Zoe Organics

Brand Identity / Graphic Design / UI/UX Design / Packaging

Full brand refresh for an organic skincare company, ensuring visual integrity across multiple platforms.

Zoe Organics
April 22, 2016
my Role
Creative Director, Visual Designer
The background

Zoe Organics is a small retail company that creates organic skincare products for pregnancy, babies and the whole family using ingredients that are gentle and free of toxins. My relationship with the company began in 2009 when they were one of my freelance clients: I was brought on initially to develop the new company's brand identity. A few years later I was offered the role of in-house Creative Director, and since I had been a huge fan of the brand's mission and values from the very beginning, I was thrilled to jump at the opportunity. From my previous experience working closely with the founder, I had intimate knowledge of the goals the company was striving to reach in terms of brand perception and positioning.

The challenge

Zoe Organics originally sold their products at local farmers' markets in central California where the company was founded. After a few years of growth, the brand had blossomed beyond its original niche personality, and it was time for a full refresh. The challenge was to give the brand a more grown-up feel, with the sophistication befitting a retail brand in the organic beauty market, but without alienating its existing customer base.

The process

After many discussions with the founder regarding how the brand should ideally be perceived by existing and new customers, together we shaped the new brand personality, and I worked at distilling those abstract ideals into tangible design elements such as colors and patterns, fonts, the feel of the product packaging, and the logo. From there, I was able to build more complex brand elements into the visual brand library, for example giving each product its own color and pattern, and starting to work on how the new website might look and function.

I also relied on feedback from customers and retail partners as valuable sources of data as I led the redesign process. I created a survey to gauge how different groups of people perceived the brand at that point, and how they might envision the direction of its growth, using personality traits as key words to describe the brand.

I chose a color and unique pattern for each of the products, about 15 at that time, and I based the color choices on my the personality of each product – the baby products were much more calm and soothing, for example, than products for the rest of the family. When the whole collection of products came together it had to work as a whole, as well as individually.

I came up with the idea of wrapping the full logo around the sides of the product packaging as a way to display the logo in its entirety, but also because each panel of the box shows a different portion of the logo, and I thought it would be a fun journey for the customer to be able to pick up the product on the shelf and explore it that way. Showing the outline of the glass container within the box is another signature Zoe Organics product design.

An important part of the customer journey is the experience of opening the product packaging, with the luxurious feel of the creamy, 100% recycled paper, and discovering the unexpected pattern printed on the inside of the box.

I redesigned the website from the ground up, approaching the redesign with the knowledge that the current website was functioning fine as an e-commerce site, but that there were many areas in which the user experience could be improved—in content, user interface and flow, as well as establishing the new branding.

I went through an informal process of design research, content audit, competitive analysis, customer personas, wireframing and iteration, in order to design and deliver a whole new experience for the end user. Through this process I also gained a working knowledge of HTML, and the Liquid programming language to set up the site on Shopify. Since its launch, the redesigned website helped increase sales by 30% in the first year, along with elevating the brand perception and helping to establish the brand as an authority in its space.

Social media was an important tool in cultivating a community of loyal and enthusiastic customers, leading to organic growth of the audience and customer base. As the creative director, I oversaw important campaigns and spearheaded the curation of images put out across the brand’s social media platforms.

Creating the brand guidelines were a valuable asset to organize and present the brand elements, from visual language to tone of voice, and help ensure that freelancers and other designers carried on the creative vision for the brand.

One of the core values of the brand is sustainability, so I created a custom-printed cosmetic bag that holds three travel-sized baby products. I used the colors of the products to create a unique printed design for the bag, uniting the three products in a cohesive visual package.

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As part of the brand refresh, I oversaw both lifestyle and product photo shoots, knowing that photography is crucial to the emotional connection of the brand. The photo library we built was a crucial tool in the brand toolbox, as well as the look and tactile feel of the packaging and the products themselves.

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As the product lifecycle is still ongoing, we haven't yet reached the stage of analyzing sales and customer feedback yet. Without these metrics in place, we can determine that there are still rounds of iteration coming in the near future, and this will help continue to strengthen the efficiency and user satisfaction of this product. As my largest and most complex UI/UX project yet, this has been a learning experience for me, but I'm proud of the work I've done and the value I've been able to add to this product.

Pam Golafshar's expertise has been critical to the successful development of our application. She understands complex processes and is able to map and design with an eye towards both aesthetics and function. She has listened attentively to our specific needs and her insights for design impact on end user experience as well as for creating ready-to-market features have been invaluable for our team. From UI/UX to marketing designs, Pam has provided us with premium service from start to finish.

– David R. Wilson, Ph.D., CEO