Using music to help teens cope with mental health challenges.

What We Did
  • Brand Identity & Positioning
  • Art Direction
  • Web & User Experience Design
  • Web Development ↗
The situation

The Glenn Gould Foundation came to us with a new initiative called Instrumental that they wanted to broadcast to a new audience. Instrumental would be a multi-dimensional digital product that focused on promoting music and arts as a tool to aid in mental wellness and when coping with mental health issues such as depression, trauma and anxiety.

Showcasing mental health struggles is a difficult landscape as the content can become a trigger to those struggling if presented in a strong light. We needed to create blueprint that turned the experience for teens into uplifting and playful instead of focusing on the heavy tone of the conversation.

Launched 2021

The Challenge

Teens in today’s world are going through a lot emotionally, physically and have good indicators when something they’re learning about doesn’t match up with their values. They need artifacts that have a relatable voice because sometimes they don’t want to talk about deeper mental health issues they may have. We needed to showcase Instrumental as a valuable resource when coping with their problems, as well as speaking to a secondary audience, namely parents, who don’t know how to directly help their teens.

The Solution

Take a Journey Through Music

We designed Instrumental with three streams of thought in mind: brain waves, sound waves and the twisty path of navigating life. The three waves were the inspiration behind the Instrumental logomark: which symbolizes the personal journey and musical journey teens go through and also acts as the “um” of the word Instrumental.

Creative Execution & Direction

Instrumental’s aesthetics had to resonate with their teenage audience that are surrounded by many different artistic styles on the regular. In order to resonate with them, we created a system that calls back to some founded design styles for their age group. We used neon colours to speak to their youthful side but kept the typography relatable with a strong sans serif to not dive too deep into child-like aesthetics. We created a system with wavy graphics, notes and illustrations provided by the Glenn Gould Foundation that in tandem, work as “stickers” on applications.

“They offer a complete package when it comes to design and technology.”

Olivia Parsons
Director of Marketing, Glenn Gould Foundation

The Website

Storytelling Through Movement

When working with mental health themes, the digital experience should not reflect the same headspace its users are currently in. As well as those themes, we needed to make Instrumental’s website stand out against the myriad of distractions that teens are caught up in everyday. Using the brand system, we communicated information in a visually playful manner to make the conversation less daunting. Many of the sections on the website use animation and movement to enrich the thought of navigating life through multiple pathways.

Instrumental page mockups.

Learn more about this project.

Interested in learning more about this project? Email us at