• Transform magazine
  • June 19, 2019

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Brand in action: Fat Llama

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Leading llama

Who: Fat Llama and Koto Design

What: Digital borrowing marketplace Fat Llama is kind of like a llama. It’s a bit unusual, it’s whimsical and it’s hardworking. But its brand didn’t reflect that positioning, or even a llama itself. With an early brand featuring a llama that was neither fat nor spelled ‘llama,’ London branding studio Koto Design had a blank canvas on which to work.

How: The new Fat Llama brand is nothing if not fun. It’s bright and cheery, featuring amusing animations, a characterful mascot called Larry and a friendly tone of voice that works well for its audience. But it is in its implementation that the brand – and Larry the llama – find their true personas. The logo is best in motion, where an animated (bright yellow) Larry skids to a stop in front of a purple wordmark. Other animations depict Larry in funny, unusual and product-related scenarios. They help highlight Fat Llama’s marketplace while also proving a brand’s implementation across digital need not focus solely on an e-commerce platform or corporate website.

Why: Koto wanted to emulate how llamas move and act in the real world and thus spent time understanding the long-necked pack animals. Rosie Dallas, co-founder of Fat Llama says, “For Koto, getting hands-on with our brand meant researching the social behaviours of llamas one day, and impersonating them the next.  If you want to hear the voice of Larry, just ask them.” Bringing that level of detail to the brand allowed for a moving, digital brand expression that transformed Fat Llama from a marketplace, to a lifestyle brand. Dallas adds, “As a website and now an app, we’re digital-first, so every colour was carefully chosen to work well on screen. We’ve stayed true to our original lead colour, but the marine is now just one part of a punchy and very broad palette.”

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