Afterlife’s brand is inspired by natural forms

Developed by Dragon Rouge’s New York office, the name and identity for the urban farming startup reference its circular model

Afterlife is a startup that collects food waste from local restaurants before turning it into compost to grow high-quality mushrooms, which are then sold back to restaurants.

International creative agency Dragon Rouge chose the brand name Afterlife as a nod to its circular model, during a wider exercise on its brand positioning and identity design.

The visual design and tone of voice have both been developed to bring a fresh perspective to sustainable food production, which can all too easily fall into dry or worthy territory.

The new wordmark blends a simple black sans-serif with squishy, cartoonish letterforms, which “bloom from the page like the mushrooms grown on the mycelium blocks”, according to the agency. The bubble lettering nods to the hip-hop and graffiti culture found in New York City, where the first Afterlife urban farms are located, with plans to introduce more in other cities.

The wordmark is just one of a suite of recyclable stickers created for the brand, along with mushroom symbols and motifs representing New York’s skyline. The agency also developed a photography style that showcases the mushroom’s beautiful sculptural forms.

The design system also involves repetitive typographic treatments, which ties into current design trends while conveying a deeper symbolism – such as the patterns found in nature (including the ‘gills’ found on the underside of mushrooms) and Afterlife’s cyclical production methods.