How to Incorporate Nature’s Elements into Your Designs

How to Incorporate Nature’s Elements into Your Designs

Add to that the new attention we’re paying to issues like the environment, sustainability and veganism, and it’s not surprising to see the natural world impacting packaging, marketing, advertising and branding to an unprecedented extent.

To help inspire you, we’ve rounded up five gorgeous designs, all of which incorporate natural elements in different ways and do it masterfully.

All of these designs are winners of the Indigo Design Award 2021. The Indigo Design Award is a global competition for projects in the areas of graphic, digital, mobile design, branding and “design for social change” held annually. If you want to submit your own work, then hurry up! You have until January 31, 2022 to enter here.

Headquartered in Munich, Germany, Persuaid is a strategy agency focused on branding and digital product design. They were contacted by Sensetics, a Germany-based sustainability-focused natural skincare company, whose products have not been tested on animals and contain no mineral oils, parabens, or coloring agents.

Sensetics wanted to develop a new web experience that would enhance overall brand awareness and drive interest in its upcoming line of products. In response, Persuaid has developed a product landing page that simplifies the brand’s message effectively and directly.

Working closely with Sensetics, Persuaid has developed a one-page site that loads quickly on both mobile and desktop devices, automatically aggregates Sensetics’ Instagram posts to keep things up to date, and offers visitors the opportunity to sign up for a newsletter.

Persuaid has done an amazing job of conveying the core values ​​of nature and sustainability into every fiber of this site. The large, bold print, based on a beautiful geometric sans shape, is impactful while remaining clean, relaxed, and easy on the eye. Video wallpapers, which instantly transport the visitor into a world of natural wonders, are selected perfectly. And the Sensetics ‘Brand Stripe’ element, the brand’s core element that ties everything together, is beautifully integrated into page transitions to make site navigation an overall enjoyable experience.

lessons learned

Bold writing wallpapers and epic video backgrounds can create an immersive experience that brings the viewer back to nature. But this will only work if all the elements of the brand are in place and work together smoothly.

The effectiveness of legal drug treatments has been widely accepted by the medical establishment over recent years. Mental health company Field Trip is an industry-leading practice, on track to open 75 clinics in Canada and the United States by 2023.

However, stereotypes and misinformation about this field persist. Hence they came to Z1, an international digital product studio based in Seville, Spain focused on partnering with North American startups with Idea. Trip is designed as an app for people seeking altered states of consciousness for personal growth, who may not have access to one of Field Trip’s clinic-based treatment programs.

The flight had to be carefully designed and based on extensive research. Z1 worked closely on concept prototypes through the experience of the Field Trip team, with the goal of making the app feel like a relaxing ride, from the moment you open it, through your ride, and afterward.

Z1’s design and engineering teams worked hand-in-hand to bring custom illustrations to life in an easy-to-use app. The design goal was to create a sense of lightness, so they created a great color palette and included temperatures, lights, and environments. The theme revolves around a landscape that users glide towards the horizon with a sense of continuous progress.

The result is a successful marriage of visuals and functionality, providing users with minimal intrusion into the therapeutic experience while providing maximum assistance in their journey.

This includes the ability to set an intent before a trip, listen to AI-generated music, access a voice recorder as you stumble, show analytics showing progress over time, and read educational content based on scientific research and shamanic wisdom.

lessons learned

Exceptional services require an extraordinary level of attention to design detail. When done right, the digital experience can match and enhance even nature’s most powerful elixirs.

Hermoso Compadre is a Brazilian clothing brand, and in 2020, it decided to create its own beer brand. In partnership with Nórdica brewery, they have created a strong, intense 8.5% IPA with a unique connection. Artistic Director Bruno Sintra took charge of the development of the brand, which is based on eye-catching illustrations to the extreme.

Taking the lush landscape of a mountain range surrounded by vegetation as a starting point, these views are brought to amazing life using a dramatic neon electric color scheme. It’s an instantly effective way to express the intensity of the fermentation while also nodding towards the natural quality of the ingredients used to make it.

The animation that accompanies this theme continues, with a funny plot that includes what looks like a fisherman (but might be something completely different) and a disturbing amount of anatomical detail depicting the action that inspires the name of the beer.

lessons learned

Photographing nature doesn’t have to be boring, serious, or boring. Design can be fun and inviting while still harnessing our love for the great outdoors.

Mengyu Cao is a Chinese artist and designer currently living in San Francisco. Is Yiqi Hanzi Enterprise, aims to share the beauty of Chinese characters and cultures with the world.

The idea behind her award-winning “Chinese Zodiac” project is that while Chinese characters are nominally figurative, their visual meaning is not always clear to a modern-day audience.

To help make things clearer, she masterfully combines traditional calligraphy and watercolor to visually depict the meaning of Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Goat, Monkey, Rooster, Dog and Pig.

Mengyu isn’t the first artist to translate Chinese characters into something Westerners can visually identify. But in this project, I accomplished it much more successfully than others. Rather than awkwardly twisting these shapes into something that clearly isn’t, her beautiful illustrations follow the flow of the lines perfectly, and the use of watercolor softens things up to make the overall look totally inviting.

lessons learned

Don’t let nature-inspired illustrations get caught up in a vector-based rut. Hand-drawn patterns can be instantly more interesting and attractive, so experiment with different media, and you may find new inspiration.

Botanical Lofts is a boutique development of one, two and three bedroom apartments in the trendy E1 district of London. It was built on the site of the historic Georgian Botanical Gardens, which originally housed plants most modern-day locals had never seen before. These new homes were due to be launched in 2021 and have a unique connection to both their botanical heritage and the neighborhood’s art and music culture.

Range Left’s branding takes the vegan theme and totally goes with it. Carefully selected Dutch main boards dominate the visuals they have created for the site, brochures, social media assets, and boards. This bold approach fits perfectly with the high-end nature of the development and its clients.

The logo’s custom typography, in turn, is extravagant and elegant and blends perfectly with the artwork, evoking a timeless quality that effortlessly blends past and present.

lessons learned

Modern photography and photography is not the only way to introduce nature into our designs. Standing on the shoulders of giants and incorporating the great art of the past is often a fruitful way to explore.

Enter the Indigo Awards 2022

Want to see more? You can find full details of all the Indigo Design Award 2021 winners here. If you would like to participate in your own work in the competition, you will be pleased to know that the Indigo Award 2022 is now open for submission. But hurry: you must enter by January 31, 2022. You’ll find all the details you need at

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