ANTHILL

Brand Manual

Wear Your Tribe, Wear With Pride

ANTHILL

Wear Your Tribe, Wear With Pride

THE BRAND

From day one, our partner ANTHILL has sought the preservation of Philippine weaving traditions through the creation of sustainable livelihood opportunities. After 13 years of growth in the pursuit of this goal, they wanted to celebrate with a refreshed brand identity. Our job was to help them embrace a new chapter in their business journey while retaining the integrity of the brand’s roots and core values.

scope of work

Brand Refresh
Brand Identity
Creative Direction
Iconography
Brand Manual

special thanks to

Morgan Tornilla
Kenneth Hicks
Brand refresh and visual identity for ANTHILL

To do this, the original logo was maintained, and for primary brand colors we gave them a palette of complimentary earth tones supported by crisp, contrasting hues to convey the fresh, modern energy that our client brings to their work. These would be further accented by mostly neutral secondary colors.

Due to the nature of their products, our client often deals with a large variety of textures and media. So, when it came to typography they needed fonts that were clean and legible, with a variety of options for line weight. It was equally important that the brand’s typography set be easily available online based on the workflow needs of their growing team. Flexibility and accessibility were a must.

A ribbon-like arc was designed to serve as the brand’s primary graphic asset. This kept a reference to textiles at the heart of their visual identity. The arch shape also implies a portal, both to a space for the celebration and elevation of Philippine weaving traditions, and a portal opening for those traditions to meet new, global opportunities.

We also supplied them with new icons for their website utilizing minimal line art with rounded edges to imbue the iconography with a sense of motion and flow as well as echo the curves in the arc.

The photography guidelines for brand heroes and styling cues emphasize their intention to reach a more diverse, worldwide audience. The characteristics that we aimed to convey were warm and colorful, but mature and inclusive.

Upon completion, we were immediately able to put the brand guide to use as the basis for their B2B pitch decks. 

Beyond that, it’s been wonderful to see the ANTHILL team empowered,  and eagerly using the guide to create their own collaterals, confident in the impact of their message as they continue to champion Philippine weaves and craftsmanship.

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NegosYou by RAFI MFI

Brand Manual

Impact Through Financial Literacy

NegosYou by RAFI MFI

Impact through Financial Literacy

THE BRAND

RAFI Microfinance, Inc. (RAFI MFI) is a program under the Economic Well-Being Cluster of the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc. (RAFI) that seeks to empower micro-entrepreneurs all across the Philippines. We helped them craft visuals for the NegosYou training modules to deliver an informative yet enjoyable reading experience.

scope of work

Creative Direction
Illustration
Character Design
Key Visuals

design team

Frances Enriquez
Jane Sayson
Emem Seno

special thanks

Morgan Tornilla
Kenneth Hicks

RAFI MFI’s goal for the modules was to provide practical, actionable information, boost financial literacy, and nurture a business mindset in their clients: traditional mom and pop entrepreneurs (lovingly referred to as Nanays and Tatays) who built their businesses from scratch, most of whom with little to no formal business education.

As part of our research and design process, we met with the RAFI MFI team to understand what challenges their clients faced with the modules. They revealed that the most common concern raised in Focus Group Discussions was feeling intimidated or overwhelmed by text-heavy material. To address this, we focused on creating distinctive visuals that would evoke curiosity and make the educational content of the modules as approachable and engaging as possible.

Clear and bright infographics were designed to enhance each module’s effectiveness as an educational tool. This involved using contrasting colors and various design elements to visually break down the information into more easily digestible chunks. Additional graphic elements such as minimal icons were created to visually reinforce the content and mark each section of the module based on their respective learning objectives.

In one of these sections, a comic was used to contextualize the concepts within the module in an entertaining and relatable way. We took charge of paneling/storyboarding, character design, and illustration. Hand-drawn characters and illustrations paired with a bold color palette give the module a sense of familiarity, while capturing genuine enthusiasm.

