Back in September, a few days after Hurricane Irma hit Florida, we found ourselves in the middle of paradise. We didn’t plan it that way, but oh did it work out so well. We happened to have a brand discovery trip scheduled weeks in advance for a new airline client that flies into The Bahamas; and when they asked us if were still interested in flying out a few days after Hurricane Irma touched land in South Florida, we looked around at our [thankfully] intact, but internet-less office and said: ‘Absolutely, yes.’
And so we found each other on a propeller plane flying into the sunrise overlooking the most breathtaking blues we didn’t even know existed out of our Pantone color swatch books.
Once we arrived in The Bahamas, most of us didn’t have access to cell service or pretty much anything that connected us to our daily lives and that was like a breath of fresh air. It was truly a stress-free day surrounded by sites that connected our graphic designer brains with the inspiration we so passionately seek from the world we live in.
Our client treated us like royalty. Breakfast at the yacht club, mid-morning boat ride to swim with the pigs, followed by great conversation at the sandbar, and then – swimming with sharks! Then back for a mid-afternoon meal and a golf cart adventure around the island before hopping on the plane again for a short ride back home.
With each shade of blue, each feel of the wind in our hair, the smells and sounds of unspoiled ocean, and the good company we started to develop what will eventually become our client’s brand. Because although they are not a Bahamas tourism company, they are making this lifestyle available to many through the convenience of their airline. And that is important – because what are brands but a collection of experiences that communicate to a customer what the company stands for and what needs they fulfill.
When we were walking on the sandbar with one of the airline owners, she asked us: ‘What do you think makes helium creative different?’ We all looked at each other and said: ‘This.’ Taking the time to go experience what the customer will experience. Seeing it from their eyes gives us the foundation to design and develop a brand that is on-point, relatable, and efficient.
When the day was over and we were headed back home, we left with fire in our hearts to design an inspired brand that would allow others to experience a little piece of paradise.