Design Week talks to ODA about rebrand of Relish

Demen­tia well­be­ing brand Rel­ish reveals sen­so­r­i­al” redesign

Our Design Agency has cre­at­ed the new look for Rel­ish (pre­vi­ous­ly Active Minds) which pro­duces games and activ­i­ties for peo­ple liv­ing with dementia.

Lon­don-based stu­dio Our Design Agency (ODA) has rebrand­ed Rel­ish, with an iden­ti­ty that hopes to engage the feel­ings of peo­ple liv­ing with dementia.

The work includes a new name for the com­pa­ny (pre­vi­ous­ly Active Minds) as well as a visu­al iden­ti­ty that rolls out across Relish’s web­site, social media, app, prod­ucts and packaging.

Estab­lished in 2010, Rel­ish cre­ates prod­ucts in col­lab­o­ra­tion with patients and car­ers which aim to improve the well­be­ing of peo­ple who live with demen­tia and their loved ones.

The company’s prod­ucts, which include themed puz­zles and paint sets, are sold inter­na­tion­al­ly and have so far been bought by over half a mil­lion people.

Why shouldn’t a range of prod­ucts pri­mar­i­ly for peo­ple with demen­tia not look stylish?”

In the UK, there are approx­i­mate­ly 850,000 peo­ple liv­ing with demen­tia and an esti­mat­ed 54 mil­lion world­wide, accord­ing to ODA. One ambi­tion for the new brand­ing was to reach these inter­na­tion­al mar­kets, the studio’s cre­ative strate­gist Sarah West­wood says, in par­tic­u­lar the size­able Amer­i­can audience.

While Rel­ish used to deal pri­mar­i­ly with care homes, anther aim is to reach peo­ple at a direct-to-con­sumer lev­el online and in retail spaces, accord­ing to Westwood.

This meant that the new brand­ing had to com­mu­ni­cate infor­ma­tion that might not be as instinc­tive to peo­ple not work­ing in the health­care sector.

The brand­ing was func­tion­al in a care home set­ting but it wasn’t suf­fi­cient to take them to the lev­el of a well-known con­sumer brand,” she adds.

Accord­ing to West­wood, one of the ear­li­est ques­tions that drove the project was Why shouldn’t a range of prod­ucts pri­mar­i­ly for peo­ple with demen­tia not look stylish?”

Refram­ing the nar­ra­tive around dementia

After a peri­od of inter­nal analy­sis, plans for an emo­tion­al” iden­ti­ty were put into place, accord­ing to West­wood. This ties into the company’s back­sto­ry; Relish’s founder orig­i­nal­ly want­ed to cre­ate prod­ucts for his own grand­fa­ther who had been diag­nosed with dementia.

The new name is an attempt to reframe the nar­ra­tive around demen­tia”, she adds. Instead of think­ing of it as the end, it’s about how the brain works dif­fer­ent­ly, and you have to adapt to it.”

Rel­ish was cho­sen for its evoca­tive con­no­ta­tions. We want­ed car­ers to see this and feel pos­i­tive and like the prod­ucts could help them enjoy time with their loved ones,” she says.

A sense of sim­plic­i­ty runs through the iden­ti­ty, ODA cre­ative direc­tor Grant Willis says. The friend­ly and approach­able” low­er­case logo­type is paired with an opti­mistic and joy­ful” colour palette com­pris­ing pale pink, a con­trast­ing green and bright sup­port­ing tones.

While the brand­ing tar­gets car­ers, it also had to appeal to peo­ple liv­ing with demen­tia. The pink tone – which ODA calls straw­ber­ry heart – is inspired by the ther­a­peu­tic use of straw­ber­ries in care homes. It’s a fra­grant and rem­i­nis­cent smell that often helps patients remem­ber a pre­vi­ous time,” Willis says.

Rac­ing green was cho­sen for its tra­di­tion­al asso­ci­a­tion, he adds. Shades such as zesty lemon were picked for their sen­so­r­i­al” qual­i­ties as well.

Cir­cu­lar shapes are used through­out the iden­ti­ty, which aims to rein­force the clar­i­ty of the com­mu­ni­ca­tions, accord­ing to Willis. Dif­fer­ent shapes have been hand-paint­ed to give a hands-on and organ­ic” approach, the design­er adds.

Book­ma­nia from Adobe has been cho­sen as the type­face owing to its easy-to-recog­nise” let­ter­forms, Willis says.

Pack­ag­ing details

Pack­ag­ing was designed with the retail space in mind, Willis says. At every point, we thought: Could I see this on a shelf in John Lewis?’”

A four-stage sys­tem has been designed which helps peo­ple choose the right prod­ucts for a patient’s demen­tia type. This was cre­at­ed in col­lab­o­ra­tion with Rel­ish experts, accord­ing to the design team.

There’s also a set of eight icons which indi­cate what the activ­i­ty is best suit­ed for, from build­ing pride and pur­pose to strength­en­ing connections.

These more pos­i­tive icons are fea­tured on the front of pack­ag­ing while the stage-relat­ed indi­ca­tions are on the reverse.

ODA has also cre­at­ed visu­al and brand­ing guide­lines for each of Relish’s sig­na­ture prod­ucts, such as music-based activ­i­ty box­es to puz­zles. These are in line with the brand’s new sen­so­r­i­al posi­tion­ing, Willis explains.

Paint sets have been giv­en more per­son­al names such as nature-lover in the hope of remind­ing car­ers of what the patients used to be pas­sion­ate about. When you’re look­ing online, you think my dad was a nature lover’ instead of just this is a kit for paint­ing trees’,” he says.

Pack­ag­ing often includes imagery of hands to empha­sise that the prod­ucts aren’t intend­ed for solo use but to fos­ter a sense of con­nec­tion, Willis adds.

Check out the full arti­cle here

11 Feb­ru­ary, 2021 | Hen­ry Wong