Responses by Justin Lortie, founder/design director, Wedge
Background: Holos is a DTC-first brand of overnight, all organic, plant-based muesli that landed a serious series of funding to expand its online sales across North American retail shelves. We worked together to define the ethos, evolve the visual brand identity and packaging design to compete on this stage, and speak more strongly to Holos’ core customers: people who are modern-minded, seek healthful products to fuel their day, and are active in mind and body. Much more than an age, but it’s a way of taking care and approaching life.
Reasoning: Holos is mindful nutrition that sustains you for the long-run. This unique positioning and new category is inspired by the people who love Holos, as well as its thoughtful composition of ingredients. We kept the original logo and symbol but redrew them by hand for a more-organic feel that instantly communicates the product truth and provides great contrast aside an info system that is simple, pragmatic and a touch scientific with the font in use: GT Zirkon. The color palette is warm and nourishing and the symbol is used to evoke the happy feeling you feel when you eat Holos. We included black-and-white photography as part of the brand language to further evoke that human touch which is uncommon in the category.
Challenges: Nailing the color in print production. What was most important to us was that our work was powerful in hand—especially with packaging—for the consumer it was designed for. The color on-pack is vibrant, punchy and brilliantly impactful. Nailing that color punch in the prototype phase was an iterative process, and the choice of a white package helps the color shine. Also, how the pack returns to the Earth was a key consideration for our team. The pack itself is locally sourced in Canada and 100 percent recyclable, as opposed to Holos’ previous pack, which was not fully recyclable due to the many layers required to keep the product fresh.
Favorite details: The color on the pack is brilliant and striking in real life, on shelf. It instantly captures the eye and makes you feel good. The 100 percent recyclability of the pouch is a point of pride. Many packs, especially for food products, might carry the recycle symbol, but, because of multi-layers for freshness as well as print processes, are actually not. We’re also proud of the black-and-white art direction alongside the color. It’s uncommon for brands in the food space to sign off on this because you don’t “see” the product in all its glory. But for Holos, it was embraced and seen as a key part of its signature that brings a human feeling to the table.
Visual influences: District Vision, a company that makes sports sunglasses and tools for runners, was a key influence. We also were inspired by lifestyle photography across the outdoors, wellness and beauty sectors, featuring all ages from 19 to 99, which is captured in the brand guide and speaks to Holos’ mission of nutrition for the long run.
Specific demands: “Keep the logo. Keep the symbol.” This ask didn’t necessarily make the project easier or harder; it was more about design solving. We had to ask ourselves how these elements could be embraced and evolved, to strengthen and pull out some magic. The solution now integrates the symbol as beautiful artwork and a true heartbeat of the brand.