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Financial planning for the Sandwich Generation

As it turns out, I am a member of the Sandwich Generation, a cohort of families trapped between caring for their parents and raising children.  Besides the time crunch, what connects us is urgency and improvisation in planning retirement while investing in education and fronting elder care. Helping us sandwichers requires guidance and tools on top of proper financial products.

Firstly is a digital resource that combines tools and real-life advice to help families on their path to financial wellness.

The project called for close collaboration across disciplines, layering product and brand design, from ideation through brand and experience design, and the development of the design system to guide website, product, and content (tons of it!)

Plan > Platform > Tools & Content > Use Cases > Goals

Messaging framework

We wrote and edited, and wrote and edited some more until all we had left was essential to focusing the conversation on a family’s unique goals.

identity

What can be more important than family’s dreams and wellbeing? We started with a name that elevates the conversation to what truly matters, and followed with a logo that does away with fuzz to keep the focus on what’s meaningful, right now.

We used the same logic to select the core visual elements: color and graphics the guide and support the user in their journey.

App Design: Firstly
System

Financial and planning are two words that, together, get everyone feeling anxious. To keep users engaged and focused on goals, we built the design system around bright, every day, and optimistic elements. The result is a language that handles the complexity of financial content while keeping upbeat and human.

Scope

Brand strategy
Messaging Framework
Naming
Logo and Visual System
Team Development

the assembly

I am super proud of how our team's helped bring Firstly to life—that includes Odine Bonthrone, Martine Channon, Claudia Mauro, Walt McGraw, and Dalton Maag.

I'm also grateful for collaborating with Sal Tirabassi, Andy Beal, Tony Bucher and the Firstly team, Brandon Salindo, and Summer Fridays.

Site design: Firstly

Before Shopify and Amazon, commerce used to connect us. Can e-commerce be redeemed?

Retail Cultures

Jao Social Club

Every culture needs a language and a stage. That was the premise that led Jao, a growing apothecary brand, to open its first physical store in Brooklyn— just a month before the COVID lockdown.

The original intent is more relevant than ever: to offer a stage for locals to find ideas and objects to enrich their lives and our homes—healthy, noble, time-proven, and sustainable objects and apothecary formulations. Yet, the store was made inaccessible by the pandemic. Maybe it was time to bring the concept online?

Jao Social Club Home Page
Jao Social Club Design System

In just a few weeks, we stretched the e-commerce framework to bring the customer’s own voice and ideas into the mix: customer-curated collections, artist portfolios, and music stations; reportages sharing the makers, craft, and location—all a sign of “more to come‘ once distancing eases up and physical social activities resume.

What is the creative to do when giving shape and voice to the herb?

Cannabis Innovation

OLO

The regulated cannabis category is now years old, and we’ve seen cannabis businesses evolve from dilettantes to enterprising startups to public corporations.

While the category is still fluidly evolving, the pre-regulation phase is over, and direction seems set. Looking to get high or micro-dose? Smoke, edible, or tincture? Recreational, wellness, or medical?

And then, there’s OLO—an innovative sublingual strip created to enhance active lifestyles. I worked with Velo to understand the market opportunity, ideate and develop the sublingual format, build the brand, and take it to market.

Cannabis Edibles Main Image