Greenhaus cards and box.


BRANDING | Illustration


The goal of this project was to design a tool for new plant-owners to help them learn about plants, shop for them and care for them and in doing so, harness the wonderful health benefits they provide.


Research, brand identity, logo design, packaging, typography, layout, copywriting, illustration and iconography


Indesign, Illustrator, Photoshop and Procreate


11 weeks

Problem to Solve

House plants are becoming increasingly trendy with the omnipresence of plant motifs in every medium and the resurrection of terrarium-crafting and macramé plant hangers. At the same time, there is a movement to return to slow living and enjoy the tactile versus the digital. Although plants themselves are popular, there is still a significant segment of the population that fears the maintenance and care that owning plants entails and feels overwhelmed by the challenge of finding a plant that will thrive within the conditions of their unique living space. How might we encourage reluctant plant owners to delve into the wonderful world of plants?


The objective of this project was to create an easy tool for would-be plant-owners to approach the world of plants with confidence and an attitude of fun. Greenhaus is an easy-to-use houseplant identification deck that is sold in the Volunteer Park Conservatory gift shop. The deck strives to be free of generational barriers and embraces the pleasure of a tactile experience—similar to the experience of caring for plants. Catering to varying levels of plant knowledge, Greenhaus offers three different decks—Easy Care, Intermediate Care, and Advanced Care. With a warm and playful palette and intricate illustrations, the deck serves as the ideal gift to spark delight, remove complexity and provide an easily manageable amount of information for one to fearlessly venture into the world of plant-ownership.

Greenhaus moodboard.

Research and Demographic

Secondary research of popular houseplants revealed an opportunity for grouping them based on their ease of care and preferred light conditions. As I researched, I was able to build a template for care information that was completed for each plant. I compiled nearly 50 plants that fell into the “easy-care” category considering this group of houseplants the most appropriate for new plant-owners.

Primary research via a survey of 40 respondents of all ages and backgrounds revealed ease of care as a priority for plant buying. Responses also established a clear hierarchy in the information consumers looked for when selecting a plant—light conditions being the most important. This helped me to identify the type of information consumers felt like they needed in order to get started with a new houseplant.

While survey responses tended to be split between a preference for a digital or print solution, open-ended responses suggested a general appeal to having something tangible, easy to use, beautiful and compact. Research of plant identification apps suggested there are numerous options—many of which are highly ranked. Only one of the survey respondents indicated that they had sought out an app of this kind in the past, further suggesting the need for this tool to be something that users encountered, as opposed to searched for in an app store.  Additionally, a print option would be a more suitable solution for sale at the Volunteer Park Conservatory gift shop.

Survey respondents indicated a general openness to learning more about plants with over 80% of survey-takers stating that they enjoyed gifting plants and plant accessories to others. I saw this as a strong indicator of two target audiences with the primary audience being less-experienced/curious consumers seeking out easy-care information on houseplants with a secondary audience of consumers passionate about plants and eager to share the experience via gifting.

Plant illustrations.


The compilation of information from secondary and primary research provided me with a number of insights that helped guide the design of the tool. Users primarily sought plants based on their ease of care and secondly on their compatibility with the light conditions within their homes. This resulted in the creation of three distinct groups for level of care and four sub-groups for light conditions. I chose to indicate the latter using color-coding—blue for “Low Light,” green for “Medium Light,” yellow for “Bright Indirect Light” and salmon for “Bright w/ Some Direct Sun.”

Reviewing the list of information considered most important to plant-buyers, I determined which required lengthier copy fields and which could be defined using a family of icons. The use of iconography was intended to improve ease of use and reduce overwhelm by breaking up large blocks of text into bite-sized informative morsels.

Once I had defined all of the components of the tool, I moved into illustration and layout, settling on a final layout that would be applied across all plants for consistency.

Backside of plant identification card.
Greenhaus family of icons.


Since there was a general desire for the tool to be compact and portable, this helped me to define the tool as a printed deck. The idea of users being able to sort plants within the deck and even place cards near plants in the home as a guide provided an engaging and fun experience of exploration.

Greenhaus is a palm-sized plant identification deck that uses whimsical imagery and distilled information to appeal to a broad demographic of plant-owners. With decks created for the three levels of plant expertise, users can collect them all, mix and match and even share cards with others. Inside each box are cards for 52 different plants plus two “Joker” cards with additional care information. Users can always refer to the Volunteer Park Conservatory by scanning the QR code on the bottom of the box and checking to see what the offerings are for the next plant sale.

Visual Design

The Greenhaus deck is fifty percent larger than a standard deck of playing cards, providing a visual cue for users to sort and interact with the cards. The back of each card references the iconic architecture of the Conservatory. Peeking through the plants which surround it, this historic structure is executed in monochromatic line art making it immediately identifiable as one in a series of many cards.

The front of each card showcases individual plant illustrations intended to accurately express the characteristics of the plants without the need for photography. Information is organized within a grid with the use of iconography and a color-banding system to identify the plant’s required light conditions.

Anyone who has ever walked the grounds of Volunteer Park is sure to have picked up on the historic charm the structures and outdoor spaces imbue. Greenhaus’s desaturated and friendly palette, lends the brand a classic feel tying it to the history of the Conservatory as a sanctuary for propagation in the urban setting.

Greenhaus plant identification cards.
Greenhaus wordmark.

Logo Design

Embracing the organic line quality of the Oxtail typeface, I expanded with custom type to create an upsilon glyph. The anatomy of this glyph is similar to the profile of a plant pot. Just as a plant pot contains everything a plant needs to thrive, the Greenhaus deck provides everything a user needs to become a plant-owner.

Three Greenhaus cards.
Greenhaus plant stickers.

Other Work