“It’s about creating something genuine, respectful and caring.” Gemma Mahoney on her brand for Rise
“This project has been an extraordinary undertaking in terms of its magnitude, scope and depth,” Melbourne-based designer Gemma Mahoney tells us about her extensive identity for online wellness and fitness platform Rise. “One of the biggest challenges came from the fact I was the designer and the client,” Mahoney details, “which was daunting, to say the least,” looking to create an online space that fosters supportive relationships to fitness and branding it simultaneously. “I found that my instincts played a significant role in guiding me through the process,” she continues, truly embracing her intuition. “Finding the balance between my gut instincts and a solid design rationale was essential,” Mahoney notes, “whilst also making sure user functionality and experiences remained at the forefront.”
Allowing a holistic, caring approach to take centre stage, Rise’s visual language is fundamentally supportive; embracing a timeless, minimalist aesthetic led by Helvetica Neue as the primary typeface and a bespoke, Morgane VanTorre-influenced wordmark. As a result, neutrality and a welcome sense of accessibility conjure a spacious, tactile and pleasing graphic language, steering clear of loud, overpowering typographic layouts.
“Through this project, I discovered the power of positive synergies in design approaches and outcomes,” Mahoney recalls, “my process really made me reflect on and explore the profound impact design has on all aspects of our lives,” revealing how design can physically, intellectually and emotionally affect us. “Exploring the interplay between the design, tone and brand language,” she continues, “made me appreciate their deep psychological and physiological influence,” resulting in an enlivened creative pursuit of sensitive branding projects that move beyond commercial boundaries. “It’s about creating something genuine, respectful and caring,” Mahoney remarks.
Mahoney’s thoughtful pursuits continued into every aspect of the brand, from the styling, creative direction, shooting and editing of videos to the copy, UI, UX and design of Rise’s web presence – all bound by a mindful philosophy of mental and physical movement. “We really wanted to emphasise a sense of space, breathing room and air,” Mahoney details, “so our approach was led by ‘less is more,’” an ethos that also directly influenced Rise’s monochromatic approach to colour.
“In the realm of social media and marketing, it is common to see bright, bold and punchy colours,” she suggests, whereby every brand is vying for one’s attention. “So our intention was to create a contrasting experience,” she states, “we wanted our tone of voice to embody softness and calmness,” purposefully embracing restraint and subtlety in the light of colour chaos. “With soft backgrounds and grey,” Mahoney concludes, “being neutral, helps balance the softness and subtle femininity that our plant installations express in our spaces.”