DNAe web rebranding

/ Final application viewable on DNAe website dnae.com

Collaborating by Salt, a London-based creative studio, I experimented with watercolor and ink media in rebranding DNAe – a medical tech company based in California and London.


The requirement was a series of abstract watercolors that can be cropped and used as a branding device across communications materials for an innovative medical diagnostics start-up. Used primarily as ‘backgrounds’ they were not meant to be ‘illustrative’ in any way. So, why watercolor? ->

1. The purpose was to differentiate the client’s brand; watercolor is rarely used in this market sector and is therefore distinctive in its own right.

2. The users are familiar with watercolor (from school days) and are more inclined to take it at face value without questioning what it is meant to mean or illustrate.

3. The forms and shapes that occur naturally are indicative of the forms and shapes seen in scientific/clinical/medical imagery.

4. Its nature is organic, the way it moves and mixes suggests it has life to the user: the brand is about ‘life’ itself.

The diagnostic test uses blood samples to detect blood poisoning, so red is the dominant color (thus differentiating the brand from the convention of corporate blue).The color palette is completed with an accent of a complementary teal.

To avoid the texture of the usual (cold pressed) watercolor paper, I painted on stone paper which also allows the inks to flow more smoothly due to its low absorbance of water-based media.

Apart from still paintings, I created stop-motion, and film sequences to represent the idea of being 'live and immediate'. I painted a variety of edges - soft feathered, watery edge, bleeding edge - to allow for varied crops across communications material.


I used wet-on-wet technique to capture the flow of watercolors on film. I experimented with diluted soap to repel the water, thus creating organic raindrop-like bleeds. The colors had to be introduced in steps and timed accordingly to avoid red and teal mixing into purple.


/ Final application viewable on DNAe website dnae.com

The videos and paintings were integrated into the website, featuring a variety of watercolor edges for each page, and incorporating them as masks for the icons.

Using Format