Branding Anterior

Medical Insurance? AI? Oh my!

Smith & Diction
Smith & Diction
Published in
11 min readJun 3, 2024


After Perplexity dropped we got a lot of inquiries from other AI companies. Like, a lot a lot. Most of them were very early in their journey and didn’t really know what they were building or who they were building for. They just knew it was going to use AI in some way. The 2024 gold rush is upon us.

We also had some really engaging conversations with folks that were thinking a bit more broadly about AI and its integration into their businesses. Cue, Anterior. Notice it’s not called Anterior AI because that’s not the be-all end-all of their company vision. The AI is just a product within their company. To continue the metaphor, we struck gold.

Handbook Concept

We met with their team and immediately connected with them. I don’t know if it’s because most of them were British or what but every Zoom call was beyond lovely. Felt like we were just hanging with some mates in a pub havin’ a cheeky pint. JK it was much more professional than that.

Andy, their founding designer, was really open and trusting about our process. Many times during the discovery they said, “We trust your expertise on this.” Music to our ears. Their entire team is incredibly smart — we’re talking about people who are experts in both medicine and tech. Their CEO, for example, is an MD and a pioneer in AI.

We love working with people who try to solve problems from the inside. People who have personally or professionally felt the limitations of an industry because those people come at these big problems from a Trojan Horse angle. They know all of the flaws and inconsistencies to take down the behemoth.

Anterior is a tech company that provides generative AI solutions for payer organizations — which is a fancy term for healthcare insurance. Have you ever heard of a bigger behemoth than healthcare insurance?

One of their first goals is to help nurses get through insurance approvals much faster and more accurately than ever before. Which, in turn, helps regular people like you or me get the care we need much quicker.

Okay, so that’s the background. Now let’s get into the brand.

A trusted brand built for the future.

Cue a midjourney image of a doctor’s hand shaking the hand of a robot.

The brief was to build a brand that felt trustworthy, classic, and reliable (let’s not forget, their audience is the healthcare industry, which is basically allergic to anything new). But they also wanted the brand to feel exciting, unexpected, and futuristic (they are an AI company after all).

Let’s start with the A symbol:

It’s crafted to feel powerful, yet agile, with unexpected angles at every turn. It’s designed to feel timeless rather than trendy, with both a sense of movement, and subtle curves to give the overall mark a deep, lasting sense of balance.

Event badge

We wanted to create something that had weight but also conveyed an inherent sense of flexibility. This stenciled A shape has a tactile feeling to it, like something you’d see on the side of a shipping container or an MRI machine. We played with the contrasts of the mark as well to really give it a sense of variability. That helped us lean into the future-y vibe a bit more. Lastly, we rounded the edges to bring an overall friendliness to the shape. It’s strong but it’s dynamic. Like a gym rat that loves Rupi Kaur.

Finding type that feels juuuuust right.

Once the symbol started to take shape we started trying to pair it with some type that felt really responsible, while also nodding to the construction of the symbol itself. We landed on Planar by Grilli Type which felt truly perfect. It’s lower case A matched the vibe of the brand symbol beautifully.

Symbol A — Planar A

The full wordmark has some great geometry to it, with these hard angled t’s and r’s that give it a nice structured feeling. It creates a future-oriented mindset, instead of leaning too classically modernist/Swiss. But then it evens that out with all of the other letterforms not feeling too over the top or exaggerated. A perfect balance.

I will say Planar does get extreeeeemly wacky with its italics that go up to 45º in both directions which is….unique. So if you’re looking for something that conveys speed look no further.

Wordmark set in Planar


With a wordmark and symbol that had a ton of hard edged geometry to them, we knew we wanted the brand type to feel a bit more traditional and clean. This is the healthcare industry after all, so we needed to make sure this brand had some trust and structure built into the foundation.

We were working with a couple of options and then immediately fell in love with Saans from Displaay. If anyone asks you for a perfectly balanced modernist typeface just send them Saans. It’s the perfect nothing typeface in every way.

Go girl give us nothing!

Health tech…on acid.

Any time we sit down and create a brand, one of our core deliverables is brand assets. They vary from client to client but the goal is to give them something to use that makes them feel unique and “branded” out in the real world. The further we get into AI products the harder it gets to make a search bar look cool. At the end of the day we’re just making fancy input fields. Which are notoriously not the most engaging parts of a product.

What if, hear me out, we didn’t do any of that?

For this project we wanted to have nothing to do with text inputs or cursors. So we thought about who this audience actually is. It’s nurses looking at paperwork from doctors and medical reports.

Hmmm paperwork and cubicles also notttttttt the most inspiring content to work with. BUT then we actually dug in a bit deeper and said, what if we used some of these things they are looking at on a daily basis? X-Rays! MRI scans!! What ifffffff we dove down into the molecular level and showed what cells look like when they are under a microscope!!!!!

There was a TON to play with there, so we pushed those concepts to the limit by introducing acid-like colors and motion blurs that would catch anyones eye at a trade show or in a stack of business cards.

