Design studio Thisaway has rebranded specialist medical admin software provider EngagedMD, designing a set of six 3D animated “helper” characters that act as “allies” to medical sector workers.
EngagedMD’s software can automate up to 56 minutes of admin and education work per patient, aiming to give caregivers more time for consultations and patient support. The 14-year-old business made its name in the fertility space but “realised its product was relevant” to the wider medical sector, such as GP clinics and hospitals, during the pandemic, says Thisaway design director Adam Cale.
The studio won the work through a joint credentials pitch with Toronto-based strategy agency Creative Business Company, which was tasked with identifying key objectives and presenting EngagedMD with three strategic concepts. One focused on “empowering patients”, another signified the “flow, ease and efficiency” of the service, and the winning idea was defined by the phrase “helping carers carry on caring”, Cale reveals.
Cale describes the concept as “very specific, empathetic and warm”, with the ability to speak to its target user in “a no-nonsense way”.
While EngagedMD is primarily a B2B brand, patients also interact with it in some capacity, from signing forms to watching video content, so Thisaway looked to make the identity “friendly and approachable”, says Cale. The previous identity had fallen into “clinical” tropes, with “heavy use of a scrubs blue”, a cross in the logo and flat, diagrammatic vector illustrations from stock sites, according to Cale.
The latter have been retained for “equity reasons” but have been “relegated” to the scientific elements of the service and joined by “more ownable” assets.
Starting with the idea of creating a “team of helpers” who deliver content and “act as allies”, Thisaway designed 3D characters that “built upon the flat vector style” from the previous identity, he says. The characters are positioned as “an extra pair of hands that you can hand off the admin to”, Cale adds.
In his view, a lot of contemporary illustration features characters with exaggerated proportions such as “tiny feet and huge upper bodies or elongated legs” whereas Thisaway opted for characters that felt “human and friendly” but “still had their quirks”. The final set of six diverse characters was created and refined by motion design agency Fakery capturing “a nice cross section of gender, race and job roles within medical practices”, including nurses, doctors and clinicians, says Cale.
EngagedMD’s new logo appears as a “helping hand” that ties in with the characters “who are always waving”, he adds. Since a hand is not a “particularly ownable icon”, a design reminiscent of doctors signatures and “scribbles” was crafted with the help of Amsterdam-based designer and lettering artist Alec Tear, with an e hidden in the loop of the thumb.
The wordmark incorporates a few different weights of Greycliff, an Adobe Font by Connary Fagen, defined by “rounder corners” that provide “a softness that complements the icon and the wider brand really effectively”, says Cale. It also ties in with the EngagedMD’s new geometric sans serif body font Figtree, by Google Fonts, he adds, while a “rounded serif” called Recoleta by Latinotype is used as a headline font “to create a sense of gravitas”.
Thisaway started with “minty green”, orange and pink as the main colours but decided it looked too “playful”, Cale explains. Thisaway opted for a more “restrained and sophisticated” primary colour palette of dark green and cream, he says, while the three brighter hues still play a part in the visual identity, appearing on buttons and call to actions.