In the process of designing visuals for a product, service or organization, it is best to actually experience what you are branding. This always turns out good when the product is indulgent, but can also be difficult if it is something you personally don’t care for. In the case of Hot Stuff, I might have had 20 turkey sandwiches with all kinds of mustard, mustard marinated chicken and pork, and several vinaigrette, sausages and soups that included the tangy condiment. Here I am now in the thick of client 2, Zenith, a relaxation and meditation center in a bustling urban center, and I’m very inclined to visit a place like this (again with the indulgence).
YeloSpa is a New York City rest and relaxation center with very high end services from massage and reflexology sessions to power naps in their uniquely designed “yelocabs.” The design of the environment is lush with warm colors and a comfortable atmosphere. This is a place where you can actually go in, get in a comfortable and quiet room and in a specially made chromotherapeutic and aromatherapeutic chair and doze off. They are, as I often find, already hitting the mark for what I envision my client does, but not necessarily how they wish to do it. Yelo does however look quite tempting and seems to have relaxation down pat.
The nap salon Napia in Tokyo is another such example, though it seems they only provide naps for their fast moving customers, it’s a clear example that this idea has been out there for some time, and it’s helping workers refuel during midday to help production, memory and clarity. Their site doesn’t seem to function in English, but it appears like they are pushing more for a get-in-get-out service, giving you a place to rest your head and get back to work. Zenith differs by offering a more private and relaxing experience overall, focusing on a true departure from your busy momentum and offering more than just a place to put your head down for 20 minutes.
And then there are the EnergyPods sold by MetroNaps, a UK based company whose goal it is to supply services and products, as well as education on the benefits of proper sleep and health. Clearly our cultures are signaling that proper health includes sufficient sleep and relaxation and this motivates a company like Zenith to offer it in the most welcoming way possible. Their route is less corporate based however, but I should still be wary of words like spa or salon that might indicate that Zenith is more about luxury and less about good health. MetroNaps is specifically targeting businesses, hoping to collaborate in seminars and assessment solutions for keeping production up in their clients’ work spaces. Zenith would be a destination, and would encourage individuals to seek out their own health solutions, primarily by visiting and resting in their space.
But I don’t just need to experience a sleep-spa to better design for my client—what about just the practice of their services? Sleep, well I’ve got that covered, but I know it is more than that. It is more than napping during the day, the siesta, that Zenith provides. It also provides space for meditation, and even courses on such things to help learn to maintain mental focus individually. I’ll be doing meditation this month then, and come back with some reflections that might help inspire a successful design.
Who else out there meditates? Does meditation inspire specific imagery for you? Does napping conjure specific imagery for you? How does one capture such a thing as a respite for such luxuries?