Lastly, it was important to our client that the modules be able to serve as long-term reference material. So, careful consideration was given to the printed nature of the final output. We chose to use bright, highly saturated colors that would be able to withstand a considerable amount of wear and tear and encourage the Nanays and Tatays to come back to the information in the modules as many times as needed.

After designing 2 NegosYou modules we were invited back to continue work on their third series. RAFI MFI has always been committed to supporting their clients throughout the entire course of their business journey. This extended collaboration allows us to support them in turn, utilizing creativity to make each NegosYou module a truly transformational learning experience.

“We received good feedback from clients because their promotional content and the graphics were very reader-friendly, considering our clients are an average of 30–40 years old. Overall, their output was great.”

Dafnie Relampagos, Client Training & Development Specialist, RAFI Microfinance

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novoMOF

An image of a boxed roboto raising their arms up with smiling and dizzy faces

Brand Manual

Driving Success Through MOF Innovation

novoMOF

Driving Success Through MOF Innovation

THE BRAND

NovoMOF is a Switzerland-based sustainabile tech company that focuses on the production and commercialization of metal-organic frameworks (MOFs), a new type of highly porous absorbents. They collaborate with their clients and improve their businesses by leveraging the special properties of this material by using sustainable technology to disrupt the modern industrial complex for the better. Novomof ultimately hopes to address pressing global issues such as water scarcity, food waste, carbon capture, and raw materials recovery.

scope of work

Creative Direction
Brand Guideline
3D Mascot Design
Graphic Design

design team

Frances Enriquez
Magno Mateo
Emem Seno

design team

Morgan Tornilla
Kenneth Hicks

In partnering with us, their initial goal was to solidify the company’s visual branding without completely abandoning their existing logo, color scheme, and typography. We were eager to bring attention to their new technology and new ideas with a new look. One that conveys the exciting potential and novelty of what novoMOF has to offer. From building the brand guideline to business card design, and even exhibition booth design, we’ve been able to foster a long-term partnership that has only continued to flourish.

Their primary brand colors from the start were yellow, white, and black. This is a novel color combination within the sustainable technology sphere and grounds our client’s identity as a niche service provider of tech-driven solutions. We decided to embrace that while injecting a fresh new feeling with a secondary color palette of mostly bright, and contrasting colors.

Variants of their existing logo were then created to extend its use across a wider variety of applications. A clear zone was also implemented around each iteration of the logo, and a distinct typographical hierarchy was established to reinforce a clean, modern, and professional aesthetic.

To inject a sense of dynamism into the brand identity a wide range of design elements to mix, match, and layer were developed for them as well. These elements were derived directly from the shapes and colors in the identity itself, and also inspired by the shapes and fine lines used in depictions of molecular structure. We deliberately kept the line weights fine as it creates opportunities to add a great deal of texture in a subtle, understated way.

The Backbone branding and visual identity for novoMOF

Finally, we designed a mascot called Morgan, a boxy and charmingly expressive robot whose mission is to capture carbon in the air. Taking inspiration from pixar’s Wall-E, the mascot introduces a lighthearted counterpoint to the brand’s professional identity: an element that sets them apart from the competition. This design serves as a vessel for the human element that is still very much at the core of both Morgan the molecular guardian, and of novoMOF itself.

Overall, the new brand guidelines provide a foundation for the systematic creation of clear and cohesive brand messaging. The combination of novel color choices, human elements, and dynamic design enable them to present the wide variety of services that they offer together under a powerfully unique and unified brand identity.

An image of a boxed roboto raising their arms up with smiling and dizzy faces

“Their out-of-the-box thinking and creative approach in developing the 3D brand mascot were amazing!”

