BRAND MANNERS: Untwisting Complexity in Life Sciences and Healthcare
A well-known and highly-regarded figure in Europe founded two companies that would light the stage for others on the most advanced edges of Healthcare and Life Sciences*. With extensive experience and degrees in both law and medicine, he is uniquely positioned to lead a team that will grow close to one hundred experts in the healthcare and life sciences arena.
My responsibilty was to name and visually brand the two companies as Phase One. Phase Two takes place once construction of a new seven-floor building has been completed and the branding can be continued into the interior architecture, sometime in early 2018.
After I assembled nearly two-hundred names, we chose HELIX as the most appropriate to the nature of the business, described best by its tag-line, “Untwisting Complexity In Life Sciences and Healthcare.” For the second company, that will invest in new startups, the name VESTEX was chosen.
For the visual element I decided on the Coxeter Helix, a tetrahelix with outstanding visual potential and power. Every part of the visual identity uses the element designed using the Coxeter Helix as it’s source.
For HELIX and VESTEX I configured the helices into humanist forms, that would remain faithful to their wide and deep meanings as well as their visual excitement and flair. It is eminently scalable, malleable as with clay, pliable as with wire, enabling massive roll-out into architectural applications.
What I have created is an alphabet — a language — that can speak in fresh voices for many years to come.
*The name of our founder has been changed in some examples.
Above: As to a brief explanation of my rationale — the green “arms” in the design come from behind to embrace and protect the “gold and silver” of the invested property. The arms in green portend growth and relate to nature, and by extension to science. The colors do not deviate from the helix element from which the logos are made. Each color can be used alone as a discrete element. This is my approach to branding, this extensibility of an element that seeps through products and services.
Business Card concept: The helix element scaled with pattern applied to evoke biological drama.
Business Card front image concept
Business Card Rear concept
Below, sketching some of the variations possible when working with a singular element in an adaptive way.
Moving on . . .
zen.dog, a new company in St Paul, Minnesota, offers a complete care solution for dogs — massage, boarding, day-care, training, indoor park — and each service appears in turn below the main logo.The background color is the color of the painted floor, the purple is the client’s favorite color and is the color of the awning above the entrance. These two colors set up the branding theme for all collateral material.
SilverLight Productions main logo. I set a theme with the grey knife-blade curve, and used it as a repeating motif throughout the company branding. The logo for SLP.Net, below, a tech support division within the company shows an example of this curve in another context as does the video division below it.
SKORE is a logo treatment for a new exercise routine still in development. The concept is simple—fat and thin, skinny and building muscle. The missing spaces within the typography serve to convey movement and potential. A wide range of color combinations are available per application.
Steelos is an ecommerce site for men’s fashion and accessories. This logo is one I believe in, and is here even though the company may go in another direction. The font implies strength, yet is pliable, giving it a human quality, and among many other characteristics, this is a logo I felt would support, rather than clash with all the partner brands featured on the site.
Logo for my design company, after my great boxer dog. People who did not remember my name remembered the boxer dog — fantastic recall factor, which brands drive very hard toward.
I could do anything with DOON. Color him differently, use different head angles — giving me many qualities that are challenging in most logo design. I have an approach, where a logo takes on a life of its own, becomes pliable to suit different needs. All without losing brand essence.
One of several logos for DOON.
DOON was the name of a great, big-hearted boxer dog who came to represent my design company. DOON added mystery, simplicity, and attached us to the ancient history of making images, which technology cannot change. On June 11 2013, at almost ten years of age, DOON came out of one long terrible night of struggle as his brain stopped communicating with his spinal chord. In the morning, staring straight into our eyes he took an injection that put him gently to sleep. There was nothing more to know. We miss him every day. We are grateful to him every day.
His logo is anti-logo. It breaks the “rules” of logo design which usually place simplicity above all. This golden rule worked well for decades and will continue to work well, but a change has taken place. There are hundreds of thousands of logos in existence today, many with nothing to make them memorable, many looking eerily similar to another, and even worse, many following trends. DOON stands apart. People will often not remember my name, but when I mention the logo, there is instant recall, “Oh, the dog!” This kind of recall is the holy grail of logo design, but with a caveat: the service or product must be memorable for its quality. The finest design will not rescue a shitty product, or poor service.
Before DOON was born, I designed this logo for my design practice. It has the kind of simplicity described above. Again, massive action can make this kind of logo memorable. Sometimes even massive action is not enough. Uber, the ride-sharing service has had enormous global exposure, yet how many people do you know can describe their logo to you?
BucketBuggy is a telescoping, lightweight, hand-pulled cart for carrying five gallon drums around the factory floor, home, or construction site. It brilliantly makes light work of transporting these difficult to carry, bulky and very heavy containers of dry powder, paint, organic material, fertilizer etc.
Identity for a financial services firm in New York. Previously, an indistinct architectural rendering of the building had been used, but was not suitable, or scalable, as a logo. However the building had long been an important part of Wynnefield’s identity and history and had to be maintained. I redrew the structure, remaining faithful to its core components and changed the typography.
Zara Sophia identity designed for an art dealer in Lucerne, Switzerland. The owner of the firm had been an olympic-level diver and she wanted a water theme to be evident in the identity. The hexagons are variable in size or number depending on usage.
Guitarfile is a company founded by Lisa Johnson, photographer of musical instruments. The logo also has a black and white version. The “bars” on the guitar body evoke the audio levels on a sound engineers mixing board. Her book, 108 RockStar Guitars is on sale.
Furniture company that produced tubular components that could be assembled in a variety of configurations.
Above and below: business cards. I have made dozens of custom business cards for clients who want their idiosyncracies reflected in the card. Business cards are proving to have staying power, in the face of device competition.
Barbara de Vries business card.
Business card. These are fun, and unlikely to be thrown away.
Business card. In 2016 protocols have changed, particularly in the way social media is presented.
Abstract surface pattern for a variety of materials / applications.
Business Card for Jennifer Simchowitz.
Poster for theater production.
Design on 20 bathroom tiles to be repeated as needed.
I love paper. I designed promotional material to be stuck on the cubicle wall. All these pieces, not included here were the size of a standard business envelope. They were meant to be provocative and evocative.
Another of the cards sent to art directors.
And another …
A great deal of my work can be labelled graphic design or illustration, as it works in the porous boundaries between disciplines. In 2016, graphic design means many things, and job requirements are legion for such a position in a design studio. Boundaries will blur further as we approach the world of “mixed reality”.
I incorporate photography into these porous boundaries.
HAGUE Hotels, coming to the US, design, photography, art direction, sans copy
Below, New Year’s Card for 2012.
Abstract work for fabric print.
Concept art for movie title.
Each year a New Year card goes out by email. This used recent experiments using deep space imaging ideas.
Holiday and New Year card 2011
I was developing a rocket logo for personal use. Then 9/11 happened, the US went to war, and the idea was shelved.
Another exploration of the rocket theme. Turned out to be a bad time for missile logos. Probably still is.
This text panel above was designed to cover an entire store window at Barney’s in New York, allowing one to see through it to the display, or grab a few words, or stand back and look at the whole design.
Above, a preliminary drawing for a painted aluminum object for the wall — a coat rack, hat rack, a place to hang dog leads and collars, bags, stuff one needs near the door.
Not everything shown solves a problem. Graphic Design is first the play of shape, proportion, context sometimes, some of the most exciting graphics come in the form of joy of practice.
It’s odd to put this photo-illustration in this category. It proves to be provocative like other pieces of design without a project. Personal work.