Formally, organic design is considered a style of product design that takes as its starting point organic, flowing natural forms. But organic design can also come into play through graphic design and art in general, with the goal to harmoniously integrate both human and natural motifs. Using color palettes derived from nature or incorporating botanical illustrations into your work is a great way of evoking that feeling of being immersed in nature.
Designer duo Elsa and Tyler Lang (aka Always With Honor) will show you how it’s done. Based in Portland, the two create visual systems and brand identities that emit warmth, optimism, and a sense of wonderment. With an emphasis on nature, their work doesn’t stop at simple nature-inspired themes but aims to be holistic, acknowledging the importance of sustainability and environmentalism.
As part of their work, the Tylers donate 1% of their income as a studio every quarter to a cause that reflects their beliefs. They’re also activists and have added, for instance, activism posters to their website which are available for free download to print and share. According to their website, their goal is to be open and willing to learn about the changes needed in order to make our planet a better place. Their organic designs, in that sense, are meant as a conversation starter.
“Nature was a big part of both of our upbringings,” Elsa remarked once in an interview with The Great Discontent. “There’s so much wonder and beauty in nature,” added Tyler. “It’s the highest form of design. Just look at a leaf—you can’t design one more perfectly than it already has been. Every single curve and notch has a specific role and purpose. And as a designer, you’re always trying to uncover and chase that kind of perfection in your own work.”
Indeed, their work communicates ideas through illustrations of nature, the use of organic color palettes, and an emphasis on organic shapes, objects, and lines. Inspired by nature, their work is a reminder to be more mindful of your surroundings. “If you can’t be out in it all of the time, why not draw it, or make it a part of your work?” asks Elsa. “So that’s what we try to do as much as we can.”