Uncommon and artist Saiman Chow build a “phantasmagoric” world for mortgage company Habito

The fantastical new identity features psychedelic colours and a fresh approach to typography, adding wings to the word mark’s ‘o’

13 January 2021


Set around the idea of creating an alternate universe to “mortgage hell”, Uncommon Creative Studio’s new identity for mortgage company Habito is a joyful “dreamscape” where costs, stress and jargon cease to exist.

Having worked in collaboration with New York-based visual artist Saiman Chow to build bespoke graphics, textures and animations inspired by this otherworldly concept, the result is the team’s own depiction of heaven.

The identity, in this sense, is colourful just as much as it is “phantasmagoric” – a term used by the company to succinctly describe its new creative direction. Colour and moving image combine in a hypnagogic land where the word mark has been given a winged ‘o’ and flying ‘H’ character, a move symbolic of an angel and its heaven-like context. By blending both still and moving image, this only adds to the fantastical aesthetic that comes with the new redesign, where psychedelic clouds and flying objects abound in many of the visuals.

What’s more is that the design heavily features pastel-tinted palettes and a bold use of shapes, swatches of colour and texture. Combined with a universal, straight-forward and friendly tone of voice, this utopian land aims to attract existing and first-time home buyers to begin their financing journey.

Saiman was the perfect creative to call upon for the brief, having already build an impressive repertoire of animation, design and illustration in his signature psychedelic portfolio. He says in the company’s announcement: “It’s not often you come across a brand, let alone a financial services company, that wants to put so much thought and detail into creating something truly unique and ground-making.” As such, it was a blend of three mindsets: Saimon’s creative flair, Uncommon’s expertise with branding and Habito’s vision for a new mortgage world.

“We loved the aesthetic the moment we saw it. The imagery and user experience at times feel like something from a dream which to me is the perfect antidote to the hell, stress and confusion mortgages can cause,” says Abba Newbery, chief marketing officer at Habito in a statement about the brand redesign. “Our advertising deliberately and dramatically reflects a lot of that hell. We want people to feel like they’ve stepped away from that when they come to Habito.”

With many of its products previously described as “out of this world”, says Abba, the company therefore needed a language that represented this viewpoint. “And this definitely feels other-worldly, yet designed with anyone who wants to own a home in mind.”

Alongside the website relaunch, Uncommon has also built a toolkit featuring assets such as the signature flying key, the logotype, winged letters and coloured textures. The new look is set to roll out across the entire Habito portfolio and will be part of an existing ad campaign titled Hell or Habito. Additionally, the mortgage company is sponsoring the UK’s largest skateboarding event, Skateboard England’s National Championships, in March 2020 and has developed merchandise in support.

GalleryUncommon: Habito, in collaboration with Saimon Chow. (Copyright © Habito, 2021)

Share Article

About the Author

Ayla Angelos

Ayla is a London-based freelance writer, editor and consultant specialising in art, photography, design and culture. After joining It’s Nice That in 2017 as editorial assistant, she was interim online editor in 2022/2023 and continues to work with us on a freelance basis. She has written for i-D, Dazed, AnOther, WePresent, Port, Elephant and more, and she is also the managing editor of design magazine Anima. 

It's Nice That Newsletters

Fancy a bit of It's Nice That in your inbox? Sign up to our newsletters and we'll keep you in the loop with everything good going on in the creative world.