Global Minds with a Heart for Impact at Scale

Developing a Brand-Design Studio

Harris Kalofonos
8 min readJun 5, 2021

Since the dawn of humankind, symbols and marks have been a way to express one’s identity, place and state of mind. The Olympic Rings along with the flag of Greece were my first references to symbol synonyms with self-identity. At the age of 16, I was first exposed — in a way that I could appreciate — through greek monks the meaning and composition of greek words. Along followed the explanation of symbols one can find all around Greece in architecture, culture, and religion. Fascinated by the depth of thought, a world with its own vocabulary revealed its self at the time expanding my horizons of understanding. Business wise, the dots did not connect until years later, when storytelling became a necessity professionally. After five Olympic Games, my head was filled with marks and colors from Greece, China, the UK, Canada, Brazil, Tokyo and back. The underlining theme was the celebration for a mark that can bring people together and deliver impact at scale through sports competition. The Olympic Rings are today the most recognizable brand globally, and I was fortunate to grow up in them over the past two decades.

Beyond the Rings

The inspiration to start Goodvoice Group was born from the desire for self-determination while connecting -the dots- of my past Olympic experiences. Global mind with a heart for impact at scale was an inevitable conclusion that marked the beginning of a journey in a world that I did need to draw validation any longer from external sources. Believing me and my teams can help the world be a better place by uniting people under brand systems for a greater good is the ultimate brand aspiration of the goodvoice group.

Working on what works and not what one likes is a daily challenge in this space. It all starts with empathy and curiosity to develop and deploy brand systems that create clarity and build trust. Partnering with clients to find deep understanding around which creatively you can solve problems through targeted visual and verbal identity, clearly communicating who their target audiences are motivated to connect, is the new norm.

Evolving towards a working process starts with a typical framework that needs to be clearly communicated and uniquely adjusted to your style of interpreting all the data that will synthesize a client’s story.

Branding your branding is the only way for a prospective client to appreciate the value you bring to the table. After all, developing brand systems is a very personal affair that is based at the end of the day on trust and the belief from the client’s side that you are worth the time and investment to bring to life their brand.

Goodvoice Group embarked on this journey of self-discovery and walked through its own process multiple times until we felt we had arrived at a logo and brand system that communicated our brand essence.

Logo iterations of Goodvoice Group

After all, developing brand systems is a very personal affair based at the end of the day on trust and the belief from the client’s side that you are worth the time and investment to bring to life their brand.

Going to the market

Creating a globally scalable youth leadership program that trains young people as creative and resilient leaders of tomorrow was one of the first significant challenges GVG undertook.

Questions like how do we develop a brand system for a gen x and z target audience identifiable by the parents and at the center of the thought process for a long time. It all began by taking a deep dive into what students and their parents need and aspire to.

Developing a brand system that spoke to the students’ hearts and minds set the program apart. In 2020 it was awarded one of the top 100 best learning and education programs by the Global Forum on learning and education.

The Denver World Trade Center, as part of its executive education, wanted to offer a series of classes on branding and design thinking. We designed a robust curriculum with several hands-on interactive features that would resonate to range a business owner with an international background.

The Daniel College of Business at Denver University sought to connect the dots between the classes its world-class faculty teaches at their Executive MBA programs. The goal was to develop e-portfolios that their executive MBA students would share with pride in the market after graduating. We designed a set of business framework forms that collect student data from every class they attend to be utilized at the final class of their MBA program. These frameworks were invented to serve as a reflection tool and provide a system of business frameworks students can use in real-life projects.

Based on research, students in the US, by the time they reach high school they can barely think of more than four jobs they can do. Awareness about what type of jobs and opportunities exist in America is based on your zip code. If you live in the right places — meaning affluent — your access to information and guidance is multiple times higher than the average. The Pikes Peak Busines and Education Alliance are determined to even the plain field for students by early on literary opening their eyes to what is out there to aspire to study and work towards after their high school years. PPBEA came to us with a simple question. How do we help create a brand system that expresses the plethoras of job options for high school students while inspiring local businesses to trust the efficiency of their placement strategies?

Artificial Intelligent is a real buzzword these days. Many are trying to enter the space to understand it. Personal.ai is in the space to define it. We were excited to work with them to help them tell their story about addressing users’ privacy concerns. Our involvement with personal.ai a game changed to understand the space and offer further strategic marketing recommendations on how companies can leverage AI to address broader complex problems like education reforms and climate change. For more info on this, you can read our in-depth analysis in a separate article we composed for the matter here.

A dear friend from my MBA days at Denver University had the in-genius — a billion-dollar idea as it turned out — to become the next big disruptor in the space of healthcare that was long due for re-imagining. Medical billing done easy and fast is imperative, and we were honored to be trusted to develop a brand system that communicated just that.

Lynx is a tech company in the mining industry that was looking to resonate with various stakeholders worldwide but primarily in Latin America, Africa, and the Middle East. Initial discussions with Lynx leadership revealed a deep sense of responsibility for the affected local communities, yet the need to resonate with investors and global clients. We delivered a new brand identity that would enable Lynx to share its core values across multiple regions.

Stepping into our future

As we venture into the post-covid era, new team members worldwide join Goodvoice Group to help us keep up with the momentum and stay fresh with ideas that will allow us to fulfill our aspirations. Design and UX&UI expertise will replace the code-based approaches of the past decade in materializing digital brand systems, and a new set of innovation rules and tools will dominate the realm. Further, customer relationship moves away from the notion of hourly billing systems that limit our growth. Performance-based is how we do business -even if it hurts financially at times- as we are committed to taking the necessary above and beyond steps to meet customer expectations and reach our goals. We are excited to step into the future and actualize our desire for self-determination as we prepare the future for the generation to come.

Learn More About Us

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Harris Kalofonos

Managing Director — Goodvoice Group | Connecting the dots of past & present experiences | Founder, YCA