Following the birth of my first child, a former colleague from Hootsuite reached out. He knew my previous work at Hootsuite and had seen my midnightdoodles and was wondering if I’d be interested in doing branded illustrations for his new startup company, Poppy. I met with him and his partner, Avni Patel-Thompson, and fell in love with the project. Poppy’s mission was to build a modern village, to highlight the community aspect of childcare. It acknowledged how alienated families and new parents can be, and worked with high-quality babysitters to help families feel supported and cared for.
As a new parent, I felt immensely connected with the market Poppy was tergetting.
The need for illustrations was just the tip of the iceberg. I worked (closely with Avni) on the creation of the complete visual brand: logo and brand guidelines, icons and graphics, UI style guides, print and online assets, templates, presentation slidedecks and promotional materials. The visual style was based on a whimsical, fun and engaging environment, reflecting Poppy’s image. To achieve this, I developed watercolour textures, used tuned-down colours and explored illustrated characters* that could reflect the face of the caregivers and families.
Both the brand and the company eventually evolved. For this last phase, I created a more generic, modern and clean look that could still keep the brand’s whimsical sentiment, but in a more grown-up tone.
I developed a new style guide with more vibrant colours; replaced the watercolours with pencil/crayon brushes to keep it fun but not crafty, and created new, generic characters that represent all caregivers and families. My priority for these illustrations was to portray a feeling of trust. Being a parent myself, I understand the emotional rush we go through when leaving our children’s care in someone else’s hands. This is why I created scenes of comfort, play and safety; and project Poppy’s core values.
I worked with the team to create personalized assets (hand lettering involved) that could speak to (and engage) caregivers and parents alike. I helped develop the new website, with a cleaner spacious look, with highlights of vibrant colours and graphics throughout.
Unfortunately, most of these assets didn’t see the light. But the results were successfully accepted within the Poppy community and team.
Long live Poppy ❤
*Due to the natural rush of the first brand launch (as all start-ups do), we bought stock images for the illustrations, which I edited and brought up to brand.