Hinterland Devises Flossy Brand Identity For HENRY, a New Dental Start-up

Not your parents' dentist.

Not your parents' dentist.

The List’s Project Spotlight column features unparalleled projects created by our forward-thinking List members. By going straight to the source—and having the designers demystify the methods behind their designs—we hope to enlighten and inspire our creative audience to further push the boundaries of what is possible in the realm of design.

We’ve come to understand that a trip to the dentist is synonymous with pulling teeth—literally and figuratively. But a new start-up, HENRY The Dentist (HTD), is aiming to reset those sentiments with style and verve. For this, HTD sought out Hinterland’s creative services.

The pair began their collaboration with HTD’s first project, a mobile practice outfitted with Hinterland’s designs. On the heels of that success, HTD commissioned Hinterland to apply the same treatment to a new brick-and-mortar office. That, along with a bespoke typography meant to echo a “sense of professionalism and trust,” amounted to an undeniably flossy brand identity for the dental start-up. Below, head creatives from HTD and Heitler Houstoun Architects—who fabricated the offices—give us a close-up look at their “crowning achievement.” 

Hinterland is a member of The List, the destination for all things Surface-approved. Want to join The List? Contact our team to find out how to apply.


Property acquisition

HENRY, The Dentist: We found out that a specialized medical office was moving into a building—that was, at the time, primarily full of tenants in the legal field—due to its lease ending. We knew that, in order to help validate our mission, we should be within proximity to other medical offices to create a “one-stop shop” feel. We ended up taking over almost half of the top-corner floor, where we will have a dermatology office on the same floor and oncology on the floors below us. The space has a ton of natural light, and being the corner office, we can take advantage of all-day sunlight. 


HTD: We want HENRY to be an approachable brand. We know that dentistry has a stigma, and is typically associated with overall bad and old-school experiences. With HENRY, we want the personality of the brand to help indirectly address these fears and anxieties. We partnered with Hinterland for all our creative and went into the project knowing we wanted to minimize the sterile, white environment. To do so, Hinterland incorporated our floss design with blue walls and fun wall vinyls which promote a dual meaning. An example: the waiting area wall says “Long live” and behind it, in vertical blocked letters, it says “Make life better.” The “Long live” incorporates the personality of HENRY—long live the king—but also encourages people to live long and healthy lives. “Make life better” is symbolic of the patient taking steps to have that healthier life. 


HTD: We chose an open floor plan, with open bays as operatories. This is both unique to dentistry, as most rooms are closed, and also mimics our mobile practice environment. To separate the operatories, we placed glass walls between each. Hinterland used frosted vinyl with our inverse floss pattern to allow light through while maintaining a sense of privacy. 

Heitler Houstoun ArchitectsHENRY is exactly the kind of project we love: partnering with a client who is intentionally trying to disrupt an industry and create something entirely new and ownable. While we were previously able to successfully accomplish this in the unique mobile environment, the challenge was to bring that same feeling of surprise and delight to the more familiar clinic setting. To achieve this, we replaced the typically bland and boxy treatment rooms with angled and glass partitions and utilized a material palette of warm wood tones and bright, brand colors not usually found in clinical environments. Overall, the design is carefully calibrated to project both a high level of established professional expertise, as well as the warm, welcoming nature of the brand. The same general palette is woven through the adjacent office spaces to reinforce the important continuity and connection between the corporate planning and patient facing work of the company.


HTD: Our patients already have that “wow” factor when they walk in. It’s welcoming, upbeat, and totally unexpected for a dental office, and it immediately puts them at ease. From the moment a patient enters the clinic reception area, HENRY’s core mission is clearly reinforced: this is not your parents’ dentist office, and the experience has been improved at every step.

The reception area includes easily accessible stations to get headphones, drinks, and snacks, as well as carefully curated retail items. The treatment areas are larger and expanded versions of the mobile pods: private, individualized, semi-open rooms carefully crafted with patient-driven amenities such as Netflix- and HBO-streaming TVs, noise-cancelling headphones, in-room sinks, and convenient spaces for personal belongings and phone charging. Equal design attention was given to the details on the dental side, with state-of-the-art equipment organized to efficiently support great service and treatments. The office area space was designed to promote creativity and collaboration with glass-fronted private offices, open-desking, flexible conference spaces, and a larger central “kitchen” space and lounge for informal meetings and office-wide gatherings.

HHA: HENRY presented a great opportunity to develop a physical design concept in parallel with the evolution of the overall brand and graphic identities. Through close collaboration, core elements of the identity which are featured in print, web, and collateral materials were seamlessly integrated into the interior design in colors, materials, graphic patterns, and signage. One of the overall goals of the brand is to make something traditionally dreaded—a trip to the dentist—a more enjoyable and positive experience. Incorporating the branding elements was a key tool in building the desired playfulness and whimsy into the interior environment.


(Photos: Courtesy Hinterland)

All Stories