Naming, Branding, Positioning & Communication Strategy, Illustration, Wayfinding & Signage Design, Environmental Graphics, Café Branding & Packaging, Print Design
Namaha Healthcare is Mumbai’s first super-specialty hospital exclusively for women.
Why are hospitals such morose, unnerving places to be at? Why doesn't receiving high quality healthcare simultaneously make you feel well?
This, and other such questions that the founding partners threw at us in our very first meeting, had us hooked. Medicine, design, warmth and women: what was not to love?
The vision was of a hospital that not only provides cutting edge medical care, but is also thoughtful, warm, kind and speaks softly. Of a brand and experience that is grounded, open, real and builds lasting relationships. We got on board right at Namaha's inception, through to taking on brand stewardship at every touchpoint.
We studied the healthcare market intensively, and worked on bridging the gap between healthcare brands and a cultural context. We wanted to bring meaningful hospitality back into healthcare, without compromising its seriousness.
Once we had set Namaha's framework: its philosophy, ethos and values, tone of voice, culture and personality, we ensured that it remained consistent through every touchpoint, in every way possible.
The Namaha mark, composed of two intertwined forms, symbolises the thread of continuity: mother and child, connections and relationships, life and birth. The umbilical-cord ligature between M and A spell Ma, alluding to not only motherhood in its literal sense, but also the idea of protection, trust, care and being nurtured. The colour palette is trustworthy, soothing and connotes mother earth, the universal nurturer and giver of life.
To bring warmth and depth to Namaha's brand story, we created a rich visual system to complement the identity. There were a lot of touchpoints to be covered in little bits of art, so it made sense to create an overall language that's easy to adapt, and yet cohesive. We translated Namaha's core values into three intricate master illustrations: nature as mother, science as art and meaningful relationships. These were then used, in combination with relevant colour palettes and textures, in part or whole, or recombined, across Namaha's spaces, stationery, brochures, packaging, environmental art and merchandise.
When you're already unwell, nervous and stressed, the last thing you want to do is find your way through different floors and corridors of a hospital building. A lacking wayfinding system, and you're lost, asking for directions constantly; too much signage and you're overwhelmed. We spent weeks geeking out over the hospital's signage system, aiming to achieve an intuitive, almost-invisible one. Not just arranging type and icons on boards, we looked closely at every aspect: We renamed departments, brought in colour cues to aid navigation and intuitive familiarity over time. We designed typography and icons that are legible enough for the elderly, yet cool and warm enough for young ladies, explored materials that brought a sense of calm warmth rather than clinical coldness.
And then we added an endearing human touch: each department 'speaks' to you in a short, cheeky tagline, placed on key walls and reception areas. Like a friend, addressing your inner concerns, putting you at ease.
Sometimes the littlest thoughtful detail can completely shift your relationship with a space or experience. Each room at Namaha is assigned a small visual story, expressed in the delicately crafted sign at the door, the key-card that the patient and visitor gets, as well as the framed art inside the room. We imagine residents then giving directions using these ("... it's the room with the flamingos") and maybe even remembering them alongside life events ("I had my first baby in the room with the bear family...")
Instead of a dull hospital canteen, Namaha has a bright café right in the heart of it. In keeping with the brand's persona and to give it its own status, we named it Namaha Naashta. The nature master illustration was translated for Naashta into a rich, tropical colour palette of verdant greens and chocolate brown, that's serene, soothing and refreshing.