as a gap analysis to understand the brand’s present and potential future. An aspirational kickoff quickly defined what the company did, what it wanted to be known for, and what stories could bring that to life. Interviews with customers and experts revealed where the message had permission to evolve.
The result? A Big Brand Message of Inherent Control. Infinite Adaptability.
It transformed the founders’ mantra of “declarative, API-driven, and immutable” into key customer benefits. Infinite Control, as the API creates a lockable gate to your code, embedding security in the system. Inherent Adaptability, as the stable core and simplicity of use means freedom in developing around it.
We built on the message to create positioning, story, and messaging architecture, including a messaging guide with a core value proposition and the creation of key personas.
We wrote the story of Kubernetes living up to its promise: easy to deploy anywhere and easy to manage across multiple locations and cloud providers. The story was built around messaging pillars of stability, security, simplicity, and sustainability.
A STRONG-YET-FLEXIBLE IDENTITY FOR A STRONG-YET-FLEXIBLE PLATFORM
When creating the new logo and visual system for Sidero, we wanted to preserve the Greek mythological link, connect to the origin of the name, and express the attributes of the platform itself.
The logo mark consists of two main aspects: the shape as a whole and the lines that make it up. The linework was inspired by the convergence of a singularity, of disparate parts coming together in one place, reflecting the platform’s functionality. The lines also express an adaptable strength that flexibly holds its form. The containing shape of the mark alludes to ancient Greek shields, touching on Sidero’s roots in Greek mythos and the company’s focus on security.
Sidero’s system graphics and color scheme draw heavy inspiration from the forge and molten metal. The spectrum of Sidero’s palette is closely tied to the molten state of metal when it is most malleable, transitioning into the various cool tones seen once steel is tempered. This juxtaposition of malleability and rigidity is also present in the moiré patterns we created for Sidero. Straight, parallel lines create an organic fluidity when overlapped, mimicking pooling liquid iron.
A BRIGHT LAUNCH TOWARD A STARRY FUTURE
The new brand launched and rolled out in 2021 and applied to all web and social experiences. It successfully made its in-person debut to the world at KubeCon.
The final step of the rollout was classically open source: migrating the old GitHub repository to github.com/siderolabs. The team continues to refine their offering and brand experience—we can’t wait to see what comes next.