A marshmallow is good, tender, pliable. But they’re additionally resilient and surprisingly sturdy – who amongst us hasn’t loved watching them carry out surprisingly effectively underneath a hydraulic press in comparison with substances that rather more clearly scream ‘structural integrity’? Maybe this soft-yet-strong dynamic is why the title works for an insurance coverage firm. Or maybe, extra merely, the title works as a result of it’s a reality universally acknowledged that (scorching take): marshmallows are good. It’s a reality equally universally acknowledged that insurance coverage corporations will not be. ‘Marshmallow’ can also be a quaintly derogatory time period for a pushover, so maybe the title is designed to evoke an insurance coverage firm coyly rolling onto its again and alluring you to rub its stomach: ‘we’re innocent, no claws, sincere’.
Hid claws or not, Marshmallow has made its title by means of the laudable innovation of providing insurance coverage tailor-made for migrants, a technique that has helped it to achieve coveted ‘unicorn’ standing within the UK fintech scene. Its founders, Alexander and Oliver Kent-Braham, say that the corporate was born once they found ‘how unfair insurance coverage costs are for individuals who transfer to the UK… purely as a result of the business hasn’t given this big cohort of individuals a second thought, and isn’t set as much as worth them correctly.’ Not like most mainstream suppliers, Marshmallow can supply inexpensive insurance coverage to migrants by considering their worldwide monetary histories. That is an undeniably good factor, so maybe this can be a candy title for a very candy enterprise.
Trying to the long run, the corporate additionally notes that ‘there are tens of millions of different marginalised prospects on the market who discover themselves on a unique path – both by alternative or circumstance’, and with this rebrand Marshmallow is poised to department into accommodating younger folks and different demographics poorly catered to by mainstream insurance coverage suppliers.
Ragged Edge’s recent new rebrand positions Marshmallow to seize these new audiences.
Because the studio states in its case examine, the mission was ‘to construct a model that speaks to a various vary of audiences from throughout the globe. One which stands aside in an business that embraces common. And makes folks really feel seen in a class they largely keep away from’. This intention is summarised within the ingenious tagline: Marshmallow is ‘a model that insures distinction’ – a line that ought to be entrance and centre on Marshmallow’s web site, however is nowhere to be discovered.
Marshmallow’s earlier branding by Output was an honest however somewhat sparse, standard affair. As a youthful (and maybe extra cautious) startup, the work appeared designed to mood Marshmallow’s radical mission assertion somewhat than intensify it; and whereas it did seize a few of the mild, ethereal associations of the title it didn’t evoke a lot else. Whereas the outdated model was an absence, Ragged Edge’s work is all about squidgy, squashy, satisfying substance.
The brand new brand is a welcome simplification of Output’s earlier work, which tried to conjure the formal qualities of marshmallows with some not-quite-right inktraps designed to imitate pillowy folds and creases. This new iteration does a a lot better job, deploying a wonderfully weighted lowercase geometric sans-serif wordmark, locked up with a googly-eyed, candy-pink, ‘m’-shaped mascot. This lovely little fellow is Marshall (please, Mr. Mallow was his father). Marshall may be very cute, and the wide selection of various purposes during which he seems all through the model proves he is remarkably versatile (although frankly he does look greater than just a little like a backside, due to that callipygean ‘m’ form).
The logotype has been expanded right into a full customised model typeface (‘Marshmallow Youth’) with a marvellously propulsive rhythm – in sure typographic purposes this squidgy dynamism virtually makes it really feel italic, though it isn’t. The typeface options pretty quirky particulars just like the wiggly ‘w’ and rounded corners of the uppercase ‘G’. In these rounded shoulders, apexes and vertices the lettering feels tender and jelly-like, however is balanced by way of squared-off terminals. There are hints of a gently retro 70s vibe which can be additional enhanced when the customized typeface is paired with secondary font GT Alpina, an expressive serif from Swiss foundry Grilli Kind.
The hero model color is a quintessential bonbon pink. It’s complemented by a mossy inexperienced, burnt orange, creamy off-white and mushroom mid gray. This retro palette supercharges the middle-of-the-road 70s vibe subtly evoked by the typography. If the typography coquettishly murmurs ‘groovy’ sotto-voce, the color palette sings Rod Stewart’s total discography at you whereas sustaining disconcertingly unbroken eye-contact. In a pleasant manner.
