Plasma Arc Technologies designs and builds environmentally clean and energy yielding plasma systems designed to uniquely service the growing pressure on the waste management industry.
Plasma Arc Technologies was started by a group of retired NASA physicists to address the world’s solid waste crisis. Their technology uses a high voltage torch that creates a 10,000°F field of plasma inside a solid graphite crucible that vaporizes waste, which they can then harness to create renewable energy.
The challenge, of course, was translating all of that complex chemistry and physics visually so investors and the public could have a good understanding of the technology without feeling overwhelmed.
The logo for Plasma Arc came to me relatively quickly. Being a startup, the company didn’t have a logo or identity established at all. I knew 3 things immediately, 1) it had to be green, 2) it needed to incorporate an arc, and 3) I had to visually differentiate between the two “A’s” somehow.
The first logo I did in 2006 was grey and lime green and reflected the company’s sensitivity entering the renewable energy market. The logo redesign in 2010 with dark blue and a larger “TECHNOLOGIES” reflected a bolder, more confident company with a few successful projects under its belt.
The colors of the logo were reflected in the UI of the website, which changed a few times as the company grew.
The initial 2006 design was white and green, which was selected to represent a fresh technology in the green energy sector. The imagery was selected to convey the vibrance and energy of the young company’s vision.
In 2008 I redesigned the website to focus more on visually conveying the applications of the company’s technology. Plasma Arc had expanded into the liquid fuels market, and we wanted the website to appeal more to B2B clients.
The final redesign in 2012 put the focus directly on the company’s experience and technology. I conducted several photo shoots at the production plant to replace most of the stock images with authentic photos. I also expanded the website, tripling it in page count, to expand on the company’s areas of expertise in greater detail.
The final deliverable for the redesign was all of the corporate collateral, including letterhead, presentation templates, business cards, USB sticks, pens, pencils, stress balls, you name it.
Startup companies are made or broken by their investor decks and presentations. Luckily, I was working with a world-class sales team, and with this presentation we were able to secure over $3 million in financing. As with any presentation, the challenge was to distill the necessary information into digestible sentences and tell the company’s story in a compelling way.
My task for this process flow was to illustrate the waste-to-energy process as described to me by the company’s engineers. At the time I designed the diagram, none of the equipment existed at scale, and the process had only been demonstrated in a lab setting. However, this illustration was often used by engineers and sales alike, and ended up informing the final plant layout.
PLC USER INTERFACE
After working successfully with the engineers on the process flow diagram, we became kindred spirits, I was the yin to their yang. Our next task was to build the PLC that interfaces with all of the plant equipment. We talked through the various systems and how they functioned, they sketched some major engineering diagrams with industry-standard handwriting, and a few hours later I had cranked out the UI the company used for PLC to control every plant.