Superfried Takes a Fresh Approach to a Medical Branding System


UK designer Mark Richardson is known for his sure touch with typography, combining the practical and highly experimental with enviable ease. His studio Superfried’s latest brainchild is a brand system for a not for profit, web-based educational resource. The resource, Trainees with an Interest in PeriOperative Medicine (TRIPOM), is meant for students specializing in medical care of patients from the time of contemplation of surgery through the operative period to full recovery. Doctors Sam Bampoe and John Whittle, the clients, asked for a new brand identity as well as a complex web based platform that was fun and vibrant, to connect with their target demographic.

Medical Branding System

Richardson’s intelligent brand solution took a logical, exhaustively detailed approach to a highly complex project and made it simple to use, as well as aesthetically pleasing and not too “medical-y” looking. Color in particular plays a huge role, and there is a great deal of wit throughout, seen in touches such as a logo that riffs on the acronym TRIPOM by using 3 apples (in French, tres pommes) arranged to resemble a chemical symbol or molecule. On the website, the logo playfully animates with each apple spinning around and then locking back into place.

The designer used bespoke uppercase lettering for the logotype, adding dots as a reference to its acronym nature. For the website, Richardson employed a versatile three column grid system (again referring to the organization’s three apples) and created six quick access icons linking directly to the key site content to maximize usability and speed. To deliver the site’s eclectic wealth of information—a mix of searchable content including PDF tutorials and research, resource links, podcasts, videos and details of fellowships and courses—he kept layouts clean and simple. He also minimized imagery, choosing to rely mainly on a sequential use of color which steered the design away from the typical sterile feel of information-heavy medical content.

Medical Branding System

Richardson opted for a pastel palette so that colors felt soothing rather than overbearing, and chose not to assign a separate color per information category since the number of categories might change in the future. He says, “The ambition of Perioperative Medicine is for all patients to experience the same consistent care and smooth transition from pre-op through to recovery. What if this could be reflected in the user experience? A system was developed so that a user’s path through the site always followed the same sequence of page colors regardless of the route taken. The palette was based on a perpetual spectral loop – blue – green – yellow – orange – pink – purple and then back to blue, ensuring color transitions were less abrupt.”

The rest of the branding includes Word and Keynote templates to help staffers keep everyday content consistently formatted, an animated logo for use in videos, and collateral such as printed event flyers, posters, and lanyards. With TRIPOM, Richardson created a delivery system for content that can often come across as daunting or intimidating without resorting to any of the expected design tropes for the medical industry. Hat tip!

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