Why Le Parc created a ‘huggable brain’ for Goldie Hawn

In 2003, Goldie Hawn created MindUP with a goal of reducing childhood aggression, anxiety, depression and suicide through mindfulness practices. “MindUP has sought to bring mental fitness to every child in the world and be a voice of hope, optimism, joy, and positivity since its inception,” said Hawn.

The program, which included evidence-based curriculum and activities and training programs, had been mostly geared toward school kids. But Hawn wants to extend its reach, and has rebranded the program with the help of Toronto agency Le Parc.

“Now more than ever, it is critical that our youth have the skills and knowledge to manage stress and regulate emotions,” said Hawn. “Our organizational evolution intends to give everyone, not only children, access to our curriculum and the tools needed to help alleviate mental distress and thrive.”

The program has been rebranded as MindUp for Life, and Le Parc designed new logos and typography, introduced a new colour palette, and a 3D illustration all meant to represent the brand’s new direction and the kindness and science at its heart.

“Doing good feels good,” said Nathalie Cusson, creative director of design at Le  Parc, Juniper Park\TBWA’s design arm. “It is always exciting to be able to help a brand truly project its personality through its visual identity,  especially when the cause is a great one.”

The Message asked Cusson to share some of the thinking behind the various design elements of the new-look brand.

Logo: “We created a mark that can be static or animated,” she said. “In today’s digital world, a dynamic logo is not only a nice-to-have, but also a necessary communication tool. It allows a brand to include more information in the most distilled version of itself.

“In the MindUP logo, the large dot on the ‘I’ blinks and transforms each time the letters ‘UP’ bounce. In turn, the dot changes from a circle to a heart, a teddy bear, a brain, a sun, a flower, and other various aspects of life touched by the program.

“The logo also needed to be modular in order to create sub-brands. Thus, the addition of the handwritten ‘For Life,’ which transforms into ‘For School,’ and ‘For Parents,’ with a differentiating colour for each iteration.”


The Brain: “To reinforce MindUP’s inherent focus on the fields of neuroscience, positive psychology, mindful awareness, and social-emotional learning, we developed a personalized and colourful 3D brain illustration.

“A soft and bouncy structure makes this brain rendering unusually huggable. Used mostly as an emblem for the brand, the 3D organ also comes in various animated versions, reflecting different states of mind: pensive, active, analyzing, and calm.”

Colour Palette: “Leaning into MindUP’s optimistic and compassionate nature, we opted for a more saturated, bright, and optimistic palette. The main brand bears fuchsia and black as colours, and the secondary palette is informed by the multicolour brain illustration.”

Refreshed Typography: “To accompany the very expressive visual language, it was necessary to keep the typography simple and clean. The classic geometric font Avant Garde was chosen to bring that balance.”

David Brown