The last few years have seen a swathe of health brands reject traditional pharma-leaning design cues in order to shift perspective and improve the experience of the consumer. Employing more elevated and tactile design styles typically associated with the beauty and wellbeing sector, new products are being designed to be on display, rather than hidden away – helping tackle taboo subjects like health, diet and sexual wellness.
Instead of using muted palettes and cold, functional copy, design agencies are taking a more contemporary approach – using materials that are as kind on the eyes as they are the planet – made to sustain and be reused. In short, not only do these brands look great – they’re doing good too.
AUFI clients, like Cabinet, Nurx, Seed and FIG are the perfect case-in-point. Built on a mission to teach, provide access, tackle waste and support the environment, they’re going beyond their roles and category’s expectations. Here, we explore how each of these these brands are doing things differently – challenging the status quo, and, in the process, changing the face of the health and wellness sector. Planting new found seeds of possibility, the future of pharmaceuticals has never looked so good.
For context: upon meeting each of these brands, we helped hone their brief, intro’d them to a handpicked, pre-vetted shortlist of agencies and supported them though the selection process. Looking to redefine your category? ASK US FOR IDEAS at firstname.lastname@example.org
AUFI co-founder Nick, on healthcare company Nurx
The American healthcare system was sick. Accessing birth control, HIV prevention drug PrEP and other sexual health treatments was either expensive, or required an insurance policy that was unattainable to a large swathe of the US population. Nurx set out to fix that by creating a platform that provided access to this basic healthcare at an affordable price, all over the States. But as a business designed so specifically for the people, they needed an identity that talked directly to them.
We connected them with Koto, who were employed to actively shun the typical cues of healthcare and pharma to build a visual and verbal language that reflected the approachable and on-your-side nature of Nurx’s business. The key to this was including the medical professionals at the core of their brand, employing hand-written typography and authentic portrait photography by way of building trust. The result was both a revolutionary rallying cry and a reflection of the high standard of care provided by Nurx's qualified physicians.
See the Nurx x Koto case study in full on AUFI PROJECTS, made possible by ASK US FOR IDEAS
AUFI co-founder Toby, on dietary app FIG
In realising that the majority of medical issues ladder down to diet – and as sufferers of dietary issues themselves – the founders of FIG wanted to find a solution to the difficulty of living with food restrictions.
AUFI VENTURES brand FIG changes the game, by allowing people to build their own ‘digital diet’ profile, allowing all food shopping experiences (both online and offline) to be seamlessly tailored to you and your needs. Beyond building the technology, FIG are also lobbying for improvements in food standards and approved terminology around natural ingredients, fighting for transparency, and providing educational resources and peer-to-peer support networks to help people living with dietary requirements feel less alone. FIG is a reminder of the positive impact technology can have on people's lives.
We introduced them to LA-based branding agency Herman-Scheer to help bring their vision to life – working across their visual and verbal identity, brand strategy, UX and UI design, as well as the content they produce.
See the FIG x Herman-Scheer case study in full on AUFI PROJECTS, made possible by ASK US FOR IDEAS
AUFI co-founder Toby, on sustainable pharmaceutical company Cabinet
Cabinet’s mission from day one was inspiring and clear: how do you bring more transparency to over-the-counter medicine? Cabinet is a brand that cares through action. They provided emergency medicines during the pandemic with flexible pricing to what people could afford, and they created the first refillable solution for medicine. Offering less choice, more clarity, while being mindful of their customers’ pockets and shared planet, the future of pharma can be a good one with brands like Cabinet.
We connected Cabinet (an AUFI VENTURES brand) with Otherway, the strategically-led advertising and design studio based here in London, who helped launch Cabinet, making it the brand it is today.
Learn more about the Cabinet x Otherway partnership, made possible by ASK US FOR IDEAS
AUFI co-founder Nick, on probiotics brand Seed
Seed are more than just a probiotics business. They reject the typical pseudoscience associated with their category, and embrace deep and rigorous scientific exploration to build a product that is better for their customers in every way. So much so, they built Seed University, a free entry 6 unit course to help educate their ambassadors in the foundational science that underpins their product – allowing them to share this value with the people who really need it. Compare this to other brand ambassador programs, and you’ll see that Seed care deeply. Typically, ambassador programs are designed to incentivise and influence new potential consumers, in order to sell more products, and earn more commission and perks in doing so. The reality, though, is that, more often than not, they encourage widespread sell-at-any-costs information sharing instead – leading to products being pushed onto people who don’t need them. Seed, however, do things differently, for the greater good.
We introduced Seed to brand experience design agency, COLLINS, who helped reflect Seed’s values with a brand identity rooted in nature – leaning on inspiration found in the scale, texture, resilience and timelessness of the great outdoors.
Listen to our PRIVATE VIEW(S) podcast episode with Seed co-founder and co-CEO, Ara Katz, where we caught up to chat about the future of human and environmental health – and how good design is the answer to getting there sooner than we might have thought.