Amelia Hanigan
& KIN Fertility 

APRIL 2020

Today’s blog post is all about KIN Fertility and their designer Amelia. I’m sure by now you have seen KIN and their purple brand plastered all over your social media feeds, but if not let me introduce you to them. For context, KIN is an Australian start up wanting to revolutionise women’s sexual and reproductive health, destroying the stigma attached to these topics in the process. The company truly is a game changer, taking full advantage of what design and tech can offer. Their digital based service is a one of a kind power house, with all the work you see being done in-house.

Whilst she works with other creatives, Amelia is the one and only designer at KIN. Speaking with her, I got to understand what it was really like bringing KIN to life from the ground up. As her very first job out of uni, Amelia had the huge responsibility of creating the company’s identity and rolling it out across multiple platforms. More times then one, she not only wore the hat of designer, but too of other roles. Amelia and the team are doing bloody great things with design in the health and wellness sector, so I hope you enjoy her story.

To kick things off, we always start by asking people about their childhood. Were you creative from a young age, if so how?
I think I’ve always been creative. I grew up in a very wholesome, artistic, and hyperactive household — my days were filled with endless activities and I always had projects on the go. Various crafts, woodwork, painting, mosaic, clay, sewing, drawing, planting. Activities of all sorts were always happening and I think they cemented my passions and behaviours from a young age. I’m incredibly lucky to have such dedicated parents and grandparents, who’s love-language was definitely arts and crafts.

You completed a 4 year degree at UTS, how did you decide on doing Visual Communication?  Did completing an honours degree change your perspective on design at all?
To be honest I have never had a clear picture in my mind of who I wanted to be or where I wanted to go. It was only after deferring multiple degrees and taking a gap year I decided on pursuing the ‘creative’ route, though once I made the decision I realised how obvious it had been.

Throughout high school I’d wanted to study psychology and considered art a side-thing. I genuinely hated photoshop classes, so graphic design was never in the question. Ha. But after starting a psychology degree and realising it wasn’t for me, I showed up at the UTS Viscom open day. I became obsessed with the student work on display and spoke with some really lovely academics. Then bam, it was (somewhat spontaneously) decided!

Completing an honours degree has had a huge impact on how I think about design. The first three years of design school are designed to prepare you for the traditional design agency processes. You know the drill—you follow a brief and make what the client wants, always on their terms. But with honours, I learnt to create my own briefs and projects that I genuinely cared about and that I was fully responsible for. Honours taught me to see design as more than just a service in the supply chain. It’s definitely part of the reason I strayed away from the traditional design agency route and have now found myself working in-house.
Working with KIN (who are under the Eucalyptus roof) was, and still is, your first job after completing uni, how did you come across them? Was there an appeal to help build a company up from the ground so to speak?
I joined Eucalyptus fresh out of university, a month or two after Eucalyptus itself was founded. When I began the company was quite bare-bones — no website, no tangible projects/products to show, a small team who’d just moved into a tiny dark office above Town Hall station. It was nothing fancy, but there were good people with big ideas. The energy was excitable — that of a start-up that was hell-bent on genuinely doing something different in the world.

Despite heading into it with no solid clue of what to expect and with my friends and family members’ voices telling me that start-ups were risky, it felt right and incredibly exciting. As for how I found the position, I was lucky to be in the right place at the right time: looking for work when the creative director of Euc was looking for a UTS vis-com grad designer.

Going back to the beginning of KIN, what were your daily tasks or what was your creative process like when you first joined? The founder Nicole obviously had a vision, but how did that come to life?
About a year ago, Nicole, the founder of Kin, joined Eucalyptus with a vision to build a reproductive health platform for Australian women. I fell in love with the project from the very start for many reasons, and whole-heartedly put all my energy into it.

My role was in shaping the brand’s visual identity, voice, and messaging. Initially, my days involved laying the groundwork of the visual identity: brand naming, colour palette, typography, illustration and photographic style. I set up our Instagram account, which was the initial feedback loop and communication point with our audience, where we began to share content and build a following. Working in such a tiny team meant I had to stretch across tasks that went beyond graphic design: copywriting, digital marketing, photography (I was coming from a pretty low base in these areas, so it was a try fast, fail fast process of upskilling).

From the start, design and branding was a really important part of Kin. Female reproductive healthcare is a clinical and uncomfortable reality for a lot of us, so we often avoid it for as long as we can. Misinformation and stigma permeate conversations and they remain very private, if at all. This leaves many young women feeling isolated and alone with their questions about their bodies, often dismissing pain, leaving reproductive conditions undiagnosed or frankly just not knowing enough about their bodies. With Kin, we wanted to smash the secrecy and open up the whole conversation around fertility. A playful, warm, approachable, and beautiful brand you’d want to talk to your friends about was a big part of this.
Can you explain a little bit about the dynamics of the team? I’ve read that a lot—if not all, creative work is done in-house. Are there any challenges that come with that?
The rapidly growing team is comprised of individuals who together, know the ins and outs of brand building. The team is a mix of software engineers, digital marketers, copywriters, video, design, supply chain managers, and customer support pros. Yup, almost everything is done in-house, from filming ads to building the software itself.

Having a small team that does everything in-house means that we all wear many hats. I have to be very flexible and open to doing something that I might not feel comfortable with at first, which can definitely be challenging, but also rewarding.  
Now that KIN has rolled out, and by all the news reporting around it, seems to be very successful, do you think there is more space in the digital and tech worlds for other industries to branch into? 
Yes absolutely! I think especially now as we live through the corona-crisis, it has become obvious how much our behaviours are seeping into the digital world. We’re now managing our needs remotely and becoming more open to these new ways of operating via technology.

What has it been like being apart of a team who is revolutionising an industry like that is traditionally a physical (face to face) transaction so to speak?
It has been so so exciting, challenging, and incredibly fun to be a part of this movement. I’ve found the work really fulfilling which I’m grateful for!

The team at KIN have certainly changed the way society and consumers think around the health sector. What is traditionally a physical, face-to-face transaction, is now able to be done digitally.

To follow Amelia’s journey you can do so by viewing here website here and follow her instagram here. To follow KIN, you can do so here.

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