Maple: A design case study

Studio Function
Studio Function
Published in
5 min readJul 11, 2018


Maple is founded by a small team of exceptional entrepreneurs, including a front-line emergency room doctor — they have a collective vision for the future of healthcare in Canada.

The team believes online doctor consultations can greatly reduce the load on existing ER facilities, and shift care into local communities. They’ve created a platform to give Canadian patients more control over doctor visits, health record keeping, and other conveniences not provided by the existing public healthcare system.

Since 2015, our collaborations with the team have expanded beyond healthcare and touch on many of the problems that growing companies face:

Challenge 1

Create a meaningful & memorable brand identity

Our process for identity design is focused on authenticity, primary audience, and intelligent positioning in the competitive landscape. We dive into these aspects with a rigorous discovery and creative brief process.

Our creative brief process helps to define authentic brand values and primary audience profiles.
In Maple’s case, much of the early competitive landscape in 2015 was dominated by indistinguishable stock imagery, questionable colour schemes, and artless typography.

Our goal was to generate a dynamic visual language to help the brand maintain a place of prominence as more businesses turned their attention towards the challenges of healthcare delivery in Canada.

The brand identity package Studio Function created for Maple included:

Logo design

The distillation of brand values, culture, and personality to a simple logo design is always a challenge. Maple’s primary brand mark uses custom crafted lettering to communicate approachability and credibility.

Typeface selection

Typography is the soul of visual design — it provides an emotional background for all written messages. For Maple, we defined a type system to express warmth, approachability, professionalism, and trust.

Colour palette

Colours are central to a brand’s character and add essential elements of personality to visual communications. The selection of an interesting and meaningful palette underscored Maple’s brand values and helped the identity take a more ownable position in the landscape.


We proposed that illustration play a key role in the identity’s visual language to help Maple differentiate from a landscape of generic lifestyle photography. Characterful illustrations also allow for the depiction of more conceptual subject matter, which add a valuable layer of interest to design pieces.

We collaborated closely with Canadian illustrator Sam Island for Maple’s digital and print collateral.


The refinement of key brand values and the translation of those concepts to succinct marketing messages was another service we provided to Maple. Visual design and messaging go hand-in-hand, so we created a framework to guide vocabulary and tonality as part of our brand identity process.

Challenge 2

Build trust and brand value with quality digital product design

If Maple was going to succeed as a business, their digital products needed to resonate with quality and reliability.

People are discerning with app experiences, but in the case of healthcare the stakes are even higher. Maple understood the need to have excellent visual design permeate their web app and native app experiences.

iOS app design

App Store previews

Download the Maple app for iOS or Android

Web app onboarding / user registration / web app

Web app consultation process

Web app consultation summary

Challenge 3

Create an emotional connection with key audiences

Brands make deeper connections when they successfully demonstrate an understanding of audience needs. This was the focus of our marketing communication strategy.

We also wanted to articulate Maple’s vision for inclusive healthcare that reflected Canadian values of diversity and inclusivity.

Maple’s sales team required brochures and other printed collateral. Brand colours, type treatments, and illustrations required adjustments to display effectively in this context.
Maple’s visual assets reflect an authentic connection to Canadian values of diversity and inclusivity.

Challenge 4

Deliver a sustainable design system

Maple’s visual language and other graphic standards began to emerge after the delivery of cornerstone pieces. From there we made a concerted effort to isolate and articulate key components.

To achieve design sustainability, we provide our clients with asset packages and other standards guides to ensure quality and consistency are maintained as the internal team takes ownership of future design deliverables.

Wrapping up

Maple is a highly motivated team dedicated to improving the lives of Canadians with better access to healthcare — we are honoured to have helped bring their vision to life. Visit to learn more.

Have a project on the horizon?
Email and let’s chat.

2020 Update

Check out our latest branding collaboration with Maple:



Studio Function
Studio Function

We’re a Toronto-based design studio focused on the propagation of meaningful solutions to communication design challenges.