A new veterinary practice for dogs and cats required a fresh brand and environment in which excellent design is integral to the practice’s philosophy of superior care. Among the challenges to creating a memorable and distinctive sense of place were the fact that the hospital—formerly a dental office—is located in a typical suburban strip mall with a mediocre architectural storefront. In addition, the young veterinarian’s low budget required an inexpensive solution.
Shaw Jelveh Design created the practice’s branding and environmental graphics concurrently, inspired by the idea of huge-scaled glimpses of cat and dog bodies in motion. The photographic images bleed off the edges of business cards, stationary, and announcements.
In the office itself, Shaw Jelveh enlarged them to supersize on digitally printed wallcovering in the reception and waiting areas. A deep red, Modern typographic treatment for the hospital’s name is a strong counterpoint to the sepia-colored images of animal bodies. Liberal evidence of personality, i.e., faces of the cats and dogs, was kept out of the compositions. The designers decided instead to communicate happiness, laughter, and mystery through the nonfacial parts and postures of the animals.
The branding concept stands out effectively in its 3D applications in the office. Against bright white backgrounds, a happy, leaping poodle torso jumps on one wall, surveyed by the dramatic whiskers of a cat. At the other end of the space, a cat’s ears emerge from the floor plane while a super-sized wagging German Shepherd tail invites visitors to turn the corner from the waiting area into the exam room corridor. The supergraphics are clearly visible through the hospital’s large glass storefront, beckoning passersby to see what’s going on inside.
“Wow, this project squeezed every penny out of the $4,000 budget! I especially appreciate the clean white background behind the photographic images and how it translates from the large scale of the waiting room to the small scale of letterhead and grooming product design.”
Marybeth Shaw (principal in charge, art director, architectural designer), Majid Jelveh (principal architect), Leah Prehn (graphic designer)
Donato & Allen Contractors (general contractors)
Wolf-Gordon (digitally printed wallcovering), Forbo (Marmoleum flooring, Benjamin Moore (paint)