The making of a family quilt
In the old days, we lived in villages with our families. Now, with the world being a global village, families are spread out all over the planet, often losing their close connections.
Our client’s idea for her new app was to create a virtual ‘kitchen table’ where family members could gather to share stories and experiences, ask questions and advice, and create their common history.
Brown&co’s job was to help develop a brand strategy (giving the product a purpose and character), name the app, and build a logo and identity that felt appropriate and distinctive in an online and offline environment.
The greatest challenge in all of this was that, in order for the project to succeed, it would need to appeal and engage family members from every generation – literally 18 year olds to 80 year olds.
Immediately, this new app felt like a hybrid between a genealogy site and Facebook, but more ‘present’ than a genealogy app and deeper than Facebook – a place where families came together to reconnect and get closer.
Because of the importance of ‘closeness’, the brand would need to feel warm and safe – where family members of all ages could be open and honest with one another without feeling threatened or judged. To keep users engaged and stories flowing, the interface also needed to feel adventurous and exciting (the journey itself becoming a worthwhile destination).
The idea of collective quilting goes back hundreds of years in some cultures. To create one, each family member sews their own individual piece of fabric into the quilt, adding to the overall story, with no two quilts ever being the same.
‘Family Quilt’ felt like the perfect metaphor for an app that brought families closer together, with each individual’s input helping shape the collective family story.
An app is usually something considered ‘high tech’, and yet the concept of bringing families closer needed to feel ‘high touch’. Putting something warm and soft into a tech space would also create a real point of difference for the user interface of the app.
We also wanted the idea of a Family Quilt not to be taken too literally, so rather than use too many overt references to one in the logo and visual language, we introduced another creative idea – a Tangram.
A Tangram is a Chinese puzzle that challenges users to create pictures simply by combining its component shapes. So, the Tangram idea introduces a multi-cultural universality into the brand, as well as providing users license to express themselves in ways that suit them.
A modern sans serif is paired with a more classical serif font in order to balance the needs of different generations, and allude to both the past and present histories of every family.
The family Quilt app is still in testing phase, but the interface and design aspects of it are proving very popular with users.
They have been passionate about the project, pushing me to make things even better. And they’re an amazing bunch of nice people!Frederique Hull
Founder, Family Quilt
Project team locations.
Being able to share our work on screen with clients and collaborators alike makes it easy for quick decisions.Alan Cordery
Brown&co The Brand Collective Limited © 2018