Floreat UK branding

Background

Floreat UK is a new workplace wellness consultancy, dedicated to promoting holistic health and well-being in workplaces and workforces. Floreat means ‘let it grow, blossom, bloom, thrive, flourish”. The business’s services encompass areas including nature, mindfulness, breathwork, and biophilia that aim to improve people’s wellness and performance. Our client, Lois Cliff, was the founder of BeeLoudWords, and a teacher of English, with decades of teaching experience, inspiring students in the best version of themselves, which led her to transform her previous experiences and passion into business in the wellness and fitness industry. The objectives of this project were to create a brand identity for Floreat UK that reflects its brand values in commitment to businesses and individuals, as well as emphasizes Lois’s personality and her high energy and engaging coaching style.

Restated brief

The client needs a logo design, tagline, and email footer, which will be adapted to her business websites and future promotions. Our first client meeting allowed me and my teammate to understand her vision and personality properly. After discussing the aspiration of goals, services, target audiences, and visual identity of the brand, we accomplished the restated brief immediately.

Major missions of the company:

  • Showcase Floreat UK’s commitment to helping businesses and individuals improve wellness through consultancy services.
  • Target all kinds of businesses, including small local businesses and anyone who wants to achieve better wellness in their workplace.
  • Help everybody and 10% of all earnings go towards helping women and girls have a better life.

Initial thoughts on the visual identity of Floreat UK:

  • Emphasis on the productive, sustainable, eco-friendly, and responsible aspects of the brand.
  • Create a strong visual identity that is recognizable and memorable, which represents the playful and high energy level characteristic.
  • Incorporate distinctive typography and could use color schemes of green, pink, and blue.
  • Reflect Floreat UK’s biophilic design that incorporates nature into the workspace, which could use natural elements such as flowers, leaves, and bees as graphic representations.

 

Researches and ideations

A crucial starting point was the research of target audiences and competitors. In the Floreat branding initial research, we identified the potential target audiences ranging from female individuals of all ages, HR managers, educational institutions such as schools and universities (both students and staff), business proprietors, social enterprises, non-profit organizations, sustainable businesses, to healthcare institutions.

As Floreat UK aspired to remain inclusive and welcome anyone who sought their services, this inclusivity provides the opportunity to develop a diverse audience that includes businesses, individuals, and organizations committed to enhancing wellbeing in the workplace and advocating for social and environmental changes.

User persona (Business Owner)
User persona (HR Manager)

The personas highlight the two essential audience categories of Floreat UK, business owners and HR managers. Analyzing their core objectives and motivations ensures that our logo design effectively caters to the needs and preferences of these target users. For example, the first persona showcases a business owner, David, who owns a sustainable clothing company and would like to promote employees with sustainable and positive environmental values. A promising and biophilic iconic representation would be suitable and attractive to him.

Furthermore, the brand mainly focuses on female individuals in workplaces including HR managers shown in the second persona. In this case, an energetic and playful logo could fit Sophia’s needs in maintaining a productive and engaging atmosphere in the workplace.

Competitor’s logos in the wellness and fitness industry

Moving to the competitive landscape, we find businesses operating within the holistic wellness sector prevalent in using visual elements including organic shapes, earthy color palettes, peoples, and nature-inspired motifs to represent their values of wellbeing. These design choices evoke a harmonious connection with nature and people, while also communicating a commitment to sustainability and growth. These competitors’ logos have embraced contemporary and vector design styles, which promote a recognizable and distinctive brand identity, aligned with the modern branding strategies adopted by companies such as Apple, McDonald’s, Starbucks, and Adidas. Our client also preferred a recognizable and modernist logo, that is distinct and simple and aligned with the contemporary logo trend.

