Checking In on the Foursquare Rebrand

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Months ago, when Foursquare approached PLAYLAB INC about rebranding the company, PLAYLAB had a question.

“What’s Foursquare been doing?” PLAYLAB recalls. “The answer: a lot.”

Over the years, Foursquare evolved from the de facto “check-in” app to a leader in location tech, with aspirations of creating a world powered by its engines. The company acquired Placed and Factual, and expanded into B2B and SaaS. And throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, they’ve even been using their tech to make foot traffic data available to minds on the front lines battling the virus.

As Foursquare co-founder Dennis Crowley writes, “When you’ve been through as much growth and change as we’ve been through, it doesn’t come as a surprise that your brand—your identity as a company and culture, both internally and externally—must also evolve.”

Complicating the endeavor was the fact that the company had been many things to many people over the years, from initial app users to location tech partners. Following brainstorms and innumerable meetings, the team came up with four conclusions:

—Our new brand identity needed to capture the trademark playfulness that has always been synonymous with the Foursquare name.

—At the same time, the new brand identity must let clients know that they can trust us, while simultaneously being culturally contemporary and interesting.

—The brand identity must set a tone of independence and empathy.

—And finally … this new brand identity was going to be cool, but it needed to be executed in the right way.

To achieve the goals, the brand overhauled—it left the past in the past, from the its signature colors to type and art direction, and focused on a system that invokes data and code to connect to the tech roots long at its center.

As Foursquare writes, “After months of intense work, we arrived at a brand identity that we feel perfectly encapsulates who we are and where we’re headed. The end result is a pared-back look that, in its simplicity, actually feels quite bold. Intentionally minimal in aesthetics, it’s designed to scale as the company grows.”

Check in on the results—“Foursquare Everywhere”—below, and for much more about the rebrand, head to the Foursquare blog.