Design Process: Visual Identity for Friendly Cosmetics

I created Friendly because I’m fascinated about vegan cosmetics. I think they deserve to shine because they have the guts to deny the cheapest, cruel and unhealthy solutions used in this industry. They prove us that we can go further to a better and sustainable world, without animal tests, pollutants, and cancerous products.
Analyzing this market, we found famous companies introducing themselves as friendly, young, playful, funny and joyful. Everybody enjoys this atmosphere, where your dreams come true and you can be whoever you want to be.
In the other hand, the vegan cosmetics companies usually don’t have the same glitter. Their packagings look like medicine or cheap supermarket products. They are not cool, young, festive, funny. They don’t have the sparkle people are looking for in the makeup world.
I decided to create a fictitious company based on the ones I know but with a stunning visual identity and marketing position. Let’s follow the creation process?

1- Market Research

I spent a week looking for what another vegan cosmetics companies are doing. I also interact with some of them, as a client, to see their approach. Others, I’ve already bought some product or had a conversation. I also study the nonvegan companies and wrote a list of the best things they are doing that the sustainable business aren’t. I observe the visual identity details of each one, to see how they treat every packaging, every website banner and social media campaign.
Next, I organize my ideas in 3 different ways:
  • Brainstorm: I listed the characteristics I want to transmit with my brand to understand the concept, symbolism, goals, personality, etc.
  • Moodboard: I put together the images that translate the concepts I found on the brainstorm.
  • Target audience board: I selected the best images to represent the Friendly consumers.




2- The Briefing

Then, I answered the briefing, based on the market research. I defined my goals with this project and everything I needed to create.
I found that vegans, organic buyers, and eco-friendly consumers are very close to each other and sometimes they can be all-in-one. They like to be in touch, exchanging experiences and asking questions. They are very engaged to build a better world, to be healthier or to protect animals. I want Friendly to build a strong community where the consumers can ask questions and be part of the brand experience.

3- Naming and Slogan

After all this analysis, the name “Friendly” came up very naturally. Before I decided, I googled the name to check if it was available.
The slogan also came naturally, as a pun on the name.
“Cosmetics to make it up”
When we talk about friendship, we talk a lot about make it up when something goes wrong. The brand proposes the consumers to make it up with the animals, the environment, and their own health – using the Friendly makeups.

4- Visual Identity

  • The Style
With a name in mind, it’s much easier to think about the symbol because it carries value and transmits a message. I was closer to a conceptual image that would represent the business.
In the mood board, I identified that friendly is all about organic, simple life, fun, joy and youth. The brand must transmit simplicity, fun, and a handmade touch. So I opted to follow a vernacular style.
  • Restrictions
I need to create two signs for the visual identity. One is the typography, the other is the symbol. Sometimes, a brand just needs a typography and it’s good to go. Other times, depending on the applications, it’s important to have a symbol to help to transmit the brand values to the audience.
I wrote a list of all kinds of packaging Friendly would have, from a lipstick top to a shampoo pouch. The lipstick, for example, would have the symbol on the top and the typography on the base. Other applications would normally use the full logo. I also needed to design two logo versions, one for horizontal areas and another for vertical areas.
  • Logotype
With the research information, briefing and image boards, it was simple to create the logotype. The image was already in my mind. I just created it in an aesthetic visual way.


  • Symbol
For the symbol, it was way more challenging. When we think about friendship, there are a lot of symbols that comes to our minds. Specially from our teenage years.
I took a piece of paper and started to draw whatever comes to my mind from these – not so distant – years of my life. At the same time, I searched for another references related to this world that I didn’t have.
But, talking about friendship is not enough to define a vegan and eco-friendly cosmetics company. Yes, it’s friendly, but it’s also ECO-friendly! So I sketched every reference I have or found in google about eco, nature and organic. They are very obvious: leaves, recycling symbol, wood texture, plants, flowers, green heart.
I dig deeper, looking for symbolism that could represent everything together. I look into rudimental pieces, African drawings, minimalist symbols, friendly and funny approaches.
Then, it got me. The hippies! They are all about friendship, nature, peace and love. That’s it, a simple and easy to remember the solution. A peace and love symbol, but instead of a circle, a leaf. It’s friendly, unisex, global, funny and very easy to remember.
  • The color palette
Make-ups are all about colors and glitter, so I chose the most joyful and fashionable ones for the visual identity AND for the products’ colors. This way, the consumers are not just using a product from Friendly, they are also wearing the brand colors! For the first collection, this approach is very significant to consolidate the visual identity.
  • The typography


The brand font family should be minimalist, to not contrast with the logo. I chose a sanf serif and rounded font.



  • The pattern
For packaging design and promotional campaign, I would need a pattern to build a more solid visual identity. The symbol was perfect to create an attractive pattern. It should follow the rule to a minimalist visual identity, which uses less ink to print.
On the next post, I will talk about sustainable packaging, explaining the creation process of Friendly packaging.

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