Updated: Apr 14, 2021
Award-winning UK fintech Habito partnered with Uncommon and renowned artist Saiman Chow to create a "badass version of heaven" for its new "phantasmagoric" brand identity.
“We loved the aesthetic the moment we saw it. The imagery and user experience at times feel like something from a dream which to me is the perfect antidote to the hell, stress and confusion mortgages can cause. Our advertising deliberately and dramatically reflects a lot of that hell. We want people to feel like they’ve stepped away from that when they come to Habito.” Anna Newberry, CMO at Habito
Following the success of its "Hell or Habito" campaign, the UK-based angelic mortgage broker Habito has adopted a new fantastical brand identity in aim to further eliminate the hell and stress of getting a mortgage. The rebrand project was led by the London-based creative studio Uncommon and featured a new logo, website and brand assets.
What's behind Habito's new "phantasmagoric" brand
For the realisation of the Habito "mortgage heaven" brief, Uncommon worked with the renowned NY-based visual artist Saiman Chow, and sought inspiration from multiple sources and visionary interpretations, including the artwork of Hunter S. Thompson, Dante and Michael Moorcock. Band Yes’s typography, arcade driving game Outrun and fictional cartoon character Fat Freddy’s Cat also helped shape the final vision for the new identity.
“We had Hunter S. Thompson on the wall, Dante’s 7 Layers of Hell, and Michael Moorcock’s airbrushed book covers,” said Nils Leonard, Co-founder at Uncommon Studio.
And that's how the idea about a "phantasmagoric" aesthetic was born. Phantasmagoric refers to fantastical, continually moving colourful imagery. So, it seemed to be the perfect way to depict Habito's unique version of heaven.
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"The phantasmagoric visual style is applied through a technique of shifting images and colourful patterns that are continually moving and changing to create a dream-like effect." Uncommon
Chow then created a set of bespoke graphics with bold shapes, pastel-tinted colour swatches and texture.
About the project, Chow commented: "It's not often you come across a brand, let alone a financial services company, that wants to put so much thought and detail into creating something truly unique and ground-breaking."
The "busy" vibrant visuals were then balanced with modern and clean typography. The logo was also given a makeover - the old underscored "o" was replaced by a winged "o".
Another key design element of the new Habito brand is the wing imagery that appears prominently across various assets including the company's redesigned website and app.
"The concept aims to instil Habito’s transformational tone of voice through a surrealist look and feel. The bold palette, featuring muted pastels and striking pops of colour, has been designed to create an ethereal environment where mortgage applicants and home-buyers can begin their home financing journey in pleasing serenity." Uncommon
Overall, Habito's CMO Abba Newberry described the new brand identity "like something from a dream which ... is the perfect antidote to the hell, stress and confusion mortgages can cause. Our advertising deliberately and dramatically reflects a lot of that hell. We want people to feel like they’ve stepped away from that when they come to Habito.”
With its products often described as “out of this world”, Habito needed an identity that represented this viewpoint. “And this definitely feels other-worldly, yet designed with anyone who wants to own a home in mind,” said Abba.
The new brand look is set to roll out across Habito's entire experience, and will also appear on the company's forthcoming merch for their sponsorship of the Skateboard England’s National Championships.
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