Skip to main content

Meet Afterglo—a Montreal-based online store offering body-safe intimate and pleasure products chosen with care. Their mission is to encourage and celebrate healthy, respectful and inclusive sexuality by helping humans explore their own definition of pleasure and live their sexuality freely. 

Q: Your products have a lot of colors. How do you work with colors in general?

With Afterglo, we view aesthetics as a way to improve usability and to highlight products. Since we knew our line of products would be colorful, we chose subtle and neutral tones to not overwhelm the eyes. We also defined a style guide that emphasises natural and warm colors associated with skin tones. Our user interface helps guide visitors to products they could find interesting, within a calming atmosphere that inspires trust. Last but not least, we made sure to add a dash of playfulness: how could we not vibe with our products?

Q: What are your favorite parts of the type design process?

Typography plays an important part in our perception of a brand. Chosen wisely, it can reinforce a brand’s personality, vision and mission. With Afterglo, we dug deep into what the brand meant and came up with font choices that would be a foundation for the rest of the brand image. We wanted to be bold because we believe sexuality must be communicated with confidence, yet we wanted to be gentle, accessible and approachable. It was a balancing act. In the end, he two fonts we chose complement themselves to create a look that is inviting, respectful, playful and inclusive for all humans

Q: What are some design choices made in order to create an online store that feels both accessible and inclusive to all (while breaking the stigma usually associated to sex toys)?

In an industry filled with taboo, overflowing with corny colours, hyper-sexualisation and photoshopped models, it was time to offer a safe space that welcomes all kinds of humans. We see the website as a place where everyone can explore their curiosity, define what pleasure means for them and, no matter their gender, age or sexual orientation.
It’s no secret that purchasing sexual wellness products can be intimidating. By taking tasteful pictures framed in a human and modern artistic direction, we present these products as wellness products instead of cheap sexual toys, which helps normalize the experience. 

Q: Where does the team go for inspiration, inside and outside of design?

We cannot emphasise this enough: design must serve the product. A good design is smart and sensible; it doesn’t try to overshadow the content. The vision, mission and values behind the brand inspired us to create this subtle and harmonious design. We see design as a way to solve functional needs before even thinking about the aesthetics. Once we have figured out a design foundation, we can think about visual flourishes. We steer clear of trends though, as we believe they won’t last. Just like a well built house, if the design foundation is good enough, you can easily change the decoration once in a while because the architecture behind it is timeless.

Q: If you could recommend something to our audience what would that be:

Before anything else, take the time to dig and understand the purpose of the project you are designing. Don’t skip to the fun aesthetic part yet. Think objectives, constraints, values, mission, vision, audience and so on. Be as empathetic as possible, as in the end, you’re designing for others, not for your own personal ego. Once you’ve learned everything there is to learn about the project and defined how to best tackle the challenge from a design standpoint, then you can start having fun with the visual aspect! 

Instagram:
@myafterglo

Credits:
Web creative director and designer: Louis Paquet
Brand creative director: Khoa Lê
Brand designer: Office of Demande Spéciale
Strategy & UX Design: Kim Levan
Front-end development: Deven Caron, Pier-Luc Cossette
Back-end development: Luc Lapierre, Deven Caron
Motion design: Louis Paquet
Photography: Oumayma B. Tanfous, Julien Grimard, Consulat, Louis Paquet
Copywriting: Kim Levan, Laurie Stein