Navan is an all-in-one travel, corporate card, and expense management solution that is pioneering the next generation of business software using AI generative technology. As business travel returns after the pandemic, and hybrid work becomes more complex, Navan, formerly known as TripActions, offers a personalized, people-centric product design that makes it easy to book travel and track expenses. Pentagram has designed a new brand identity for Navan as it relaunches under the new name and consolidates all of its platform solutions into a super app.
Pentagram worked closely with Navan founder and CEO Ariel Cohen and his team to create the identity. Navan is the first travel company to leverage OpenAI’s ChatGPT capabilities into everyday tasks like booking the user’s preferred airlines and hotels, or filing expense reports. The $9.2B startup has a roster of A-list investors that include Andreessen Horowitz, Lightspeed Ventures, Goldman Sachs, Greenoaks, and Coatue. Its customers range from multinational corporations like Unilever, Zoom, Heineken, Thomson Reuters, Axios and Snowflake to startups like Carta, Notion, Loom and Databricks.
The new name, developed by Lexicon, references navigation and the “avant” in avant-garde, or forward-looking. Most importantly, “Navan” is a palindrome, reading the same backwards and forwards, or in the language of travel, coming and going.
This concept is visually echoed in a logo with curving custom type that suggests the parabola of a flight path, as well as the arch-like shape of a doorway, portal, gateway—or even an airplane window. The unique letterforms have a sense of movement and flow, reinforcing the idea that Navan helps transport people to different thresholds along their journey. Inspired by the palindrome, the well-balanced wordmark combines upper and lowercase letters in a design that works backwards and forwards and also top to bottom, flipping the shape of the “N” to make the “V” at the center.
The wordmark was carefully drawn to make sure the letters are legible––especially to give the “V” enough of an angle to keep it from reading as a “U.” The team worked with the type designer Jesse Ragan to refine the letterforms, giving them some variation with light and heavy strokes that help make them feel more human and dimensional.
The arch provides the foundation for a vibrant graphic language, with the shape layered and arranged into dynamic patterns or motifs, or combined with photography. The curve has a 2:1 ratio, making it the “perfect” parabola, and the designers established rules for stretching it in digital contexts to keep its recognizable shape. The colors of the bright and contemporary brand palette are always used in tonal gradients to reflect movement and flux.
The brand system will continue to be extended by Navan’s in-house team as they implement it across a variety of brand expressions, from the Navan app and website to promotional spots and digital advertising.