Client choices from the Floreat Inspiration Board

We then created a Floreat Logo inspiration mood board, which gathered logo designs with several potential ideations and styles that resonate with Floreat’s core values. It included ideations such as line art, illustrative designs, typeface logos, elements featuring animals and leaves, therapy and growth, and people logos. After presenting to our client the rationale behind each logo concept, we boosted our insight into the client’s preferences for logo style and ideation. Typeface design that exuded a vibrant personality, as well as logos that featured leaves and people, particularly stimulate our client and effectively communicate Floreat UK’s dedication to fostering people’s growth and well-being. The logos in style of a combination of two ideas, including leaves and people logos, as well as bees and flowers logos, created a distinctive and unmistakable visual identity.

Additionally, the visual representation of bees was especially significant to the client, not only because it has been her previous company’s logo, BeeLoudWords, but also due to its profound representation in harmony with Floreat’s biophilic values. Our client also conveyed her preference for a specific shade of green, providing our team with useful guidance to begin with the design.

Design development 

Logo design

With the client’s preferences now clearly defined and armed with a profound understanding of Floreat UK’s identity and a shared vision with the client, our design team eagerly began the next phase. Our goal was to create a recognizable and unique logo that captured Floreat UK’s core values and characteristics.

Initial logo sketches (combining bees, leaves, and the initial letter F of Floreat UK)

The initial sketches intricately blended various design elements to craft a compelling logo. We have chosen bees to symbolize Floreat’s strong commitment to environmental awareness. Additionally, we combined leaves as powerful symbols of growth and well-being. The incorporation of the initial letter ‘F’ of Floreat also added a signature to the brand. However, our supervisor provided critical opinions on our initial logo sketches and pointed out that some of the concepts, especially the bees ones contained too many ideas into one logo. These could be overwhelming to our client or viewer to understand the message. This prompted us to rethink our approaches to be less intricate and keep it strong and simple.

Logo sketch for client feedback

By further developing and redesigning ideations and variations among the logos, which were thoughtfully organized and categorized based on their underlying themes and ideas, it ensured our communication remained straightforward and concise for the client to review.

Our client prefers logos that blend the elements of a bee and a flower, which captures the essence of growth, sustainability, and environmental consciousness that Floreat UK stands for. Furthermore, our client is also delighted with the leaves and growth logo. These logos appealed to her as they symbolized the growth and well-being aspects of the brand and also conveyed a sense of groundedness and harmony with nature. While the client had not made a decision on the logo at that stage, and ultimately made their choice after we combined these options conducted with typography experiments.

Typeface experiment

In terms of typography, we initially presented three distinct typeface options to our client: script typefaces that promote playfulness and vivid movement, friendly typefaces that exuded approachability, and decorative typefaces that added an ornate touch to the brand’s identity. As the client would like to emphasize movement and playfulness within the typography, we have attempted to incorporate the handwritten style of the word ‘Floreat’ from the client. It seems to be a potential approach to emphasize movement with designated calligraphy typefaces incorporating wavy lines and a flourishing style.

Typography choices
Experiment with logos, typefaces, and colours

It became clear among the options after our supervisor raised a critical point of consideration regarding the script typefaces. It could be inappropriate to convey a brand image that is heavily towards playfulness, which undermines the impression of reliability and professionalism that Floreat UK sought to establish. After experimenting with colors and typefaces combined with logos, we found that a better way to communicate the brand was the use of solid color, clean lines, and friendly typefaces, which established both the promising and welcoming attitude of the brand’s identity.

Revised logos combined with typefaces (for client feedback)

After renewing our typography choices with friendly typefaces and combining them with logos, our client immediately decided on the font, Gelica, which maintains a balance between the playfulness and seriousness of the brand. For the logo, the client has chosen undecided between No.4 and No.11. However, we found that No.11 could be less resonant for the audience. Our client ultimately selected the logo design that featured a delicate balance between a flower and a bee-like iconic representation. This choice resonated deeply, as it carried profound symbolic meanings while also remaining remarkably easy to remember. This design perfectly promoted Floreat UK’s mission of nurturing growth and well-being, as well as emphasizing the importance of sustainability and environmental consciousness. With the taglines, we all agreed to keep it simple by placing it under the brand name.

