Namaste has a solid reputation for publishing leading-edge books on self-help, spirituality, alternative health and personal transformation. Their original website was built using flat HTML files and grew over the years as a disconnected collection of sites and blogs under Namastepublishing.com and various subdomains. Without standard navigation between interior pages, the site was difficult to navigate, and the key eCommerce functions required unnecessary steps to purchase products in the store.
Lift Studios was brought in as the design partner to help radically reinvent Namaste’s online presence. Namaste wanted to foster long-term engagement with their community of fans, authors, spiritual leaders, and staff, while integrating seamlessly with their eCommerce system. The project required a full re-branding as well as a re-interpretation of what publishing meant for the company.
The Lift team researched the meaning of Namaste as a common spoken greeting or salutation. When spoken, “Namaste” is usually accompanied by a gesture called Abhinandan, a slight bow made with hands pressed together, palms touching and fingers pointed upwards, in front of the chest. We explored using this gesture as a graphic symbol that could possibly be recreated in the online space. After many iterations LiFT refined the symbol and gave it a supporting typographic word-mark which became the new brand identity for Namaste. Our final branding package included a full identity, business cards and an easily typed plain-text symbol all packaged into a microsite which we call BrandAid©.
Strategy + UX
LiFT worked in collaboration with the Namaste team to create the brand experience throughout the site to allow visitors learn about the publishing company, buy books in a number of formats, join their community, and engage in discussion. The product detail page was an area that we spent a great deal of effort iterating upon to create the right balance of book content, sales “Call to Action” and community engagement.