Branding and UI design for Humanthology, a platform devoted to sharing authentic human stories and experiences.
Project Type: Branding, Web Design, UI, Style Guides Details
Humanthology is a brand new website devoted to capturing real-life experiences from those who wish to share their personal stories and accounts in a respectful and authentic environment. Subjects are represented on the site, where users can then contribute their own personal experience as part of a larger group, with options to comment, share, and expand their understanding of a subject. In short, this is a project meant to capture meaningful stories and conversations.
At Spruce HQ, we were delighted to be introduced to the Humanthology team and invited to create both the brand and UI design for such an inspired platform. The project was on a shorter timeline than usual, so we buckled down and focused nearly all of our design resources to this projects for about 6-7 weeks.
Building a Brand
We ran through our typical process of moodboarding to further narrow down a concept for the “Humanthology Brand,” which needed to be clean, trustworthy, and authentic. The goal was to identify a mark which would stand the test of time. In the end, we chose a classic serif typeface with top and bottom lines implying communication and connection. In addition, we created an icon for use in bookmarking, shortcuts, and app badges for Windows and Mac. We put all of this into the brand guide spec document so the team can share rules for using the brand, colors, fonts, and icon internally. Some samples of the brand guide are included below.
Building a Coherent UI
Next, we threw our efforts at developing the concept for the UI, which (much like the brand itself) needed to feel clean, respectful, and authentic only this time the focus was on creating a coherent system with a light touch stylistically. We wanted the focus to be centered on the content and functionality without distraction or clutter. As a result, we developed a product that hangs on a strong functional foundation that is represented with minimalist text and action styles, and one that values whitespace.
Visual UI Toolkit
Once we completed several design layouts, we then translated these styles into a “Visual Toolkit” which serves as an internal bible of sorts for setting styles and further developing areas of the site and layouts without the need for formalized design mockups. In a sense, aspects of the design become modular and easy to apply for developers. This allowed us to wrap the project in a timely fashion, offering support as needed but essentially placing the keys into the client’s very able hands.
All said, this was a terrific project with a very thoughtful team of collaborators on the client side. We wish Humanthology all the best with the launch and are looking forward to watching the site’s usership grow in the coming months.