The Happy Student provides well-being-centred planners and resources for healthcare students that carefully researched and artfully designed.
Sophie approached me in a pivotal moment of her business journey — in need of a rebrand for The Happy Student to set her apart.
Once a midwifery student herself, she started designing journals to help her stay organized during her demanding degree. After other students wanted copies of her journal, her business got its start and she’s since expanded her range of planners for students in various healthcare studies.
Her original name, however, was often confused with a big brand overseas, leaving her overwhelmed by the volume of misdirected complaints and customer service queries. In response to that challenge, she decided to rename her business.
That’s where I came in. She came to me to help reposition her brand and create a new identity that would clearly reflect the heart of what she does. Most of all, in a way that would be well received by her loyal student community and create distinction from other brands.
Starting with our in-depth brand workshop, we unearthed what The Happy Student Co. is all about.
Sophie is warm. The kind of caring soul who’s equally brilliant and curious. As we found out her “why” behind the work she does, we were able to articulate her values and bigger mission to inform all business decisions going forward. We recognised the fine balance of well-researched, scientifically informed design as well as the artful expression that makes Sophie’s planners such a powerful tool for student’s wellbeing. These findings were condensed into a roadmap document that acts as a guide and reminder as Sophie continues to build The Happy Student Co with purpose and confidence.
With her new tagline ‘Clear head, happy heart” we summarized the benefits of the planners and resources themselves — a theme that struck a chord with Sophie during the process.
The details of these sessions are confidential to protect the unique qualities of the brand and strategic findings.
Informed by our brand conversations, I set out to research the intersection of art and wellbeing.
We wanted to bring more of Sophie’s personal touch into the brand, just like her handmade illustrations that she incorporates into her planner covers. I discovered that Sophie’s favourite artist, Matisse, developed the iconic papercut technique in a period of his life that was riddled with health challenges. This artform that would be later celebrated in art museums around the world was a true expression of resilience, creating vibrant beauty in difficult circumstances.
This message is particularly relevant to health care students who not only face illness and brokenness on a daily basis in their work, but also the internal struggle of fatigue and overwhelm. We wanted to create an identity that is playful and uplifting, a boost of encouragement in the middle of a crazy day and adopted the papercut technique as part of that strategy, along with a quadratic colour scheme, which is known to be a particularly happy combination in colour psychology.
The identity was tailored to suit Sophie’s need for flexibility, creating a toolkit that can grow with her.
This brand identity needed to be flexible in order to accomodate for Sophie’s needs as she weaves it into her product designs and introduces more of her own artwork.
Inspired by old science papers and stationery, I created grid systems that will create continuity across her materials without restricting her creative edge, leaving plenty of room for her illustrations and textures. Through that the identity visually balances her scientific background and her artful soul to create something that is both calming and uplifting at the same time.
Brand photos by Mim Howell
Rebranding allowed Sophie to differentiate herself from competitors. Through our collaboration, Sophie has reduced her admin-time over half, allowing her to spend more time where it matters and waste less time sorting out misdirected queries.
She has newfound motivation and insight into what content to share on social media and enjoys showing up because she’s clear on who she is and what she brings to the table. The new identity has been well-received and was a positive surprise for her student community.
The roadmap plays an integral part in onboarding new team members and getting them on the same page about the values and mission of The Happy Student Co.
“I’ve wanted to change the name of this company for while to The Happy Student Company. Taking the leap and investing into a rebrand collaboration with Joyce has helped me articulate the heart behind my work, and given me a shiny new look that I absolutely love!”