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Responses by Concrete.

Background: Originally launched in 2018, oral care brand Twice sought a rebrand that would sharpen its narrative and create a future-forward vision for the category. As the brand was planning for a brick-and-mortar launch, its existing identity blended with the look of other direct-to-consumer oral care brands and would not stand out on the shelf. The new look and messaging needed to reframe the benefits of traditional toothpaste and work across all sales channels, whether retail or direct-to-consumer. Besides the name, everything else was on the table.

Design thinking: The initial inspiration came from the founders: two brothers from a dental family and Lenny Kravitz. The group had met to provide free dental work to the community in Lenny’s hometown of Eleuthera, the Bahamas. This inspired the central idea of the brand: holistic oral care is a critical part of overall physical health, and the emotional benefit that comes with the confidence of having a beautiful smile does just as much to enrich our lives. The group’s mission to spread both the physical and emotional benefits of a beautiful smile inspired our tagline: “Oral Wellness for Your Mouth, Body and Soul.”

We tried to find ways to articulate warmth, brightness and authenticity in everything we did, including mimicking the quality of analog film in the photography and video content. We stayed away from the overall slick aesthetic employed by the majority of oral care brands, embracing a more minimal approach. For instance, we used only a single typeface—Caslon Ionic, designed by Paul Barnes and Greg Gazdowicz for Commercial Type—which forced us to find creative solutions to bring variety and hierarchy into the identity.

The color palette, also minimal, became a dramatic statement. Yellow is a color traditionally avoided in the oral care sector because of its associations with yellow teeth, but this created an opportunity for us to break away from such literal thinking and connect to the positive emotions associated with the color.

Challenges: Overcoming the preconceived notions about how an oral care brand should look and feel today. It is atypical for consumers to feel an emotional attachment to the toothpaste brands they use. We wanted to flip this narrative by creating strong emotional connections with people who engage with the brand.

Logistically, one of the more interesting challenges was that, because of the restrictions imposed by COVID-19, we had to find a “real” couple to do some of the kissing shots. They turned out to be perfect!

Visual influences: Our influences were varied, bringing together elements from the beauty and skincare sector with typographic influences of modern editorial design and classic education textbooks.

We also worked with photographer Leeor Wild, a longtime Concrete collaborator, on the brand photography and video. Her ability to capture the true essence of her subjects and her willingness to collaborate and experiment on set created variety in our imagery with just light, no complicated set design required.

Favorite details: We put a lot of energy into crafting a robust collection of visual assets that defined the world of Twice and reinforced the concept of oral wellness. These assets span model and still life photography, video, stop motion (with rotating product videos) and illustration. The goal is that these can be reused and remixed in different ways as the brand evolves.

Specific project demands: We had to deal with a quick-paced, condensed timeline that forced us to work on multiple brand applications and presentations at a single time—even before our full brand vision was established. But despite the daily pressure, the client team was a joy to work with. The founding partners had a great understanding and appreciation of the importance of every design detail. And Lenny Kravitz, a design maven in his own right, had a deep understanding of all our cultural and historical references. He was a great collaborator.

concrete.ca

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