Intensive Care First Aid

Designing the brand for a new First Aid and CPR training company.

Intensive Care First Aid preview

Overview

Overview

Intensive Care First Aid (ICFA) is a Vancouver-based First Aid and CPR training company. The client approached me to design their brand identity and marketing website.

As a new player in a crowded market, the challenge was to design a brand that appeals to up-and-coming health care providers while showing that learning first aid can be fun and meaningful.

Defining the brand

After gathering the project requirements and doing preliminary market research, I invited the client to do a half-day workshop to define the brand. The meeting helped clarify the organization's mission, vision, audience, and personality.

Post-Its, markers and papers for brainstorming
Post-Its on wall of keywords that define brand

A brand attributes mapping activity allowed the client to express how they want to be perceived by their customers.

Originally, the target audience were grouped into health care providers, scientific researchers and the general public. To narrow it down, I worked with the client to create two lightweight personas to guide our conversations during the exercises.

Persona poster of Sarah
Persona poster of Mark

Sarah represents our primary audience, the health care providers. Meanwhile, Mark represents the general public.

The ultimate output of the meeting was a brand guideline document, which summarized the company's goals, values, voice, and tone. This gave the business a strong foundation in knowing how to present itself to its customers.

4 pages from the ICFA brand guidelines

Excerpts from the brand guideline document. This artifact was referenced and iterated upon throughout the design process.

The client wanted the logo to be universal, professional, and modern. Thus, we used the term “modern professionalism” to describe a brand aesthetics different from the rigid and pensive tone of the health care industry.

Ideation sketches for the logo

Ideation sketches for ICFA's identity.

After many iterations, we settled on a stethoscope wrapped around a cross. I intended the shapes to be simple and explicit to help people immediately recognize ICFA as a first aid company taught by health care providers.

Below: The final logo and logotype with margin guides.

ICFA logo and logotype
Business card

Above: Business card design, where slanted lines are used to make the composition more dynamic and interesting.

Crossing out the blue

If you visit the ICFA website today, you'll see that everything is pink instead of blue. What happened?

Because of the ubiquity of Pacific Blue Cross in Vancouver, we had to ask them if we could use our logo to avoid legal issues. They said no because it looked too similar to theirs. Therefore, we explored other colour options instead of scrapping the entire mark.

ICFA and Blue Cross logo side-by-side

Blue Cross vs. the first edition of the ICFA logo.

We settled on a bright indigo-fuchsia gradient that implies vitality and reinforces ICFA being a bold new player in first aid that appeals to a younger target audience.

New color palette from brand guidelines

An updated colour palette from the brand guidelines.

Building the website

The first version of the website was a single-page landing experience that introduced the company and its services. The business goal was to get potential customers confident enough about the service to book a session through the contact form.

A fully functional course registration system was implemented in phase 2, in which I coded a custom WordPress theme from scratch, and leveraged WooCommerce to power the payment process.

Early sketches of the website

Exploratory sketches for the layout of the website.

To ensure originality, I produced every visual element, including icons and photos. Because the courses haven't started yet, I organized a photoshoot of first aid equipment for use on the website to give people a better sense of what the company is about.

Below: Website landing page on mobile and desktop. I composited the hero image to present the brand as playful and modern.

Website hero in mobile and web
8 icons used in website

Above: The course category icons (left) and benefits icons (right) were designed to be bold, clear, and consistent with the brand aesthetics.

Impact

Intensive Care First Aid doesn't have a persistent office space, so all courses are booked by phone or through the website. Since the company's inception in 2018, the site has helped the business generate hundreds of orders every month.

Therefore, the brand and online experience I designed have greatly contributed to building customer trust and producing sales for the client.

Reflection

While brand design is not my professional focus, this freelance project allowed me to use a breadth of skills in design and web development to create polished works that satisfy a business's needs.

Also, I've found that the brand definition workshop was a very rewarding part of the process. It taught me how to get a clear picture of the client's goals through a series of ideation exercises. Thus, every assets, copy, and UI decisions were aligned because of the guidelines established from the start.

Takeaways 🥡

  1. Ran a successful workshop with the client to define the brand.
  2. Designed the logo and brand guidelines for a new first aid training company.
  3. Developed a custom WordPress website with payment, which helped ICFA generate hundreds of sales every month.