Evolution of the Docker Visual Identity

May 21 2019



Today we are going to check out the Docker Visual Identity. We will cover what it is, how it came to fruition, and how it adds value to the business.

Before we dive into the details, we’ll start with a little backstory on the progression of the brand over the past 6 years.

It is truly a story of evolution and resolve — one that describes how the brand has matured into what it is today, and how it has fundamentally defined the design system strategy we are putting into practice today.

The visual brand has taken many forms. We can start our story here, using the website as a vehicle to convey the dramatic changes over time.

The strength of the logo and weight of the image: The Docker whale has always had a presence and from the beginning, has usually trumped its surroundings in fidelity.


Starting with Docker.com




As the business grew, so did the message, and the story around it.

You can see the brand starting to take shape, and form. You can see the dull colors were removed and the pallet was simplified to use colors in relation to the logo. Shapes as well as iconography had matured over time while retaining the integrity of the whale.




2015. The year that Laurel Duermael, a cartoonist who studied directly under Jim Davis (the creator of Garfield), gave the brand character and gave characters to the brand as well. This gave a playful, friendly interface to the customers and Docker community – one that was inviting and appealed directly to the developer community at the time.




This strategy had lived into 2016. This is the year that the business had identified the need to evolve its content to a more sophisticated crowd. A community different from development, more of the decision makers, champions of large business deals and high stakes.

This was a radical jump from the brand’s previous transitions and forced the brand’s visual language to change shape. You can see the subtle progression of the whale and its relationship to the content – and the smaller, less detailed asset that was being used as iconography and brand ID in smaller settings.





This treatment remained over the course of the next year, and the imagery around it continued to evolve and attempt to find its place with its leading Identity in the Brand. Notice the 2 dimensional graphics are being represented in perspective now.




Even the models and graphical diagrams begin to follow the lead of transition throughout.




Jumping later into 2017, the brand took another leap and you can see now how we have completely removed the mascot. The information and typography are being presented more formally and conservatively, giving more value to the seriousness of our business. You can literally see the maturity of content and visualization.





There were still some attempts to marry the two concepts; the illustrations and the presence of expensive, sophisticated technology:




The result was a quasi interpretation of the two, showing the model of the transition in detail. Using sharp trending colors and the edge of dimension, while still holding onto the original shape of the branded illustrations.




Late 2017 was the full scale launch of a new visual identity. One that took the brand into a radical new direction. Completely removing the presence of the cartoons, and full scale blasting the business with a hard edge of visual identity.




This strategy was meant to convey the sophistication of the business. The transition from a playful, fun toy, to a serious functional device that makes business successful and profitable appealing directly to the executive layers of all business types.

Ultimately guiding us to what we began with in 2018. A strong, visual identity that carried the idea of a small business into an Enterprise Grade Solution for the market.




The idea behind the identity was trying to convey the balance of our business.

The origin of these shapes being simple objects, squares, circles and triangles representing a consistent structure that highlights the simplicity of the product usage – how easy it is to use docker – but when you look at how these shapes are built – there is a complex underlining that conveys the details and level of exactness that it takes to construct these objects – or in abstraction Dockers Complex technological foundation.





These images reflect the discovery done to help convey and communicate ideas in the product, with storytelling within the docker community that ultimately surfaced a cohesive language and visual system that was being used to drive the brands identity.







SO.. Our recent modifications to the brand. Taking the value of the translucent, complex 3 dimensional shapes and advancing them….. Filling them in to have structure and integrity.





The isometric technique has evolved over the last several years with the brand, and this moment in time reflects the next chapter of the business design language.

Our team has even used this in the Application Designer. We managed to catch this wave early with this product and used isometry to convey the Application Model to the users.




Isometric illustrations have been an artistic genre for ages, only recently has the market, software particularly, begun to use them in business to convey brand identity.  

Some other organizations share the same intent. This marks a trend in the community and gives us a wave to ride.

You can see that this trend has helped us adapt our most recent brand strategy, and will help us champion our visual identity into the future of the Docker Brand.

Thank you for reading!


Design @ Docker





0 thoughts on "Evolution of the Docker Visual Identity"

DockerCon 2022

Registration is now open for DockerCon 2022! Join us for this free, immersive online experience complete with product demos, breakout learning tracks, panel discussions, hacks & tips, deep dive technical sessions, and much more.

Register Now