‘We both really like the bee flower. He’s done some playing with it, and it sizes down really well, and looks much more like a bee, which is cool.’

– Lois Cliff, Floreat UK

 

Final delivered logo design for the client

 

Final logo of Floreat UK (modified by the client)

Nevertheless, the decision on the color palette brought about an interesting twist. During the color selection phase, the client expressed a preference for both the gradient and solid green color options. While both options had their unique appeal, we have decided on a solid darker green color to maintain brand consistency and ensure a unified brand image.

Upon the final logo’s delivery, however, the client made a subtle yet impactful adjustment to the color. Fortunately, our final deliverables provided flexibility and adaptable iteration to the client.  This shift in color transitioned to a lighter shade of green that exuded a more vivid, vibrant, and natural feeling, which allowed the logo to breathe a renewed sense of energy and freshness into the logo, aligning even more closely with Floreat UK’s identity and values.

‘I really like the one you gave me originally but I’m the end I felt a lighter shade was a bit more nature-y! 🌿’

– Lois Cliff, Floreat UK

 

Email footer
Floreat email footer options (for client feedback)

Although contemporary email footers typically added the plain text of contact details and links to the end of an email, our client desired a more visually engaging and customized email footer for the brand. While experimenting with five compositions with various placement and layout of the email footer, a key consideration was the interactive function of contact details which would be prominently displayed with clickable links. This required attention to layout with accessibility and ensuring that the information was readable and easily clicked.

Final email footer for Floreat UK

We lastly settled on a simple yet effective design choice for the email footer and incorporated a clean divider to separate the contact details from the brand logo, enhancing visual clarity. Additionally, we enlarged the contact icons to make them more accessible and user-friendly. After settling on the design, the final stage was to ensure that the email footer was not only visually appealing but also fully functional with clickable links. Although we realized that our client’s partner could handle the technical assets, we further pushed our team to create the clickable template for the email footer. We explored several tools and methods to create the clickable email footer, including signature generator tools like Wise Stamp and HubSpot, and by building the design in Google Documents.

As one particular challenge we faced was adapting our design to fit within the confines of email signature settings and these settings often constraints in capacity and formatting, we finally decided to turn the Photoshop design into HTML coding and build it further with Bracket, which was built into a template webpage and shows how the client could copy and paste to the email signature in the email setting.

Brand guidelines
Floreat brand guidelines

In the Floreat Brand Guidelines, we govern the design rules of composition, visual elements, style, typography, and color treatment of the logo design and email footer. These guidelines ensure the consistency of brand identity across all communication channels and allow stakeholder to effortlessly adapt our email footer to their communications.

Reflection

Overall, the design meets all of the brand’s values and the client’s vision. We successfully navigated through each stage of the process within the tight two-month timeline and received positive feedback from our client on the final result. Critical feedback received from our supervisor and peers from real job meetings has given us invaluable help toward the final design. Throughout this project, I found the experience of working as a team to be particularly enjoyable and productive. By strategically allocating tasks based on our individual strengths with logo ideation and email footer design focused by me, and typography focused by my teammate. Our team effectively reduced workload and ultimately delivered results that satisfied our clients. I also gained versatile skills as a designer, including project management and communication skills in both written and online meetings. In the technical aspects, it provided practical experience in designing logos professionally by paying careful attention to details and striking the best result. For example, using grids to maintain accurate proportions and ratios. Also, pushing boundaries by creating email footers with HTML coding, to provide a mock-up solution for the client.

To reflect on the aspects to improve during the project, there are areas where we could have done better. One aspect was our communication and discussion during client meetings, being more confident in asking questions and defending our design choices would have facilitated more efficient and constructive discussions. These are beneficial in helping the client make decisions and ensuring the solutions are precisely tailored to their needs, especially regarding color choices of the logo that are revised after our final delivery.