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Fresh Daily

Brand Manual

Nutrition at Your Fingertips

Fresh Daily

Nutrition at Your Fingertips

THE BRAND

Fresh Daily is a meal planning assistant that simplifies healthy eating for busy individuals and practical homemakers.

scope of work

Brand Identity
Branding
Illustration
Creative Direction
A wall advertisement with illustrations of food ingredients, a person biking with a bag of groceries and photos of a person cooking and a bag of vegetables.
Founded in the late ’80s, Fresh Daily started as a retail store serving meat products until it closed its doors in the ’90s. Today, it is re-introducing itself as the family continues its legacy by offering a healthy and convenient solution to homemakers around the city. 
More than just another delivery service, Fresh Daily aims to assist modern-day families and busy individual effortlessly cook healthy meals at home. Fresh Daily helps members bring order to their homes through an intuitive and reliable AI system that allows them to organize meals and pantry needs, and adjust weekly budget. Through this process, Fresh Daily helps busy professionals and practical homemakers save time and money, cooking more often while promoting a healthier lifestyle.

We positioned Fresh Daily as a “meal planning assistant” and developed a brand bursting with personality and color that helped customers feel like they have better control of their home lives.

Fresh Daily’s vibrant visual system centers around the idea of freshness and sensibility. The brandmark is notable for its key attributes; fresh, healthy, and sensible. We developed delightful imagery, honest typography, and a vibrant yet sophisticated color palette based on their highly tailored, human-centered approach in the delivery space.

Custom illustrations feature happy families, home-cooked meals, and cheeky pantry ingredients. To make the brand assets adaptable, we designed the brand as a foundation for future growth.

The result is a food tech brand that illustrates a personalized customer journey that feels like a one-on-one relationship. We were also engaged in a post-project creative consultancy to help guide the execution of the brand from user testing, packaging to UX design.

“They were very thorough. They brought structure and discipline to our very “rough” ideas at that time. They took care of everything that we didn’t need to worry too much on follow ups and deadlines. We were able to focus on developing our technology and prototype.”

Shyrwinsteel Sia, CEO

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Aroma Art Atelier

Brand Manual

Tradition of Excellence

Aroma Art Atelier

Tradition of Excellence

THE BRAND

Aroma Art Atelier is an art academy dedicated to nurturing homegrown artists from Toledo city, Cebu, Philippines, and leading the city as the cultural hub of representational classical art.

scope of work

Brand Refresh
Brand Identity
Creative Direction

SPECIAL THANKS

Photography by
Rae Cabradilla
Founded by multi-awarded Filipino contemporary realist, Orley Yu Ypon, the atelier’s practice-based approach encourages students to master the foundations of painting while developing their styles and creative aspirations. 
 
It began as a casual gathering of local artists, a means for them to foster long-standing ties, to share common practices and philosophies in painting, and to introduce new aspirants in the field. Two years later, Aroma Art Atelier became incorporated as a non-profit organization, dedicated to helping emerging artists exercise their full potential by providing basic art training.​​​​​​​
Inspired from a native bush in Toledo City, Aroma Art Atelier speaks for resiliency and passion for the art and community. Taking inspiration from its name, Aroma is recognized by its thorns that define strength, tradition, and commitment to excellence. 
 

With the identity focused on the tradition of excellence and the commitment to student’s personal growth in representational art, color palettes resemble the classical art movement and added a touch of sophistication and prestige. 

In the pursuit of excellence, the atelier provides its students a safe space conducive to productivity and access to applied arts education with the right tools and materials where they can discuss freely with their mentors and turn theory into actual manifestations.

an invitation card on the table with a picture of an artwork and two empty mugs

Aroma Art Atelier hopes to help develop Toledo City Cebu into a flourishing cultural hub destination, a haven for Cebuano classical art to thrive and evolve. Check out their website for updates.

“The Backbone really helps build the brand and promote our paintings efficiently, most especially the customer-friendly staff. We highly recommend them.”

Angie Garbo, Gallery Director

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Superior Metalcraft

sparks appearing from the metal grinding machine with a logo of their brand

Brand Manual

Exemplary Craftmanship

Superior Metalcraft

Exemplary Craftmanship

THE BRAND

Superior Metalcraft is a welding and fabrication shop in Chicago that specializes in custom steel fabrication. They have been in the industry for more than 10 years.

scope of work

Rebranding
Branding
Brand Identity
Creative Direction
Key Visuals

The first part of the process was to familiarize their organization and the industry in general. In contrast to a large manufacturing company, they essentially follow the processes of a job shop, where they produce bespoke items.

