Brand strategy • Visual Identity • Verbal Identity • Voice Guidelines • Conceptual Photography • Copywriting • Site design

The House Fund

Finding a VC’s True North to differentiate among a sea of competitors.

Problem

In this time of a proliferation of VC funds, The House Fund needed a new identity that differentiated them above the rest of the pack. Even in a sea of other Berkeley-focused competitors, The House Fund is consistently showing up as best in class. But why?

They needed a consistent narrative around their offerings. It was time to define their mission, clarify their special sauce, and codify it through authentic storytelling and visuals.

Solution

After immersing ourselves into The House Fund’s business, we found the consistent narrative thread that was truly them and tied their whole story together. It became their North Star and influenced everything — from brand strategy to visuals, website, and business cards. We clarified their offerings, polished their purpose, and built a brand, visual identity, and new website that was differentiated, and truly them.

Two Hands Brand’s depth of research and genuine care to uncover the soul of an organization impressed us. They have true creativity, taste, and talent to deliver an innovative identity that feels unique and truly “us.” We’re already lining up other projects for them.

—Jeremy Fiance, Founder, The House Fund

Strategy: The Changing of the Guard

The House Fund is special because they’re doing something different than the rest of venture. Most VC’s start out as funds, then realize they have to have services to attract entrepreneurs into their portfolio. But the house Fund started backwards— as a student center, to give resources to campus entrepreneurs.

They had genuine desire to give back to Berkeley founders, and people noticed. Students kept joining, building a thriving community. Teachers got wind, and not only provided their expertise, but they realized they wanted the House Fund’s support too, for their own startups. We’re talking about some of the world’s leading professors, who wanted to support, and be supported by, the youthful House Fund’s spirit and connections.

The difference is that The House Fund is Community First, where most VCs are Capital First, giving them an inherently better product for their users. This creates an interesting tension in the industry: the old way of doing things, versus theirs.

After diving into their business, we realized that The House Fund has the opportunity to bring in the New Guard of venture capital. The old way of doing things (capital-first) has come and gone; now, with their youthful, fresh outlook on how to build good businesses, it’s time for Venture Capital that provides an inherently different product— with the entrepreneur designed at the center.

Sometimes, we ask hard questions. Always, we poke holes— to make your strategy stronger. Clarifying your company’s strategy isn’t easy, but it should be simple.

One clear brand concept: The connecting line.

We led The House Fund through strategic exercises to clarify their offerings, and articulate their North Star.

As a venture fund and student center, their value add is centered around providing entrepreneurs with the right connection at the right time.

We embodied this through the motif of a “connecting line,” to visually “connect the dots” between offerings they provide— a line which follows you throughout the whole site.

We created a color palette and visuals that were vibrant, youthful, tenacious, and humble, all ownable terms, which would bring a breath of fresh air to the world of VC, typically overloaded with bravado and corporate visuals.

We reinvisioned their logo, a mushroom made of a half-circle and smile, which we deconstructed and spread through the site’s visual language.

The visual identity we created is flexible enough to have sub-brands, clearly differentiating their brand hierarchy and separate subinitiatives, like [email protected] House, and their student resource foundation.

A story-based portfolio showcase

When it comes to portfolio showcases, many VCs have headshots of their entrepreneurs, which misses the impact of their inspirational stories. To make a portfolio showcase that was more exciting and personal, we organized a photo shoot of founders in their offices, next to their tech that they’re changing the world with.