Flint + Flint
Adam and Maxine Flint are the owners of a UK chain of cosmetic clinics called Skin Health Spa. Their years of experience in the industry led them to identify a gap in the market for premium British-made skin-care products aimed at both men and women, and so they decided to launch a range themselves. Naturally we were delighted when they asked us to help them bring their dream to market.
Our first task was to find a name for the product. After extensive research and user-testing we arrived at 'Flint plus Flint' — a name which immediately connects with Adam and Maxine and gives the product personality. It emphasises that the business is family-owned and is very 'British' in tone. It is neither feminine nor masculine and so has the potential to appeal to both sexes.
We then set to work defining a visual identity. For the logotype we designed a custom font inspired by Art Deco typography. The words 'Flint' and 'Flint' are connected by a graphic plus sign which, when used in isolation, acts as an instantly recognisable icon for the brand. Below the wordmark sits the brand proposition, 'the secret of skin health'. A vibrant accent colour palette combines with a dark grey ground to draw the eye and ensures that the brand is instantly differentiated from its pastel-shaded competitors. Each of the nine accent colours are associated with an individual product in the range.
Brand impact was essential, particularly in the packaging, as the Flints were relying largely on word-of-mouth marketing to sell their product. The big players in the field all try to keep packaging spend to a minimum, relying instead on TV commercials, press and outdoor advertising and big PR campaigns to create brand awareness. However this was not an option open to the Flints so we decided to spend much more than the industry average on the packaging, allowing the product to create real stand-out when sat alongside its competitors. All products in the range are packaged in dark grey tubes printed with a fluorescent cross. These are contained in a box printed in metallic ink on a dark grey board. A die-cut cross reveals the card inner sleeve which is printed in one of the nine accent colours.
Recognising that one of their most important shop windows is the web, the Flints were keen to ensure that their website achieved the same stand-out as their products in the physical stores. It was also essential that it would be easy for them to maintain and provide a simple purchasing process for their customers. With this in mind we recommended Shopify as a versatile and extendable ecommerce platform on which to build the site.
One of the biggest challenges we faced in designing the site was that we didn't have any photography of the product as we only received final packaging samples days before launch. Our solution was to build the products in a 3D modelling package. This gave us complete control over lightning and 'camera' angles and allowed us to produce a series of stunning shots whilst the product was still in development.
As well as showcasing the range the site also needed to convey the personality of the brand: we needed an engaging way of telling Adam and Maxine's remarkable story from their first meeting to launching the product. After discussing various approaches we settled on the idea of a 'comic strip' series of illustrations and brought in Manchester-based illustrator David Bailey and award-winning copywriter Jez Clarke to work with us to help develop the strip. The result is a tongue-in-cheek but largely factual re-telling of the Adam and Maxine story and it forms a key part of the site. David's unique illustrative style and Jez's humour work perfectly together and provide an edgy contrast to the stylish but serious aesthetic of the packaging design.
Adam and Maxine's decision to bring us on board when the idea was still in its infancy allowed us to deliver a cohesive online and offline strategy for the product launch. As the range develops and expands we're looking forward to helping nurture that growth as the brand evolves and matures.
View the Flint+Flint website.