Healthcare start-up Galileo’s identity based on expertise not “friendly clichés”

New York studio Athletics has redesigned Galileo and its accompanying app, with illustrative elements and humanist influences.

New York-based design studio Athletics has designed the identity for healthcare start-up Galileo, with “resonant, emotional” details.

US-based Galileo is a subscription-based service which offers patients consultations with doctors through its app. Members can seek clinical advice and renew their prescriptions on the platform.

As part of its work for Galileo, Athletics has crafted a new identity, brand positioning as well as designing the interface for the service’s website and app pages.

According to Athletics digital program director Nathan Brouillet, Galileo wanted to “cut through the friendly clichés” that are rife in the health sector.

“They wanted a visual and verbal identity that would distinguish them from the madding crowd of plug-and-play telehealth platforms and DTC brands all claiming (rather vaguely) to be ‘reimagining the future of healthcare’,” Brouillet says of the project.

Far from “the madding crowd of plug-and-play telehealth platforms”

Galileo’s new positioning is instead focused on “expertise and competency”, he adds, with an embrace of more “resonant, emotional terms” in its branding.

It also seeks to connect more closely with individual users rather than constantly reiterating the vision of more accessible healthcare for all. “We opted for language that feels more personal and geared to an individual patient,” he explains.

Galileo is named for the 17th century astronomer, who pioneered modern science and most famously argued the case for heliocentrism (that the Earth revolved around the Sun).

As well as speaking to the start-up’s disruptive approach to healthcare, the astronomer’s vision is reflected in the visual identity, according to Brouillet.

The updated wordmark, for example, has a small sun above the ‘o’. The typographic features of the mark were inspired by humanist typefaces, Brouillet adds – thereby “taking a nod from the past into the future”.

Meanwhile, earth and ivory tones have been chosen to “bring the warmth and sophistication of a neoclassical palette”, the designer says, supported by “astronomic” blues and greys.

These are balanced with brighter tones – tomato red, gold, lime green – which “point to a brighter future”, he adds.

Among the typefaces in use, handwriting has been incorporated for a “personal touch”, Brouillet says. Hand-drawn annotations are also used throughout. These “emphasize, guide, or orbit other elements”.

The design team has also created a soft textural element, which is used in an “eclipse-like fashion”, seen in the animation above.

“Mature, precise and realistic” illustrations

Athletics worked with illustrator Oriana Fenwick on portraits of Galileo’s clinicians. “We felt it was important to showcase Galileo’s expertise by showing the real clinicians behind it,” Brouillet says.

Fenwick has also crafted a series of illustrations for the app, which the designer calls “mature, precise and realistic”. Carrying the illustrations from the identity through to the app also provides a “nice through-line”, he explains.

A final advantage of this particular illustrative approach is that it helps to distinguish Galileo once more, according to the designer.

He adds: “A bonus of this illustration style is that it’s differentiating from the popularly used friendly abstract vector illustration that are common across other healthcare companies.”

What do you think of Galileo’s new identity? Let us know in the comments below.

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