Defining the Future of Bot Development

The Challenge

Branding the world’s first bot development platform, one bot at a time.

Howdy – which was acquired by Microsoft in 2018 – came to us in October, 2015 as the first company ever funded by slackfund, with a unique license to build on the slack infrastructure, and the imperative to build development tools for what has become one of the fastest growing development communities in the world. How can we position howdy at the head of this rising wave? What can we do to make howdy a lightning rod for bot development, and generate excitement within the development community? How can we manage the dual needs of both introducing a productivity bot built with howdy developer tools, and building adoption of the underlying technology used to develop it?

Philosophy As A Science

Build alignment around Howdy's mission & vision for the future

Working with Howdy stakeholders, we crafted mission and vision statements for the company to help provide definition around the essential, driving force of their work. In this process, we were able to generate a distinct heirarchy around the relationship of the howdy as bot vs. Howdy as development platform – known as Botkit – which provided clarity to the future branding and design efforts that followed.

Develop a visual identity that positions Howdy as an innovator at the forefront of bot development.

Leveraging color, pattern work, and a system of iconography, we, we were able to develop a brand that balanced the personality and playfulness of howdy’s first bot offering, with the need to present howdy as an innovator and technology leader within the bot development space.

Translate the brand to print and digital assets that help Howdy be remembered, and succeed.

Following the core identity development, we created core print assets for the company, as well as an engaging new landing page and iconography system based on bot behaviors and responses.


  • Identity Writing & Brand Positioning
  • Branding & Visual Identity
  • Print Design
  • UI Design & Digital Style Guide Development

Business Cards

Introducing Howdy

A Digital Handshake

For the launch of the brand, we developed a landing page leveraging Howdy’s initial bot offering as a hook to demonstrate capability, drive legitimacy, and to feature resources from Botkit, Howdy’s bot development platform.



For early adopters, the bot itself played a significant role in the howdy brand experience. To take advantage of this, we worked with Howdy to turn the face of the bot in slack into what is effectively a screen that displays a readout of current activity. We created a system of icons to represent different statuses and actions taken by howdy, which were integrated within the bot itself to reflect activity back to users interacting with it on Slack.


As a developer platform, Howdy creates building blocks for blocks with near limitless potential. The patterns developed for Howdy represent the universe of what is possible, as well as the inner workings of the bots that we interact with on a daily basis.

Stickers, Pins & Magnets

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