02 | 20 | 2024

Design With Purpose: The Guiding Principles Of Intentional Design

Written by

Lisa Goin

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Good design doesn’t start from a blank slate. It begins with discovery. At AvreaFoster, our designers learn as much as they can about a project before creation begins, so the final design has purpose, strategic thinking and intent behind it. The end result: Our design solutions become the foundation for visual storytelling.

Take our brand process as an example. We have a proven approach to branding that includes a thorough discovery phase during which we uncover the core truths about a company and gain a deep understanding of its purpose, vision, mission and values. Only then can we craft a positioning statement that mirrors the spirit of the organization and clearly expresses its unique value to the world. 

That’s where Intentional Design starts — not with colors, shapes and images but with a research-infused strategy that inspires creative expression.

Design at the center of visual storytelling.

The goal of Intentional Design is to put design strategy at the center of visual storytelling. From the start, the designer works collaboratively alongside a team of strategists, writers and brand managers. Through every step, the team is guided by three core principles:

  • Stay true to the strategy. The creative process starts with a solid strategy, using the core truths outlined in the brief to solve problems using the power of design.
  • Build meaning into every design choice. Everything has a purpose: colors, words, images, fonts, tone, textures. They all are rooted in creative meaning, born from the core strategy and integral to how the design solution comes to life.
  • Speak with a singular voice. First, create a visual language and then apply it consistently, allowing the design to tell a unified story that extends across deliverables in a way that is genuine, unique and original.

See Intentional Design at work.

When executed correctly, Intentional Design empowers designers to present solutions that are based and built on creative storytelling. Here are three successful applications of Intentional Design at AvreaFoster.


Moving an industry forward.

When we created the brand and visual identity for Vanguard Health, a leading hospital holding company, we used the company’s mission — to move health forward — as the inspirational rallying cry. The logomark is crafted using the V in Vanguard to create a healthcare cross with one element pointing outward to signify progress, innovation and forward movement. This logo (and the story behind it) became the foundation upon which the rest of Vanguard’s visual identity was built.


The arrival of a new vision and brand.

Arrive Health works to make care decisions better for patients and providers. The concept of better decision-making was the driving force behind the Arrive Health brand, including the logo that features a highlighted V representing the people at the center of the healthcare experience. To see more examples of how the brand strategy inspired the rest of Arrive Health’s brand identity, check out the full case study.


Taking a company’s vision to heart.

Ventric Health is a health-tech startup that is transforming cardiovascular care with a first-of-its-kind medical device that enables non-invasive diagnosis of heart failure. The logo and subsequent brand were inspired by the company’s vision — to bring non-invasive cardiovascular testing to everyone — and use uniting shapes to tell the story of this heart health innovator. To see how other elements of this brand came to life, visit the Ventric Health website.


Discover more examples of Intentional Design

Want to see other ways we’ve used visual storytelling to creatively solve branding and marketing challenges? Visit our results page to explore more case studies. If you have a project that would benefit from this proven approach to design, then let’s connect. Our designers (and strategists, writers and brand managers) are ready to put the power of Intentional Design to work for your organization.

Keep learning.

We’re always learning, too, and are happy to share what we know.


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