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Responses by Dan Gardner, chief executive officer, Code and Theory.

Background: Code and Theory Health is a business unit Code and Theory has just launched to solve healthcare challenges. The website serves to communicate our uniquely digital-first perspective, our patient-first approach, our design sensibility and our healthcare experience as well as Scout Health, a rare disease and pharmaceutical agency that as been added to Code and Theory Health’s network. The audience of the site is primarily marketing and product decision-makers at healthcare companies.

Design core: Simplicity was the goal with Code and Theory Health. Everything was intentional, including the idea of a single-page site instead of multiple pages. This enabled us to have simple messaging and design elements to pull you down the page. The 3-D render graphics throughout the page were designed to bring a sense of depth and life to the messaging. We also designed an animated logo that reacts to the page scroll to extend the classic medical sign to a modern graphic. We utilized the cross element to showcase that Health is a seamless extension of the original Code and Theory.

Favorite details: We’re extremely proud of the branding as a whole. We wanted this to look and feel like a harmonious extension of Code and Theory by adding the plus sign. The Red Cross emblem created by Henri Dunant is a trusted symbol of protection, neutrality and humanitarian aid. The brand extension then takes the core of the classic Code and Theory black-and-white branding with a splash of blue to highlight the change and newness it was bringing to the agency as a whole. The cross within the healthcare industry is typically red, as you see on hospital signs, clinics and ambulances. We wanted to use a more calming palette: blue calls to mind feelings of serenity, and is often seen as a sign of stability and peace.

We wanted to create these biological shapes that felt digital, so we used cool, slick materials infused with warm light that shines out from within. The traditional amoeba or cell imagery you tend to see in the healthcare world—as well as patients being sick—is not always welcoming. Our goal with these features was to modernize it, turning them into pieces of art that still signify these images but are much more pleasing to the eye.

Challenges: Trying to find a balance in breaking out of the norm and sometimes stodgy, traditional healthcare imagery. Coming up with a way to extend from the Code and Theory brand to digitally differentiate it and showcase these offerings in a fresh way was both testing and fulfilling.

Time constraints: Time is always a necessary constraint in any design project that helps creativity. That said, this launch was very important for us, so we were sure to give it the necessary process that we would preach for all our client partners to do when launching a new brand and website.

Divergent paths: We believe that, with any new launch of a modern brand and website, it should be done systematically to allow for an evolution of time and context. This website was intentionally designed to evolve over time. Our focus isn’t on what we could have done differently but how it can continue to grow into its purpose.

New lessons: It’s an age-old aphorism that designing for yourself is always harder than for a client. In the future, we need to make sure we follow the same rigor and decision making from ourselves that we would expect from our clients.

Navigation structure: We intentionally wanted to simplify by having no navigation on a single-page site. Instead, we used the navigation area to demonstrate the network that Code and Theory Health is part of, including Code and Theory’s core brand and Scout Health. Rolling over the individual navigation items utilizes the visual grid system to blur out an area to provide focus and context to the item.

Technology: We used Craft CMS and React for the front end.


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