Case Study: Serene. Brand Identity Design for a Lifestyle Brand.
Updated: Aug 19
Serene is a lifestyle brand inspiring mindful living for the mind, body and home.
I had so much fun working on this project and I fell in love with the client's intentional jewellery and everyday calming essentials for mindful living and giving.
The initial briefing
I always start out the design process with a conversation with my client where I ask various questions about their business, the target audience, competitors, personality of brand, goals and inspiration.
The client had a very clear vision for her brand starting with the name Serene. She knew she wanted some type of wordmark that could be carried across various collateral material.
The word Serene conjures up associations of calm, peacefulness, tranquillity and free from worry.
The client´s inspiration comes from Wabi-Sabi. Wabi-Sabi is a Japanese term that merges two concepts that work both as an aesthetic and a philosophy. Wabi on its own refers to a sense of rustic elegance, natural simplicity, humility and being at one with nature. Sabi, on the other hand, is an ode to imperfection, seeing beauty in things that comes with age - flaws and all.
In a time that seems to be moving faster than ever before we are seeing a stronger desire for a slow life filled with more meaningful things. Serene caters to individuals who aspire to have a more authentic way of life. It’s about living in the now, connecting to nature and enjoying the simple pleasures of life.
Isabella is a 40-year-old professional working mum who is juggling a hectic work and family life. Striving to perform and chase perfection, the pressures of modern day living are starting to take its toll. She wants to step back from her hectic pace of life and find more meaningful connections with objects and nature, keep balance and to be gentler on herself.
The following three concepts with moodboards were presented.
Why should a wordmark be perfect? This concept explores the Japanese aesthetics of Wabi-Sabi. Authenticity is a big part of Wabi-Sabi, so cracks and imperfections are valued for symbolising the passage of time and loving use.
Here I created a chipped wordmark using earthy hues and rough textures.
A great example of Wabi-Sabi in creativity is the art of Kintsugi, the practice of fixing broken ceramics with gold, silver or platinum dusted lacquer to create irregular patterns. Kintsugi celebrates the damage and beauty of its age rather than hiding it.
Here I created a wordmark with a subtle reference to the art of Kintsugi. Introducing earthy hues, stone/wood textures and charming worn-out paint.
As the name Serene is very succinct I wanted to strip it back to its barest essence.
Here I wanted the wordmark to be simple and modest. A clean and simple sans-serif typeface with airy breathing space between the letters.
After presenting the concepts the client initially opted for concept 1 but kept being drawn back to the simplicity of concept 3.
Good readability was also a decision factor when considering the scope of the wordmark usage especially with the potential application of the wordmark onto small metal tags.
Visually it's an understated approach with no fuss but leaves room for personality to come through through its use and tone of lifestyle imagery - enjoying simple moments, nature images and natural textures. It’s about simplicity and all things natural.