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Bringing people and products together with a refreshed Katana brand

Introducing a refreshed look in feel that brings more warmth and fun to inventory management. Katana strives to bring people and products together with lovable inventory software. Here’s how our brand helps us communicate that message.

May 22, 2024
5 min read
Sarah Hamid

Sarah Hamid

Head of Brand Marketing

Katana is forged by connectivity.  

We serve businesses that connect people to products. We connect with best-in-breed software to create a powerful tech stack. We connect partners to other businesses and help foster healthy business relationships that enable growth. And we’re building a team culture that puts people first. 

Inventory management may not seem like the sexiest industry, but it is at the backbone of every exciting, innovative, and fun product that exists.  

We aim to create a world where building, selling, discovering, and engaging with products people love is easy. Our vision is to reimagine how companies bring products to their customers, fostering connections that enhance accessibility and interaction no matter where they are.  

What’s new and what stays

We’re on a mission to build loveable software that is easy and delightful to use — and it’s high time our brand reflected this.  

Many elements you might recognize, such as the accent on the “t” representing the tip of a katana blade and the yellow circle behind our logo, are a tribute to Japan — the birthplace of lean manufacturing. We still recognize our roots and will continue to serve manufacturing businesses. But now you’ll see that we’ve added new elements that pay homage to businesses that handle physical goods — including ecommerce businesses, retailers, wholesalers, and companies that take a hybrid approach. 

Introducing the grid  

Our customers work with grids and spreadsheets as data is at the core of their operational management. The grid pattern is a simplified abstraction of what they see day-to-day, and is a scalable element used across different channels and asset types.  

We use these elements to highlight content, create patterns, layouts, frame visuals, modules, and so much more:

But again, keeping to the theme of the katana sword, one of the corners of the grid is more rounded to resemble the tip of a blade (but a lot softer than our “t” in the Katana logo):

A bold and fresh color palette 

Our new vibrant color palette infuses the brand with personality and conveys a sense of energy. 

Our signature spiked yellow stays — an homage to our manufacturing roots and high vis vests. With this update look and feel, Katana’s Red-Amber-Green (RAG) system colors inspired new softer pastels and their complementary darker shades. The distinctive extended palette gives the brand room to breathe, while fresh pops of color give us license to be bold.  

Our customers’ day to day usually involves many cardboard boxes — whether they’re receiving purchase orders and shipping out deliveries. A range of warm beige tones that we call “Cardboard Beige” complement brighter colors while offering a subtle hint of familiarity. 

Bringing love and a human touch to the inventory space  

As we aim to champion the people behind products, our tone of voice and photo library allows us to convey exactly that. 

Our aim is to take complex processes and explain them in a conversational tone, while staying informative. True experts make the complex seem simple — and achievable. As a team we are optimistic and truly believe that with the right tech stack and support, any business can grow and thrive regardless of the economic state of the world. 

And we’re here to do exactly that for our customers with loveable inventory software. 

We were overwhelmed by the product love in a category that has been historically so loveless

European VC firm Atomico on why they invested in Katana   

The people behind Katana’s brand 

In the spirit of bringing people to the forefront, meet Katana’s brand marketing team. 

  • James Humphreys — Senior Content Manager 
  • Johanna Kuus — Brand Marketing Manager 
  • Märt Villemsaar — Senior Brand Designer  
  • Sarah Hamid — Head of Brand Marketing

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