Acid Motion Effect Before/After

It’s funny with AI brands now people ask us how much AI we use in our workflow and the answer is none. I’m an old fashioned Photoshop action guy. It’s my secret weapon. I was on Creative Market just looking though the actions section when I saw Acid Motion by Pixelbuddah and was like THAT’S IT. You can see above where we turned a regular looking rendering from Unsplash into something really engaging and CoNcEpTuAl.

The possibilities with this technique are endless. And honestly very fun to make. I did have to watch a tutorial on YouTube quite a few times before I got it to work just right, but that just comes with the territory of learning new Photoshop actions. Thank you YouTube University.

We ended up creating a folder full of these to hand off to the client to use for social posts, blog headers, business cards, postcards, etc. You can slap one of these puppies anywhere and you’re ready to ride.

A brief aside — what is pre-authorization? In case you actually care.

Chara has a background in healthcare marketing — so she understands the complexities of the healthcare landscape. And boy are there a lot of rules about what you can and cannot do in healthcare marketing.

What Anterior actually does probably isn’t relevant to most of our readers — you all tend to be more interested in design and branding than the nuances of healthcare administration — but in case you’re wondering, Anterior’s initial offering specifically focuses on pre-authorization. I’ll now provide a quick overview as to what that is, and how it could change…but if you’re not interested, seriously just skip down to the next heading, and we’ll talk about the design vibes there, I swear.

What they actually do is expedite the process of pre-authorization.

You know, if your doctor has ever told you, “Oh you need an MRI — but first we need to see if your insurance will cover it?” That’s what we’re talking about. Right now, that “pre-authorization” process, typically takes a few days — your case file gets sent off to a nurse, who compares your doctor’s request with various clinical criteria, then says, “Yep! Looks like this one is gonna need an MRI.” Bam. Pre-authorized.

But what if instead of leaving the doctor’s office, waiting a few days, then calling back to schedule the MRI….the pre-authorization process was more like swiping a credit card at a grocery store. Your doctor hits the submit button, then waits a few moments, and he says, ok great, your pre-authorization went through — and you can schedule that MRI on the spot. And you and your doctor can decide together whether it’s urgent (let me squeeze you in tomorrow) or if it can wait until a more convenient time next week.

That’s the first project Anterior is tackling, but their overall goal is to improve healthcare in general, with a whole suite of powerful AI tools for doctors and nurses.

Florence symbol created from the inside of the A symbol

Introducing Florence AI.

Anterior doesn’t have AI in their name, but AI is embedded into everything they do. In the approachable-first-name-style of so many other virtual assistants (Siri, Alexa, Claude, etc.), they’ve cleverly named their AI Florence, based off of the founder of modern nursing, Florence Nightingale. We created a sub-brand for Florence using an ever so slightly customized version of the inner park of the A symbol. Then, we tilted it upward to represent the famous flame of Florence’s candle. It really came together quite poetically.

Florence AI in the UI

The complexities of content.

Like we mentioned above. Marketing and branding in the healthcare realm can be a bit tricky. You have to be very intentional about what is tied back to your parent brand.

When the folks at Anterior came to us they knew that not only did they want to build a product that can change the industry, but they also wanted to engage healthcare professionals via podcasts and keynotes. They didn’t want to shy away from the hard questions about AI in the healthcare industry. In fact, they wanted to talk about them open and honestly.

Podcast Cover Art

The tricky thing is, a lot of the time you legally can’t go and say “This message is brought to you by Anterior, you should buy our product.” It’s just a little bit of a conflict of interest.

We had to develop what’s called an unbranded angle for their public podcast. It still ladders up to the parent brand but we don’t put the logo or name anywhere near it.

We developed a system for the art that uses acid motion photos in the header and then has a simple folder shape that holds all the relevant episode information written in Saans. Remember the paperwork stuff we were talking about earlier? This folder element was another subtle nod to that.

We even took that folder motif and made it a brand element that they could play with on their marketing materials.

This brand was a fun one to create. The Anterior folks just got it. Working with a founding designer is an absolute dream for our team because we know the brand is in good hands without a ton of oversight. They have taken all of the brand elements we’ve given them and rolled it out all on their own. They even just launched this beautiful new site designed in house →

One response to our initial presentation that I’ll never forget as long as I live was, “As you all were presenting this I just kept thinking wow! I want to work for that company. And then I was like, wait! I already do.”

We know Anterior is going to do some great things, especially coming on the heels of the $20 million fundraising round that was just announced in Business Insider. So keep an eye on what they’re up to next.

Anterior Style Guide

Did you like this project? Do you want to work with us? Let’s do it.

Shoot us an email at → We love talking to all kinds of folks. Even if we can’t work with you for some reason, we’ll try to intro you to someone who can! Networking!

Symbol & Brand Design: Summer McClure
Typography & Style Guide: Dayan D’Aniello
Brand Design & Creative Direction: Mike Smith
Copywriting: Chara Smith