This was a project to create a Logo, Website, and Direct Mail Flyer for a fictional company of my own making HuSo technologies.
The client is a company called HuSo Technologies. HuSo is short for “Human Solutions”, and the company is a large-scale for-profit technology company, that works to create innovative technological solutions to support various humanitarian efforts. It has a variety of clients, including the American Red Cross, though it also runs and supports its own aid efforts around the world. It is naturally has locations around the world so that innovation can happen closer to target populations, however its headquarters is located in Tacoma, Washington.
HuSo’s clients and aid efforts are located throughout the world, so their target audience is extremely diverse, although all are in some sort of need. Some of HuSo’s previous projects include portable vaccine refrigeration units, toxic mold detecting corn sacks, and pop-up emergency housing for disaster relief. While the company is for-profit, they want to make their intentions clear that they offer affordable solutions to the problems they are working to solve. They are hoping for icons that are clear to read across cultures, and that are easily recognizable as their own.
When ever creating preliminary designs or models, I always start the same way by giving myself ten minutes to sketch or make as many prototypes as possible. As inspiration I drew heavily from other world aid organizations such as the Red Cross and the various United Nations organizations (UNICEF, UNHCR, etc.). I hoped to create a simple, reproducible, and recognizable icon that would have universal meaning. I settled on combining a gear with the imagery of a sunrise, symbolizing a new day and hope, brought through technological advances.
Direct Mail Flyer Process
This mail flyer had quite a few restraints on it for class (required gradients, amount of text, etc.), so creating a flyer that could still get my message across was a little different. I went with darker, flatter colors to give a sense of calmness to the flyer, as well as a little bit of sadness. I wanted people to look at the photos and ask themselves how they could help those in need.
For the website, I wanted to create a site that mirrored the direct mail flyer in terms of color schemes. I wanted cool, flat colors for the same reasons as above, but also I wanted to give a non intrusive feeling to the company. Many people have reservations about technology interfering with what is natural, so I wanted the company to have a different face. The flat colors make everything feel simple, non intrusive. The mountains give sense of calmness as well as immediately pairing nature with Huso in the viewers mind. I created one page site using Dreamweaver.
Takeaways: The Importance of a Company's Story
Before working on this project, I knew the importance of subliminal messaging. I had watched videos on it, studied it in various psychology classes, been excited when I noticed the arrow hidden in the FedEx logo, and questioned the likely hood that the McDonald's "M" really was designed to be reminiscent of breasts, in order to give off notions of nourishment and of a mothers meal. I had sketched my own logos for pseudo companies before, but I had never paid much attention to the story of a company.
For this project, instead of starting by designing, I started by writing. Twenty years down the line, what is this company doing? Who is it serving, what do people think about the company, what was their journey to get to that fictional point? Starting like this was so important because it made all the design choices that followed forward thinking. Focusing not on what a company is, but what it can become gives the project a sense of hope, and a bigger personality. It is hard to decide whether this hope actually showed in the final project, but it made the actual design process a whole lot more enjoyable and exciting.