Decade’s Thoughtful Identity For Soft Services
by Chloe Gordon on 11/29/2021 | 3 Minute Read
There are countless products in the skincare industry, so creating a brand with packaging that stands out is not a simple task. Soft Services is a line that worked with the New York-based agency Decade to create a packaging system that would effectively stand out.
Instead of using one color palette across the brand, each product is designed to be its own variable, so its character can shine through. The result is a line that feels unique; each product taking the stage in its own way is extraordinarily refreshing and, not to mention, remarkably brave of the brand.
Soft Services create skincare products for specific body problems; considering themselves to be a collection of solutions more than a brand that simply makes ‘things.’ Embracing this ethos for their branding, New York-based agency Decade chose to represent each of Soft Services’ products with their own tailored visual world; resulting in a multi-faced identity that never runs out of ideas.
From the Buffing Bar’s embossed illustration to the Clearing Clay’s brutalist monogram, Decade’s work thrives in its unpredictability – yet manages to feel neat and cohesive through the consistent implementation of its supporting typography and colour palette.
“The type system is super flexible and minimal,” Decade explain, with the only rule being that the core brand has to use Bell and GT Eesti in their Regular weights. “Bell is old fashioned but almost generic at this point,” Decade tell us, adding that “it’s really beautiful but we feel like most designers don’t think of it that way.” Eesti, on the other hand, was chosen for its clean and contemporary construction, and is tracked widely to add a touch of fashion and luxury to the identity. “Working with fonts like this makes it easy to play and riff,” they explain, “the variables are pretty tight, and then size, layout and hierarchy can be really loose.
In contrast to the concise typographic options, Soft Services’ colour palette is designed to be variable, and therefore, add to the unique character of each product. From a core set of neutrals to pops of pastel and primary, the colour choices were often informed by the brand’s forward-thinking approach to sustainable materials. “Colour matching between packaging components can be really tricky (for example, trying to get the same Pantone shades on a bottle as its top),” Decade explain, “and can lead to wasteful practice.” To counter that, each piece of packaging has a different shade, and isn’t meant to 100% match; adding a further layer of individuality to Soft Services’ already vibrant collection of ‘mini-brands.’
- Branding: Decade