• CategoryUX/UI, Branding, Print
  • RoleStudio designer at Scout
  • DateSeptember – December 2018

Blend Suncare

Blend is a mineral-based sunscreen brand created by Camille Martin, with a focus on environmental sustainability and inclusion of people with deeper skin tones. Camille came to Scout Studio - Northeastern University’s student-led design studio - wanting to develop a branding identity, packaging design, and marketing website for her brand.

The team consisted of myself and four other Northeastern students – Rheisen Dennis, developer; Gabi Homonoff, project lead, graphic designer, and illustrator; Natalya Jean, graphic designer; and Haley Stiel, graphic designer.

Building a brand

We had the daunting yet exciting opportunity to build the Blend brand from scratch. We started with market research and branding exercises to determine Blend’s place in the market, as well as the qualities of Blend as a brand. After two weeks of research and discovery, we produced a creative brief and user stories to outline the target audience and project goals, framing the scope of the project for the semester.

The first few weeks of the project focused on logo design and branding. After some exploring moodboards from the entire team, Haley, Natalya and Gabi created dozens of logo variations until the final logo was chosen – a reef-infused, serif 'B' at the beginning of the wordmark. Initial typefaces and a color palette were chosen by the client and the team after discussion of what best fit the brand.

blend brand questions

Brand identity exercises

Critiquing and discussing initial colour palettes

Primary and secondary brand identifiers

UX/UI Development

Rheisen and I initially focused on creating low-fidelity responsive wireframes. As the brand identity began to fall into place, I moved toward creating high-fidelity wireframes while Rheisen tackled the development. Gabi illustrated backgrounds and representative characters for the brand, then expanded on my wireframes to create a final version of the high-fidelity landing page. From there, I worked on creating secondary page designs for the website.

Landing page wireframe progression

Final wireframes

Packaging

Natalya and Haley created the packaging incorporating elements from the website design, unifying the two through gradient waveforms. The packaging is designed to showcase individual tints for each skin tone. Because Blend is not yet in production, Natalya and Haley created a design based on the estimate of packaging size, as well as a mock-up of the packaging in production.

Final packaging

Weekly sprint meetings

Reflection

Scout uses the Agile method approach to manage each project. While I was familiar with the concept of Agile, this was my first experience working within the Agile framework which eventually revealed a bit of a learning curve when simultaneously trying to balance my last semester of school. It taught me to iterate aggressively and quickly, and improved my collaboration skills in both giving and receiving feedback on a timely basis.

My biggest struggle throughout the project was maintaining a cohesive brand identity between two separate deliverables (packaging & website) while the brand itself is constantly evolving. The nature of our sprints encouraged us to constantly be trying different directions and it was easy to get disconnected. However it just meant that as a team we needed to make a continuous effort to ensure everyone was on the same page and reel ourselves back in.