Part of the brand creation process for HYPHA was working with the client to settle on a way of communicating a complicated and jargon-heavy cloud of concepts to an audience with varying degrees of understanding or experience. The client wanted to relate to everyday farmers who had never heard of regenerative business, as well as to leaders in the regenerative business space and potential investors. Others in the industry get tangled up in the jargon, trying to explain the concept of regenerative business from a very heady intellectual space. With HYPHA, we wanted to simplify the concept and make regenerative business feel obvious and easy to understand, and position HYPHA as a confident leader in the space. From that direction, we designed the look and feel.
The cofounders of HYPHA wanted the brand to reflect their own personalities while standing for something greater. Taylor and India are markedly intelligent and progressive, but also live in close connection with nature and wanted the brand to feel earthy and grounded, but also sophisticated. We decided to go with a simple wordmark in a serif typeface that hints at forward momentum but also points to its timeless nature. For the color scheme we went with earthy tones, contrasting deep green with fluorescent green, which made the brand feel both solid and down-to-earth and electric or modern. The imagery carries a soft, grainy texture that feels warm and welcoming, and features macro shots of nature.
The website for HYPHA is modern and sleek, that comes to life with smooth animations and interactions. We kept the layout simple and fresh, mixing offset text layouts with simple grids. We limited the amount of information on the page to keep it feeling manageable and digestible, while also provoking thought and suggesting progressive change. Overall the final Webflow product feels engaging and energizing as well as warm and welcoming.
We started out with three very different directions for HYPHA, each incorporating themes from client conversations like microorganisms, future design, and the merging of business with nature. The first direction is the most sophisticated of the three, speaking to the elegance of the design of their business and also presenting it as an intellectual brand while still feeling like a warm and engaging place to land for an audience member who might not fully follow the depths of the regenerative business industry. We balance clean and geometric lines with warm, high-resolution macro photography to pull the scientific and intellectual element of the brand closer to the tangible application of the farmers HYPHA works with.
The second direction we offered was a little more playful. For the logo, I was inspired by videos of hyphae under a microscope, growing and curling over one another. I took that curviness and played off of it throughout the rest of the brand concept, to provide a contrast to sharp lines that act as the more "serious" counterpart. This one would use more textural imagery, and focus on nature photography that can pair well with narrative text.
The third direction is the most bold. It focuses on strong typography and feels confident and knowledgable. The type treatment was designed to feel like the tendrils of hyphae, starting from a denser place and trickling out and thinning. This one was designed to stand out the most apart from HYPHA's competitors, as this less-is-more look and feel is harder to come by in the regenerative design space, which is often trying to overcomplicate and over-explain itself.
The HYPHA team settled on the first direction, the most sophisticated direction. They loved the simple but meaningful glyphs in the typeface which suggested acceleration or forward momentum, and they loved the photography and design feel. I went on to design their brand guidelines, and design and build a Webflow website based on this direction.