Creative Process Study 04

03.01.2010 / Project: FocusRx

Studio Junglecat

Biography

Studio Junglecat’s mission is to connect with broad audiences through the creation of uniquely memorable experiences that elicit thought, dialogue, laughter, and response. By collaborating with forward-thinking organizations and individuals, Studio Junglecat aims to participate in shaping our collective culture and environment—and to do so with humor, wit, and personality.

Studio Junglecat is an independent design consultancy powered by Matt Wizinsky. The studio is located in Chicago, IL and was built on gritty Midwestern-American optimism.

You Know Your Business

FocusRx is a small consultancy with a finely nuanced understanding of pharmaceutical laws and systems. Using this specialized expertise, they partner with large health care provider organizations to develop prescription plans that work and make sense for the end-users. We are talking about ridiculously complicated, labyrinthine systems that would make the average head spin. FocusRx sought a graphic identity that could portray this narrow specialization within the health care field and demonstrate its value. Because they operate in an industry where efficiency and precision are a mandate, their identity must be clear, simple, and direct, but with a character that distinguishes this company amongst its peers.

My question was this: Can an identity articulate such scrupulous qualities and still have a little fun?

Look Around / Look In

Much of the medical and health-related identity landscape is occupied by crosses, hearts, stethoscopes, mortars and pestles, the staff of Asclepius (often mistakenly as the caduceus), all kinds of pills, plants, flowers, herbs, rising suns, setting suns, healing hands, apples, and a whole universe of colorful, leaping, joyful little figures that Michael Bierut has deftly coined “the neutered sprites.” However, FocusRx represents the planning and strategy behind prescription plans, not the medicine or care provided. Therefore, the objective was to create something smart that demonstrates narrow specialization—apropos of the focus in their name.

Reference

Three primary references sprang to mind: the eye, the lens, and the Venn diagram. These symbols also appropriately correspond with three themes at the core of the company’s purpose: the body, technology, and strategy. Notably, these all take a circular form with centrifugal energy that guides attention toward the center—to that which is in focus. From this conceptual starting point, I explored a range of abstract symbols conveying these traits.

Logo Sketches

Speaking of Symbols

The next step was to typographically organize the company’s name with its LLC status and a tagline linking the new business to its parent company. Having represented the company’s specialization (focus) via the graphic symbol, the goal now was to balance these various elements while drawing attention to the pharmaceutical nature of their work, which was again right there in the name: Rx. While the origins of this symbol are uncertain (is it the Eye of Horus? an abbreviation for the Latin recipere?), the important fact is that it clearly communicates “prescription,” and this allowed for a simple, typographic solution. In order to highlight Rx, conventional wisdom would dictate making it bigger, bolder, or increasing its contrast. Instead, I discovered through exploration that a lockup with focus with the tagline isolates the Rx symbol, allowing emphasis on the angular negative spaces forming these letters. Using lighter stroke weights in this approach proves more dynamic by activating the surrounding white space and contrasting the bold, curvy letterforms of the preceding word.

Type Sketches

Tying it all Together (in a Big Kinky Knot)

One parameter from the outset was that this new identity must include a visual tie-in to Cazma, the parent company of FocusRx. The simplest and clearest method to accomplish this unity was through the use of color—namely, the red brand color of Cazma. This is where it started to get fun!

The application of color revealed a secondary meaning taking form within the symbol. By slightly shading this red circular mark, it creates the illusion of an endless loop of kinked red tape. Because FocusRx exists solely due to the complicated bureaucracies of a health care system that no one person or organization alone can comprehend, this additional layer of symbolism was a perfect fit. The client loved this idea of imbuing a subtle dash of humor—certainly something unique to their market—within an otherwise direct symbol of their function.

Final Horizontal

Final System

Collateral

The resulting identity system is bold, clear, and unique. By combining acuity and wit, it conveys the pharmaceutical specialization at the core purpose of the organization while demonstrating humanity with its sense of humor. Hopefully, this will sustain its life for many years to come—like a carefully balanced regimen of medication.

Contact Studio Junglecat

Studio Junglecat web site: http://www.studiojunglecat.com
Visual Thinking blog: http://visualthinking.studiojunglecat.com
Email: matt@studiojunglecat.com
Call to discuss your project: 513 659 6634





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2 comments, please join in the discussion

  1. 03.02.2010

    Impressive work, Matt. Clean, thoughtful and articulate mark–maybe the biggest success in this project is what your firm helped FocusRx leave out! It seems like the logo could have easily become cluttered with multiple messages and elements. Great work on keeping it simply complex. :)

  2. 03.06.2010

    Great insight into your process Matt. I really enjoyed the inclusion of the references. Along with the rough concepts, they provided a good indication of your thought process. I am curious to know at what point of the process was the creative direction provided to the client and in what form? (verbal, written, sketches) Thanks for sharing this Matt.

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