Ania et Lucie’s new identity for Kindred Black is a “nod to the old apothecary world”

The creative duo’s branding for the slow beauty brand takes inspiration from classic scripts, hand-addressed envelopes and branded marks on the back of silver charms.

28 May 2024

Recently marking their five-year anniversary, Ania Nowak and Lucie Gris of New York-based multidisciplinary creative studio Ania et Lucie, create thoughtful, narrative-led design work in the fields of art, culture, interior, fashion and beauty. It’s no surprise then, that when the environmentally conscious, slow beauty brand Kindred Black reached out, Ania and Lucie were immediately attracted to the brand and its approach. Taking inspiration from the company’s sustainable ethos and unique products that all have “beautiful stories rooted in culture and ritual”, the duo took on a revision of the brand’s identity.

With a combination of classic scripts and modern typography the new visual identity is “a nod to the old apothecary world with branded marks that feel as if they were stamped on the back of a silver charm”, says Ania. The spirit of Kindred Black is captured in a new signature ‘Love for our Mother’ echoing the brand’s mission to care for the planet whilst sharing products and rituals that “extend beyond the skin and into different domains of life”.

GalleryAnia et Lucie: Kindred Black (Copyright © Ania et Lucie, 2024)

With each of the brand’s products individually crafted, Ania et Lucie’s new identity presents refined solutions to neatly tie the brand’s appearance together. When designing a new logo, brand mark and typographic system, Ania and Lucie were inspired by hand-addressed envelopes from the late 1800s, found in their early research for the project. Ania says “there was an interesting balance between how perfect yet human these looked”, a sensitivity for lettering that they emulated in their design for the new Kindred Black logo. Set off at a slant, this delicate logotype pairs with their Kindred Black brand mark, a composition of bold interlocking initials designed to “contrast some of the softer feminine elements of the identity”, says Lucie. Spotting a pattern in their approach to designing brand marks over the last few years, the pair have often found themselves “using characters that intertwine and hold each other” like these, enjoying the challenge of creating such elegant and continuous marks.

Ania et Lucie found the complexity of the project in their creation of a new interchangeable packaging system that could accommodate 70 of Kindred Black’s bespoke products. With the challenge to house a “variety of hand blown glass bottles which vary from tiny jars to larger vessels” the pair developed a system of “adjustable and reversible inserts [...] to hold all of the products in only two box shapes”, says Ania. Produced in collaboration with Paris-based printer Imprimerie du Marais, this robust packaging arrangement accommodates Kindred Black’s selection of skincare, cosmetics and botanical perfumes in a clever, one size fits all solution.

For a sustainably minded brand, this approach to packaging design avoids an additional print run for a new box template, Lucie explains, as Kindred Black continues to create small product lines in limited editions. It’s only through the design of their labels that each yellow box is able to set itself apart from the outside, whilst catering to a variety of things on the inside. As for the colour, Ania and Lucie found this by “flipping through their colour books” and knew the “bright, warm, and very modern yellow” felt just right for the brand when paired with other elements of the project.

With a new appearance for Kindred Black that mirrors the care and conscience put into their products, Ania and Lucie hope that their visual identity “embodies the soul of the brand and the personality of founders”. Meaningfully implementing the brand’s message in their reduction of excess with clever solutions for identity and packaging, Ania feels that they have arrived at “an elegant and streamlined system” for the slow beauty brand to take forward.

GalleryAnia et Lucie: Kindred Black (Copyright © Ania et Lucie, 2024)

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Ania et Lucie: Kindred Black (Copyright © Ania et Lucie, 2024)

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About the Author

Ellis Tree

Ellis Tree (she/her) joined It’s Nice That as a junior writer in April 2024 after graduating from Kingston School of Art with a degree in Graphic Design. Across her research, writing and visual work she has a particular interest in printmaking, self-publishing and expanded approaches to photography.

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