How&How bring character and comprehension to commerciality in Freetree’s playful identity system
Taking payment in the form of 60,000 newly planted trees, London and Lisbon-based design studio How&How teamed up with international brand Freetree – a digital browser extension that, in collaboration with 40,000 partner companies so far enrolled in the scheme – plant trees in response to digital purchases. Having partnered with the likes of global conglomerates, from Lidl to H&M, the platform have already made a big impression; setting a new standard and expectation for commercial industries to follow with the intention of helping offset the environmental impact of retail business.
Tasked with crafting an identity to complement and master the scale of Freetree’s reach and uniquely reflect the dual tone of positivity and sincerity at the core of their mission, How&How turned to what connects us all; nature – asking themselves how nature could be graphically demonstrated playfully without falling into the overly-green, textured and leaf-silhouetted tropes so often seen in ecologically-focused projects.
Leading with the notion of the ‘fuzzy’ feeling felt whilst within and experiencing nature and the warm sensations of helping others, How&How began with crafting a family of personified trees and leaves – contrasting one another with their corresponding sharpness and smooth textures. Together, enlivened with vibrant colours inspired by the natural worlds, these characters wobble and dance in response to the new purchases and planting new trees, interacting with How&How’s custom cursor design, developed to embody the relationship between online interactivity and trees.
Bringing the brand together is the prominent use of copy and the subsequent prevalence of typography. Opting for Typeverything’s Champ as the hero typeface, using its pragmatic architecture to effortlessly overcome the technical breadth of the identity’s touchpoints. As a result, the lively tone of the sans serif directly compliments the identity’s playful exploration of colour and character. Crafted with expressive, deep ink traps, Champ’s bounciness feels immediately at home in Freetree’s optimistic world, offering its functional prowess and positive vibe.