This project has been a meaningful learning experience and equipped me with a valuable skill set for future endeavors in the field of design and branding. I have increased my confidence in managing branding projects. My initial reservations about branding design were dispelled once delved into researching and analyzing the market trends, as well as deeply understanding Floreat UK’s brand values. I realized that branding design is not just about aesthetics but also about telling a compelling story and effectively communicating a brand’s essence. I also learned that simplicity in ideation can be more impactful and communicate effectively than complexity.

‘The logo she and her colleague designed for me had real flair and creativity; I was quickly able to make my selection from their first range of suggested images, and then the detailed, focused tweaking of that image began, so that we could all be proud of the result. The font this team found for my branding was a perfect fit for me, with just the tiniest bit of ‘non-standard’ going on, which very much fits the brief. I enjoyed working with Natalie and am really happy with my new logo and email footer!’

– Lois Cliff, Floreat UK


RJ00603 | Floreat Logo and branding
Natalie Tang

Subtle variation in typeface

Task 1

For the first task of filling in missing part in the word ‘aden’, I was able to learn that individual letter have difference structure and characteristic. For example, different features include stroke contrast, x height and many other aspects varies to specialise a typeface. While sketching the word ‘aden’ in serif font, I have messed up with the aperture and serif in lowercase ‘a’, which I thought it would be better if I emphasis in the negative spaces by the next task.

Task 2

In the second task , we were told to write random letters ‘abcdufrtg’ in given font . It is more challenging to me, as I was using a brush pen rather than a calligraphy, which affect the stability in strokes. It is also important to further determine in each letter’s spacing as well as characteristic in structure and shape.

Reflection

By reflecting my sketching in letters, I can improve by paying attention in contrasting stroke, and accurate proportion to the serif. While sketching out and guessing the type shape, Gerry suggested us to recall how we write letters while we was a child. As designs may mimicking natural handwriting within typeface, such as the letter ‘u’ with serif in the ending. In these tasks, I realised that it is a complicated and long process to design a typeface. It was an useful practice for me to understand what typography elements a typeface designer need to determine and reserach while designing a typeface.

Autumn Film Festival

  • Draft 1: traditional (for retired people with old Hollywood passion)

The first draft is design for retired people who have free time to watch film. By grouping films according to month and date, they won’t miss any filming date in schedule. Besides, retired people or someone who have passion for old Hollywood would extra focus on the context of the film, so I add a quote below each film name to attract these audience and priority their interest to the film. I also use a traditional and decorative font to the title of Reading Film Theatre and add text of High rated movies, so as to suit their characteristic and appeal my audience.

  • Draft 2: mordernist (for international / busy people/ families)

The second draft is a more modernist design. As I would like to focus on the target audience of international and busy people, so I designed the flyer to be clearer and simplicity. Rather than grouping the movies by months, I distinguish them according to the film genre include classic, thriller and family friendly movie, which makes it easier to choose specific genre and relevant information for first prioritise, correspond with their own interests and to have a faster decision.

  • Peers feedback

From the peer’s feedback, there are many typing and structure mistic that I can’t found by my own, such as wrong punctuation, type spacing, force line break to respect the cast, and repeated information found, which will be a serious mistake in real life situation, so I should be more aware on it for alternative designs.

Final decision

After adjusting the typing mistakes, I decided to combining the two designs above in mordernist way, as I reckon that it is better to benefit a wider range of target audiences, include retired people, families, internationals and people who have Hollywood passion,ect. I abandoned the month grouping version as the date is actually easily to find. I remain the film quote as to introduce the film little more and appeal different audiences.

As to let my audiences choose what information they prioritize to look at, I haven’t particularly emphasis on a single title or information. However, I group the text by intrinsic and extrinsic information, as well as slightly change in font colour, weight and style to separate different information, so it will be easier to read. For example, I use red font in country which helpful for international user, bold text for the quote to have emphasize effect,ect. Lastly, modern font are used, also a red frame is added to create focus point to the information in middle.

