HR Cloud Liquid Courage
While interviewing at HR Cloud, I was tasked with creating a welcome kit as a design exercise. The prompt asks for an experience that would welcome new hires to make them feel included and pride themselves into their new place of work.
Before diving into any design work, I did my research on HR Cloud and studied their product, design aesthetic and values. The company had a very lively environment with a game room and created fun installations for their conference meet ups. I was immediately captivated by their playful illustrations and vibrant colors. I also noticed their applications of illustrations on their swag, such as beer mugs, coasters, and enamel pins.
I created a mindmap to see what words and associations I can make with "New Hires, New Anxieties". I noticed words like "empathy" and symptoms before the first day of work that anyone would experience - feeling tired, anxious and shy. I began sketching ideas for what the welcome kit could be, and mainly settled on the idea of some kind of drink or food to energize and boost morale for the new employee.
“Liquid Courage” is the welcome kit from HR Cloud given to their new hires. It is a set of 3 healthy juices that relieves a few symptoms of the first day of work jitters. “Avoid the Cat Nap” is the first drink that helps the new hire relieve their symptom of being too tired on their first day from a lack of sleep the night before. “Calm Those Nerves” is the second drink that calms the anxious new hire on their first day. “Get Out of Your Shell” is the last drink in the set that helps the new hire to become more outgoing and open to meeting new people on their first day.
I decided to play on the wording of “Liquid Courage” and change its definition from alcohol to boosting the new hire’s confidence and courage in coming into their first day of work. I wanted to keep the entire set light and humorous, and to have a sense of empathy towards the new hire in the blurb of each bottle stating that “we’ve all been there before”. The set also comes in a wooden box that keeps all of the drinks together and could be reused for something else on the desk of the new hire.
New hires to HR Cloud.
TONE AND MANNER
The design will encompass the aesthetic of HR Cloud with vector shapes, clean lines and sophisticated colors. It will also be a product that is unique in which embodies the “think outside of the box” mentality that HR Cloud has.
To create a welcome kit that warmly ushers in the new hire to give them direction and a sense of pride.
First Initial Sketches
The first initial sketches started with the logo. I wanted to match the look and feel of HR Cloud by making something more organic, playful and very humanistic. I kept it simple with a handwritten text with uneven lines to make it more lighthearted.
I explored different animals that could best represent the feelings of tiredness, anxiousness, and shyness. After a few iterations, I settled on a cat, bunny, and turtle. I went further into the side panel illustrations in conveying a concept of going from their current state to a better state, such as from becoming too tired to more energized after consuming the drink.
I found these bottles at a local Ralphs and thought they fit well with the HR Cloud aesthetic in its minimalist style, soft edges and white cap.
The first iterations of the illustration showcased animals that were more minimal in their characteristics. I liked the illustrative elements on the right panel but felt they weren't grounded within the label. I decided to add more detail to the animal character and include a box around the New Hire blurb to bring in the illustrations.
I made the right panel of each label an illustration that reflects the process of going from the symptom of the first day of work jitters to a resolved state. In the case of "Avoid the Cat Nap", it was a day to night illustration, indicating that the drink will remedy the sleepy state of the new hire and make them more energized to tackle the workday.
The next two labels in the set were easier to design now that I have the key elements and layout of the label set. I knew I wanted to draw the turtle peeking out of his shell, and thought about making the illustration on the right a sense of being social and being shy. The bottom is an illustration of coral reef with no fish, and the top has schools of fish indicating going from being shy to more outgoing.
After looking at my sketches of the bunny, I thought it would be more visually interesting by keeping his ears on the left side, his eyes big and his paws in the front to indicate a more anxious or worried look. I illustrated four different kinds of flowers and did not want to go overboard with too many patterns. I wanted to play with the stems of the flowers and have them intertwine with each other for more visual interest. I reflected the first half of the illustration with the bottom and added butterflies to indicate the feeling of having butterflies in our stomachs.
I did a quick test print to check for the legibility of the typeface and illustration. Overall I think it looks pretty good and cohesive, but I wanted to see how it would look like if all of the elements were filled.
My initial color study showed me that the colors were too murky and dark, so I decided to amp up a few of the colors and create a more harmonious and analogous color palette throughout all three labels. I also decided to add one more color to each palette for better variety throughout the illustrations.
I printed the set of labels on a large format Roland printer and made a few notes on colors that need adjusting. It was a challenge to figure out what colors look best when printed even though it may not look the best on-screen, but after a few adjustments, the color was just right.
APPLYING THE LABEL
I used a spray that allows for easier application for adhesive labels on any surface. I first sprayed the back of the label and surface of the bottle, and then carefully aligned the label to make sure that it’s straight. The spray allows me to move around the label easily so that I’m able to align the label perfectly in the middle. Next, I took a sponge to push out any air bubbles that were caught in the label and to smooth out the surface.
I used balsa wood to create the box since it’s a very soft wood material that’s very close to the characteristics of foam core. I measured the width of all three bottles and cut the pieces accordingly. I used superglue to attach all 5 pieces and then had my box!
I cut an outline of the HR Cloud logo on the Roland printer and used transfer paper to place it on the balsa wood. First, I placed the transfer paper on top of the HR Cloud logo, and then peeled and placed the transfer paper onto the balsa wood for final transfer.