A Brilliant brand refresh

A collaboration between Koto and our internal team

4 min readMay 22, 2024

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Brilliant is a website and app for learning quantitative and technical skills. Our main topics are math, data, and computer science, including AI. We’re direct-to-consumer, and most of our customers are in their teens, twenties, and thirties.

What’s different about Brilliant is our method of learning by doing — there are no videos, and everything is interactive. You’re interacting with diagrams and data, and rearranging code. We focus on skills that are broadly applicable to any kind of knowledge work. And we design the learning specifically to improve your ability to think and reason from first principles.

The Brilliant brand: Before

Starting in the fall of 2023, our team set out to refresh our brand to be better aligned with our audience of young professionals. We engaged with Koto’s LA team on designing and developing a brand across all touchpoints that would read as modern, cohesive, and engaging.

Brilliant’s brand evolved over time to include a globe-like app icon, a light all-caps sans serif wordmark, an illustration style called PIX built from straight-edged line segments, and a goofy character named Blorb who encouraged you along your learning journey.

Brilliant’s new wordmark is composed of rounds and squared off corners, echoing the shapes of our illustration style. It’s bold, yet friendly, and works well at small sizes.

For typography, we chose two typefaces from Contrast Foundry, CoFo Robert for headers in marketing, and CoFo Sans for use across product. We worked with the kind folks at Contrast Foundry to create a slightly custom version of the sans for our use at Brilliant.

We landed on a lighter, brighter color palette and a new pear color spectrum for use across primary CTAs and streaks.

Introducing Koji

A key aspect of the brand that we didn’t expect at the outset was the need for a new mascot we could tie the brand around. We value fun, vitality, and levity as important for helping people reach their learning goals. We realized that we wanted a new mascot who could help lower the stakes for learners and act as a natural cheerleader to help motivate them.

Enter Koji, a lifelong learner with 13.7 billion years of experience. Koji is a sentient particle born from the Big Bang, and your guide to the Brilliant universe.

Many thanks to

Our friends at Koto: Phoebe Roberts, Deanna German, Jim Ward, Carolyn Rush, Zoe Schneider, Angela Yu, Wyatt Turner, and Dave Ladd

The creative team at Brilliant: Sue Khim, Cole Bolton, Peter Cho, Cody Bond, Juliana Chen, Habib Placencia, Zack Davenport, Jack Kovacich, Lawrence Wilson, Marisa Rafter, and Ji Sub Jeong

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Peter Cho

Founder, Typotopo.com. VP of Design at Brilliant. Formerly: YDays, Pocket, Medium, Google Project Ara, Inkling.