By reflecting on my flyer design, I think I can improve in the informational grouping and idea of structuring the layout design in terms of hierarchy. It is a bit vague to read and boring for now, as it better to have featured layout style for an appealling first impression. I can look at peers work in achieving a more stylish flyer later.

1870s Vintage Sheet Music

Background information

The collection I chosen was a sheet music cover from Frank Laughlin: The Orphan, illustrated by T. W. Lee, and published by Chappell & Co Ltd (New Bond Street, 50 – London) in 1870.

Illustration: Cat and sheet music in 19th century

The reason I choose this sheet music is that I was appeal by the drawing of the kitten, which is realistic and cute. From the picture, we can see a woman that put on noble clothes and accessory was holding a wretched and little kitten by whole hand, which correspond with the title ‘The Orphan’ above. The picture creates a sense of sadness and helpless of the kitten, which I assume the target audience may be upper class woman, and the illustration arouse their sympathy and appeal them to listen the music. Besides, the text is in different typography style, which is decorative.

In 19th century’s sheet music cover, there are quite a lot illustrations found using cat as object.  It is said that animals were often used in advertising caught on in Victorian times, as using anthropomorphized animals in human activities more clearly demonstrates to the viewer an aspect of the character’s personality, thereby making the consumer more sympathetic with the animal in question.

Printing technique: Lithographic

(An example of lithographic stone for printing music. The music is written backwards on the stone.)

Lithography is invented by Alois Senefelder in 1796, and was first used to print music in 1796 and the earliest music sheets to be illustrated by lithography were produced in this country in about 1820 and were coloured by hand.

According to the video on lithographic process and website of music printing history, the process involved drawing an image or text on a smooth piece of limestone with an oil-based ink. Then, acid was poured onto the stone to burn the image onto the surface. A water soluble solution was then applied, sticking only to the non-oily surface and sealing it. For printing, the water adhered to the gum arabic. The oily ink, however, repelled the water, thereby allowing for the printing of the images.

Overall, I have learnt the complicated printing process in lithography, the asthetic of vintage 19th century sheet music, and how illustrator attract the audience by animals in sheet music cover and advertisment. These advance me a lot in the history of printing and future album covers design.

The Great Gatsby

Through the online class, I have learnt the fundamental skills using Indesign. One of the techniques I found MOST vital is to create paragraph style to the text while making different adjustment like tracking and leading in one panel. I have also learnt loads of useful shortcuts that will be useful to adapt in future designs, like holding shift to achieve perfect move and scale objects proportionally, as well as shift+alt to copy an image.

The hardest part will be working on the cartouche that at the top and  using shapes to crop it out, but the pen tool help me a lot with it at last. Overall, it’s such a great practice copying traditional book design and step in using Indesign.

My 90s Logo

I was inspired by the 90s graphic designs that was full of abstract graphic elements and patterns influenced by fashion and the colorful 80s. It is appealling to me with its combination of colour palette and geometric shapes. Therefore, I create a mood board that shown above, in which I want my logo to have an energetic and colourful effects and adapt them in my final logo design.

  • Vibrant colors with bright yellow, pink, cerulean blue, etc, as to achieve a bold and eye-catching effect
  • Abstract shapes with bold, abstract, geometric shapes
  • Making the logo three dimension by dropping shadow behind.

Besides with the 90s style inspirations, I also tested out different combinations to my logo of my initials ‘KT’, and I finally choose the one which is more geometrical and recognizable.

