We were following Sunday Suppers and the work by Karen Mordechai ever since we started the studio. Karen caught us by surprise when she reached out through email to inform us about her upcoming project, ILĀ. Karen’s cookbook had been so well received, so it made perfect sense to us when she decided to create her own line of essential ingredients. After some brief introductions, Karen got us up to speed with the exciting progress that had already been made for the project.

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Packaging design process: numerous ideations were sketched, printed on adhesive paper and mocked up on containers.

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After the design was confirmed, one of the critical last steps was to proofread all copy and graphics.

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Near the final stage of the design process, we worked with Tim Chapman of Press NY to ensure our design and vision were translated into print.

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To allow customers to dispense the vanilla extract precisely, we used an uncommon dropper bottle.

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The uppercase O in white was used for the Olive Oil clear bottle design. Paired with a black Maple Syrup bottle in vertical text treatment, the black and white approach derived from the dualism concept was achieved.

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The white collection includes sea salt, olive oil and 3 garnishing salts. The same label design system was applied except for the change in paper colour.

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The black collection includes maple syrup, olive oil, wildflower honey, 9 spices and vanilla extract. It was important that the labels’ design system could stay consistent despite the wide variation of sizes.

Discovery & Design
Once we got on board the project, we quickly worked through the discovery process to identify the brand direction for ILĀ. Karen informed us of the meaning behind the name with its Sanskrit origins. The original Hindu mythology describes a dualism in gender for the character of Ila. Karen and our team used this as inspiration for the white and black collections of ILĀ. It was also important for us to establish the look and feel of the brand early on to craft the vision Karen had already begun.

Going into the design process, we wanted to focus primarily on the word: essential. We looked to draw inspiration from the nature and story of Karen’s ingredients—being sourced from the best places around the world. The purity of the ingredients stood out to us, and we wanted to achieve a packaging design that stayed true to that aspect. The final packaging labels uses Neenah Plike paper in white and black with copper foiling. When applied to the gloss surfaced containers, the Plike stock creates a nice contrast with its smooth matte finish.

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ILĀ’s e-commerce website continued the white and black concept. We believed that photographs were the best medium to evoke the ILĀ brand. On the homepage, we provided plenty of photo area to showcase any featured products, ingredients and lifestyle images.

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ILĀ collection lookbook cover and business card design in copper foil.

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ILĀ thank you card and information card design.

Website & Marketing Material
Karen provided us with beautiful imagery which was what inspired the website design to be driven by photography. The large spanning images take up the screen without much text to distract the view. We also pulled the black and white contrasting visuals from the branding to be used throughout the website. On printed materials we continued to use the copper foil finish for ILĀ’s lookbook cover, business cards and brand cards.

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Sector
  • Identity
  • Packaging
  • Location
    New York, USA

    Credit
    Kæla Brinkman Rawson, first olive oil photograph
    Karen Mordechai, food photograph