With moves towards simplicity and paired back palettes taking the branding industry by storm, such aesthetics have now seeped into children’s products. In the bathing world, it seems that the noughties heyday of shampoo bottles shaped like fish and pirates are long gone. Studio Tempo’s identity for the shampoo bar Ama, however, strikes the perfect balance. With a sleek, clean feel that still incorporates bold, colourful and playful elements the brand is one that speaks to both adults and children.
“We wanted to create a product that not only appealed to children, but also generated identification and trust in parents,” begins the studio’s co-founder Vinícius Theodoro. To achieve this, Vinícius and fellow founder Cristina Llanos tapped into their experience as parents, trying to envisage a product they would personally pick up off the shelves for their child. They sought a contemporary design that was ‘“fun and had personality” and, most importantly, “made bath time more enjoyable”.
The studio was tasked with developing the whole product from scratch – its packaging, visual identity, name and product format. It was a project the studio was well equipped for, with its core approach being one of intensive research and strategy building. The studio was founded this year, when Vinícius and Cristina decided to join forces full-time after having worked casually together on freelance projects since 2018, while balancing their jobs at Wieden+Kennedy and Ana Couto. Now, the studio looks set to become a prominent force in São Paulo’s design scene.
When kickstarting the project, both Vinícius and Cristina knew they would need a name that was simple, effective and easy to remember. They landed on Ama, both for its abbreviation of Amazônia, the central ingredient of the product, and it’s meaning “love” in Portuguese – “the name captured the essence of the product and conveyed a positive message,” Vinícius says. For the shape of the bar, they explored shapes that would provide a “unique sensory experience” while using. They ended up with charming, cartoon-like renditions of animals, including monkeys, lions and hippos and flowers, in an array of soft yet bright colours of blue, green and orange, matching the box the individual bars are housed in.
For the product typeface, the studio also wanted to find something that captured the energy of the brand. And when they stumbled across Marielle Nils’ PicNic font they knew they had hit the sweet spot. Full of organic shapes and a certain “freshness”, Vinícius and Cristina were enamoured by how the wobbly, bubbly font could be interpreted as resembling shampoo foam, thus making it “a perfect visual metaphor”. The font made a strong impression, and the duo decided it would work well as the central compositional element.
Looking back at the project, Vinícius and Cristina are impressed by how well all of these stylistic elements “harmonise” to create an upbeat “visual rhythm”, one that captures the imagination and hearts and children and adults alike.
GalleryTempo Studio: Ama (Copyright © Tempo Studio, 2023)
Tempo Studio: Ama (Copyright © Tempo Studio, 2023)
About the Author
Olivia (she/her) joined the It’s Nice That team as an editorial assistant in November 2021 and soon became staff writer. A graduate of the University of Edinburgh with a degree in English literature and history, she’s particularly interested in photography, publications and type design.