The brand identity was focused on their core values, which are integrity, versatility, and creativity. The colors blue, red, and white are very all-American and symbolize the blue-collar worker. 
Images of the logo being used on paper stamp and calling card
Robust, bold, and straightforward, the overall identity reflects their hardworking culture and commitment to the highest quality of service and craftsmanship.
Image of the mask that is used in welding and image of a welder welding with metal sparks
The narrative of them having a strong foundation continued with the integration of the blueprint concept. It shows how they are experienced steel artisans who plan everything first prior to execution. Being grounded in their core values is what drives their identity as a brand and processes as an organization.

Learn more about the brand on their website.

“They did an excellent job distilling down information in a way that made sense to us. Overall, working with The Backbone was a great experience, and they hit the mark.”

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Hemera Spa Lounge

Brand Manual

Your Wellness Escape

Hemera Spa Lounge

Your Wellness Escape

THE BRAND

Positioning itself to be the ultimate wellness destination, Hemera promotes accessible luxury, signature services, and an overall experience of warmth and comfort. Their goal is to give your weary spirit a glow-up you never thought you needed.

scope of work

Naming
Brand Identity
Print Design
Verbal Identity

ACCOLADE

ASEAN-KOREA Excellent Design Semi-finalists

‘Hemera’ came about when we played around with the idea of clients as royals taking a break from their queenly and kingly duties. Hemera is the goddess of daytime or the sun, a symbol for energy and vitality, which what the brand is all about – a place to relax, rejuvenate, and pamper oneself.

Images of a marble top, ocean see and gold dust from above
The identity is inspired by lightness and fluidity. As its namesake stands for life, the brand encourages a lifestyle of wellness and skincare through creating novel relaxation experiences unique to them.
Image of the brand logo on a glass wall
Brand application on calling card, envelope, and letterform
Brand logo on menu design and calling card
It was a natural progression to use the sun as the emblem of the logo, which denotes strength and good energy. We paired it with a sleek sans-serif font for sophistication and professionalism. The color landscape is composed of earth tones with a more quiet shade of yellow to maintain the brand’s position of being gender-neutral.
Image of the Brand Illustration on a box
The product packaging adapted a sophisticated design to continue the narrative of Hemera being a premium brand, because first impressions are very important. Clients are treated to a very personalized experience, as they can test out the oils prior to using them and choose what they like best. 
Brand application of the logo on a business card

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Bez Acre

Brand Manual

All-Natural Produce

Bez Acre

All-Natural Produce

THE BRAND

Bez Acre is a family-owned farm in Toledo, Cebu PH selling preserved jams, spices, and produce fresh from their backyard. Initially for personal consumption, what they harvest from their farm now is being shared to others, giving a richer meaning to reaping what you sow.

scope of work

Brand Identity
Verbal Identity
Naming
Packaging

ACCOLADE

ASEAN-KOREA Excellent Design Semi-finalist

The vacation home of the Enriquez family in Toledo was a place where they could pause and bond. They would devote their time into taking care of their land, bearing in mind their roles as stewards of the earth. 

The farmer’s hat is a symbol for the hard work, integrity, and diligence in tending their fields with their very hands. Bez Acre’s philosophy is to cultivate the earth with attention and gratitude.
Illustrations of farm essentials
Bez Acre is all about planting with care and harvesting with thanks. The verbal identity of the brand is modeled after a prayer – a gentle expression of gratitude to the Creator for everything. This significant aspect of the family’s belief system is also emphasized in the packaging. 
Earth tones and illustrations of farm elements like fruits, vegetables, animals, and tools, make the overall brand voice and identity rustic, warm, and full of care. As hearty as a cup of hot cocoa on a rainy day, the Enriquez family welcomes their customers into their family with open arms too.
Illustrations of the brand

A family that plants together, stays together. Check them out at their Facebook page and get some soulful goods for yourself.

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