Strategically, there’s something very intelligent about conjuring this homogenised collective semi-false-memory of what the eternally mid-century world of ‘grown-ups’ appears to be like like – to say with design what may by no means be explicitly stated in writing: You can also be like these fantastical folks from the ambiguously-defined olden-days who had been in a position to afford issues like car-insurance and mortgages. These superbeings from the fabled and fading boom-times, who had numerous infants and at all times felt sure, settled, safe. Whereas all of this exists as a deeply-buried substrata of that means, the color palette can also be only a enjoyable and well-balanced sweet bag. Maybe extra liquorice allsorts than marshmallows, but it surely’s all candy.
The canvases for that luxurious seventies color palette (and the structural constructing blocks of this model) are an enormous array of shapes each easy and composite. The kinds are effectively thought of; typically irregular (however at all times balanced), combining rounded and sharp corners, curved and rectilinear kinds, and enjoying with asymmetry. Whereas this can be a well-executed instance (that has clearly handled the weather with some care), it’s a acquainted strategy – ‘quirky shapes stacked collectively like toy blocks’ has filtered thus far into the mainstream that they’re now presets on SquareSpace, Canva, and numerous different off-the-shelf design instruments.
Nonetheless, Ragged Edge’s foray into this duplo-block world is considerably extra profitable – partly as a result of the avatar/mascots created by the shapes are genuinely charming and cute. Maybe it’s as a result of the constituent shapes are mixed in an intentional method to create an inherent sense of dynamism; maybe it’s that extra consideration appears to have been paid to the emotional and expressive potential of those shapes: a personality composed of stacked semi-circles has grumpy, lidded eyes which can be the identical form; shapes that taper to some extent have a springy movement; circles rock backward and forward. Thus your complete character is formed to precise a selected concept, somewhat than simply being a random, ornamental assemblage of fairly kinds with an expression slapped on as an afterthought. Marshmallow’s model mascots make sense and are convincing expressions of a variety of moods and behaviours: they’ll serve the model effectively.
Ragged Edge have capitalised on these profitable and equitable model belongings by growing them into some extremely covetable model collateral. Chief amongst these is a group of superbly sewn velvet bean-bags/plushies. I fervently hope that these are actual objects, or that (if the case examine picture is only a very skillful 3D render) they get manufactured sooner or later within the very close to future. If Ragged Edge or Marshmallow wish to ship me one (or 5) of those items of brand name collateral to evaluation in effusive element, I might be joyful to oblige. My handle is [REDACTED BY EDITOR]. Branded notebooks with covers adorned with Marshall and friends in embossed print are additionally enticingly tactile. Once more, if Ragged Edge or Marshmallow wish to ship me one, my handle is [STILL REDACTED BY EDITOR].
Typography, color and graphics are very effectively suited to a UX atmosphere. The mockups of the app look extraordinarily accessible however nonetheless charismatic and distinctive. The web site idea proven within the case examine may be very good. It’s not the one that’s truly utilized by Marshmallow, which is extra mundane. See BP&O’s current evaluation of Wisl by andstudio for the same anticlimactic execution of a placing imaginative and prescient for a web site (shoppers, why oh why do you insist on shoving these pretty manufacturers into generic wanting web site templates?)
All in all, Ragged Edge’s work for Marshmallow manages to land that elusive candy spot of being disruptive in a manner that feels youthful, however doesn’t solely communicate within the design vernacular of the very younger – in any case, younger folks don’t purchase insurance coverage. While you see it in context alongside the established main gamers you actually see how radical this rebrand is for a very drab and unappetising business sector. Ragged Edge’s work places Marshmallow decisively forward of its friends and greater than matches the novel mission assertion. There are not any free ends with this model, every part ties collectively and nothing feels anomalous or incongruous. One does maybe crave a number of rogue particulars that playfully disrupt that neat and rigorous system, however there’s greater than sufficient to get pleasure from on this candy however sturdy work. Marshmallow, anybody?