Your organization can be clinical without feeling clinical.
In the business of branding, I’m seeing more and more clients that have a savvy understanding of what they want — especially in terms of setting a tone.
It’s interesting to have a new client sit down with us in a discovery meeting and say things like, “I want my typeface to have more energy,” or “I don’t want my new logo to feel too corporate.” In fact, that’s what many of my new clients want: a brand that doesn’t appear to make them too “business-y.” And after asking around and doing some research, we’ve learned that we’re not alone in this.
There’s an evident shift in branding to design identities and marketing pieces with a “human touch.” Everyone wants a softer logo, illustration, a hand-drawn typeface, and a casual voice in their messaging. It’s all about making the company feel as personally-crafted as possible.
For the longest time, start-ups and rebrands just wanted to look professional and legitimate, and now they’re wanting to project a personal vibe. It’s interesting to see the “bespoke” movement seep into unexpected industries. You’d expect a cookie company to ask for bright colors and copy that looks like it was written on the packaging. But now law firms and hospitals and even Nonprofit Healthcare Organizations want that, too. This obviously goes hand-in-hand with the Etsyfication of the design world: making things that feel homemade.
Handcrafted hospital marketing seems like a contraction, right? We’re so used to seeing healthcare branding and advertising that feels corporate and sterile — mostly because these organizations want to be projected as clean and unsoiled. Unless it’s a pediatric program, you rarely see a design that’s playful and energetic. Now maybe this isn’t the right tone for all NPHO programs (some might require a serious, corporate-feeling brand), but it doesn’t hurt exploring some “human” interpretations of the marketing materials. Maybe that’s just an ad campaign that’s got hand-drawn headlines or maybe it’s a new logo that feels a littler looser. Try something new; you might be surprised how much it speaks to you.
From where I stand, embracing this approach to branding is part client demand and part industry trend. Clients want it and we’re excited to do it.
And when it comes to branding your nonprofit healthcare organization, we’re definitely advocating for more “human” elements of branding. I like that businesses want to be projected as people. And to me, that’s always been the point.
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