The Little Prince

             

Inspired by the penguin book cover, I create my messed up version for the famous fiction storybook ‘The Little Prince’. I did quite a lot changes from the penguin book to make it more mordernism, but still remain the basic font and elements. There are few insprations and variations compare to original penguin book in my design:

  • same font of Gill Sans Nova and paragraph style are adapted, while the headings are in wider tracking to fit with the childlike story, also used italic words in the book descriptions to emphazise the sentences
  • changing position between the author name and book title, so as to try emphasize the both maybe
  • illustrations of the little prince and fox are added to make it more appealling and visualize the story plot
  • the logos of penguin book are put in the right hand corner as it can grab less attension and let audience focus on others main elements

To review my book design, I could make it better by showing more influences from the penguin book, as it now looks a bit different from the original one. For example, making  funny variations to the penguin logo by adding the crown from the little prince, etc.

In these mini Indesign tasks, I realized that designing a simple book cover is much harder then normals expected, as there are so much to decision and progress go through with the layouting of text, as well as graphic to best communicate ideas. It is easy to mess up by making it looks too empty or complicated, and lot much to be considered. For now, I felt more respectful for the book designers and still have a long journey ahead to design like a pro.

Signs Observation

By capturing all the signs found around the typography department, I have been more aware of the environment around that I usually not pay attention to. In these days, variety of signs, logos and numerals were designed to make our life full of convenient unknowingly. More signs are designed. For example, instruction signs designed to remain our behavior of social distancing and washing hands due to virus.

I categorized all the images according to their colors with particular functions. Primary colors that match with black and white letters have contrast effects, as well as use sharp paint to grab people attention.

  • PROHIBITION signs mainly in red

  • WARNING signs mainly in yellow

  • SAFETY signs are in green; MANDATORY signs are in blue with positive instruction

Besides the function of colors, similarities of signs are that it designed as simple as it can by linguistic and symbolic lettering, we can always get the message behind the signs in less than three seconds without hesitation. I compare them with tiny observations:

  1. Simple geometric shapes using in outshape of signs, and common symbols within signs are arrows, banning circle, exclamation triangle and recycling sign.
  2. Font of Sans serif are used in almost every sign due to its readability.
  3. Material and placing position are different between indoor and outdoor signs: Indoor signs are mainly placed on the wall with eye levels and using removable materials like binding metals or stickers, while outdoor signs are mostly bigger in size and use weather-resistant materials, as they are mainly designed for pedestrian and drivers.

 

Infinite Labyrinth

The story of Labyrinth is about a family that trapped inside their new house with unexpected spatial characteristics. They start a journey to find the front door. My initial idea is to create a pop up book with structured pages like a labyrinth.

To represent the story and my idea visually, I designed both for the book cover and inside pages:

  • The word of ‘Labyrinth’ are cutted out asymmetrically as the book title, which symbolize the shifting rooms.
  • Symbols of keyhole added to features infinite doors to pass through.
  • Colour scheme: Red and black are used to represent the mysterious story plot and anger of the family getting lost.
  • Book pages: Geometric rectangles are cutted out randomly and create a sense of confusion. It also visualises their journey of finding the front door in the house of labyrinth.

Overall, I have experimented with drawing and cutting techniques on the book materials and played with the structure of the book. Although the result is not that well as I expected, I have gained experience of communicating and representing an idea through design but not just emphazise on its aesthetic.

Music box lamp

The first mini project in design practice 1 module, to design an ideal gift to our partner base on three of their fun facts.

As my partner is a k-pop, anime and art lover, I first come up with the idea of designing a spieldose (music box) with moving anime characters. Fortunately, this idea is adopted and developed further into my final design.

In the developing stage, I have given three random words of ‘Army’, ‘Books’ and ‘Bed’. Nevertheless, I only chose ‘Bed’ as it is associated with an extended idea of a multi-functional desk lamp slash Bluetooth music player, which fitted with modern design, also best to play as a ‘Bedtime Toy’. By connecting her favourite k-pop music, switching on the aesthetic moving machine with anime characters, as well as a desk lamp for lighting purposes, it becomes her ideal gift.

Although the gift has multi-functions that suit her fun facts, the model may be too complicated in manufacturing. On the whole, some adjustments with the colour scheme and simplify modelling will be needed if it turns into an actual product.