NAVA: The story behind the rebrand

“Times are a-Changin’”, so sang Bob Dylan in 1964. Standing still for no one its passing brings with it inevitable change: the end of eras and the marking of new beginnings. Just as Backrub became Google, Jif now Cif, and Pete’s Super Submarines more commonly called Subway, KOMPAS has undergone a similar metamorphosis.


From the humble beginnings of an idea by two University students, formed while drinking a few litres of beer in the Hofbrauhaus, KOMPAS originated in the form of an Instagram account: Hidden Munich. Detailing secret venues, lesser-known independent shops, and sporadic sightings of amazing urban street art, the account gained a following of over 25,000, with many wanting the venues shown accessible in an easy-to-use platform when exploring the city. The team grew to three, and thus, the KOMPAS app was born.


As with any new company rapid evolution abounds. Over the past 18 months the natural progression of KOMPAS has brought with it a growing discrepancy between the existing brand and the new creative vision; we have gone from being a simple city exploration app to one that really indulges in the stories and the people behind each location, made up of suggestions bespoke to each user, generated from the user’s own interests. We hope that with this you will embrace a new sense of adventure, and with that, embrace our new brand: NAVA.

Over the coming weeks you will see subtle changes in the appearance of our app, Social Media, and online Journal. This is more than just a change in name; we have a new outlook, a new creative vision, and new branding. Here’s how we did it.



Storybook Adventure, Truly Personal, and Unlocking Unique. These new cornerstones have helped form and shape the creative direction of NAVA, aligning us more with our current and future goals for expansion, moving us closer to a product-market-fit. To achieve this, each theme went through the process of being turned into a conceptual – and visual – idea.

Storybook Adventure:

We want to take our users on a journey of life and expression, connecting them to places through the stories these venues, shops, and business owners tell, making them memorable and emotive.

Truly Personal:

People make the place. By focussing on our users as individuals, the places featured on the app are aligned with every user’s personal interests, evoking a reaction from each venue’s history, culture, and the people behind them.

Unlocking Unique:

We always aim to focus on the weird and the wonderful, uncovering the hidden aspects of the city. We will take you down streets you recognise, but through doors you don’t.

Visual Concept

Each theme’s mood board of evocative and representative imagery fuelled the visual concept to inspire new brand assets including colour, typography, photography, and graphical elements.

Imagery fulled by visual concepts

Storybook Adventure:

Playful, evocative, fairytale-like dream worlds; Dystopian imagery, playful twirls, energetic shapes, and irregularity represent the idea that no journey is as simple as a straight line. Photography styles are snapshots of a moment in time, capturing a split-second, a scene of a play. This evokes a spirit of adventure, emphasising direction of moment, with additional graphic elements such as triangles to represent mountains and movement.

Truly Personal:

Diverse, individual, and unique, visually personal through an emphasis on the richness of global cultures and personal aesthetics. Capturing a subject in their own space where they feel best represented, their personality visible from clothing, angles, backdrops and props is the photography style here. Close-ups of personal objects such as an artist’s brush or chef’s knife gives lead to graphic elements of handmade crafts; origami, paper cut-outs, hand-drawn designs, every aspect personal to their maker.

Unlocking Unique:

Different angles and perspectives come together to make a harmonious whole. Bulbous shapes imitate the curves of a keyhole. Graphic elements intertwine the idea of opening a box with the fascination of looking in, capturing the unspoken and the unseen. Unusual photographic perspectives that take looking twice to understand what’s going on creates an air of mystery and adventure. Common elements are made unique through unlocking a different perspective.


We didn’t want a word that had any prior association. NAVA has no particular meaning or definition. It is an adventure in itself. It’s there to make of what you will. NAVA has an elegant symmetry pleasing to the eye. The soft, muffled sound of the ‘N’ is friendly, positive, and personal, but the buzzing ‘V’ adds a whimsical characteristic. The simplicity of NAVA makes for easy spelling, which sits well with our consumer-first approach.

Brand Assets

Combining the three cornerstones of NAVA we matched three representative colours: Wonderland Pink, Razzleberry, and Electric Teal. Our bulbous typography links back to that concept of a keyhole, while our original visual content will have various graphic elements added, such as zigzags and triangles appearing in unusual places.

We hope you like it!