Funky business

Bringing a touch of the Carribbean to leadership development and coaching

Background
Born in Barbados, Chris Corbin is a renowned leadership coach and facilitator with decades of experience in global organisations. When the time came to launch his own consultancy firm, he already had a name, ‘Wild Guava’, but he asked us to help him create a vibrant visual identity and bring it to life online.

Chris chose the name ‘Wild Guava’ as it references his Caribbean origins and provides a metaphor for the activity of his consultancy. The most ordinary looking of the guava family, the plant is very hardy and bears copious fruit even in harsh conditions. Its demure exterior hides a nutritious fruit with fabulous flavour – and the leaves have proven medicinal properties.

Goals

Chris was adamant that he did not want to create another ‘boring, faceless consultancy with a website stuffed with meaningless stock photos’. He wanted the imagery to reflect his Caribbean heritage and make his collateral visually appealing and memorable – without looking too weird for his audience of professional business people. 
He also gave us some practical considerations: make it an online brochure to which he could point prospective customers after a face-to-face meeting; organise the content to make it easy to navigate; make the pages simple and legible; create a site that works well across a range of digital devices; and make it easy to update with no coding knowledge. 

“They listened carefully to properly understand our offer to the market, ensured congruity between the brand image and the client experience of working with us and developed truly creative concepts and imagery to support the intent.” Chris Corbin / Founder

Action

The seeds inside a wild guava are arranged in a series of pods. The symbol deliberately interprets this arrangement as an asterisk. Asterisks denote something outside the main narrative – something that provides clarity or further explanation – describing Wild Guava’s position as external consultants to their clients.

To act as a counterpoint to the lively illustrations and maintain a sense of trustworthy professionalism, the typography was kept deliberately classic while page layouts remained simple and legible.

The inspiration for the brand’s dramatic visual style was found in the fusion two very different influences: the conceptual and metaphorical illustrations of respected business publications; and the vibrant naivety of Caribbean folk art. We created the full suite of vector illustrations in house. 

To develop WildGuava.com, we used the online, drag-and-drop site building service, Squarespace. This kept costs to a minimum and allowed Chris and his team to update the site themselves – with almost no training.

 

Results

At launch, Chris invited an initial selection of clients and collaborators to pass judgment on what we had created. Here are a few of their comments.

 “I love the design. It’s cool and funky, bright and cheerful, but still very simple and clean. Not what one generally gets from a professional services provider, so a big thumbs up.”

“I really like it. It’s colourful and easy to navigate and I think the right balance of ‘none-corporate’ yet looks professional- so a good reflection of you.”

 “I really like the brightness and dynamic nature of it and although it is a professional service I think people looking for something not so traditional but different would call. It gave me a warm, trusting feeling towards the organization, it is also very easy to navigate and explore…”