Responses by Pari Purohit, creative director/founder, Studio Glyph
Background: The brief was to create a makeup brand that would bridge the gap between makeup that is stylish and make up that is natural. We observed that most brands swung from one extreme of being nourishing but mediocre or the other extreme of being completely fashionable but toxic. So we asked, “Why should makeup that’s good for you have to be boring and unglamorous?” The team managed to create the perfect balance of efficacy and wholesome, but now we needed to bust the perception that natural makeup is ineffective and unfashionable.
Reasoning: Our target consumer was at the center of our design development. She is self-actualized, owns her preferences, takes pride in her choices and strives to stand apart. We wanted to create a brand that embodied her—a brand that while being mindful, was still luxurious. That while caring for the environment, was in vogue. The brand makes deliberate, yet measured choices. Just like her. Being an e-commerce-first brand, we faced the problem of standing out in the sea of thumbnails on e-tail platforms. We were competing with bigger brands that had deeper pockets and the category demanded creativity. We delivered a solution that was visually striking, and represented the natural aspect of the product in an edgy and contemporary way. The colors were unusual, bold and stylish.
Challenges: As a design firm that works with many start-ups, we’re used to working within limited budgets. However, this category was particularly challenging. The primary packaging alone costed a lot. So custom molding was out of the question. We decided to keep things simple, and use aesthetically-pleasing tools to bring differentiation to the brand. And it’s become a vital brand asset.
Favorite details: The packaging, both primary and secondary cartons, are testament to the fact that clutter-breaking design does not need to be expensive. And while sky-high budgets enable you do so much more, maximizing tighter budgets is harder. What we have achieved as a team, despite the constraints, is noteworthy. We wanted to keep the “unboxing” experience of the packaging intact, so we used a tactile treatment on the carton that teases the user with a hint of the signature graphic pattern, thus, keeping the unveiling of the product inside the box with more drama.
Visual influences: The pattern was loosely inspired by an idea that was the antithesis of “camouflage.” Our interpretation went against the very principle of camouflage, more like “uncamouflage.” This idea resonates with the brand, which creates high impact and bold products, and with consumers who want to make choices that reflect their distinct personalities and product efficacy. We wanted to cue natural elements without making them obvious, mirroring our consumers mindsets and intellect.
Anything new: We learned about a new kind of printing, called 3-D printing—not the kind that prints 3-D objects, but one that prints on 3-D surfaces. Kiro Beauty is the first Indian brand to use this technology. Apart from this, we learned about the business of color cosmetics. It’s a vast and complex universe of brands out there, and breaking new ground is nearly impossible for most new brands that are bootstrapped.