Derek&Eric has partnered with Kuba & Friends to rebrand pet supplement company Pet Lab Co incorporating a wordmark that adapts with photography and “playful” continuous line drawings.
Chris Masanto started Pet Lab Co after losing his dog Krystal, who suffered a lot of arthritic pain in the last years of her life.
He thought about what he could have done more to support her health and founded Pet Lab Co to help other pet owners. The e-commerce company is owned by pet owners and uses science-backed nutrition research to provide supplements for pets.
While Pet Lab Co’s previous branding “felt quality” says Derek&Eric creative partner Adam Swan, it was “passive, too serious, and lacked emotional warmth”. It didn’t resonate with Masanto’s story or “speak to the way people love their pets”, he adds.
The studios developed a new brand idea – Actively Loved – alongside design strategist Silas Amos. Swan believes this helped to “unlock a visual language with warmth, playfulness and connection at its heart”.
Derek&Eric also had to consider the purpose of the brand – keeping pets healthy and preventing health issues – so opted to use a “efficacious and serious” serif typeface for the wordmark, says Swan. Italics were included to help give “a sense of progression and momentum”, he adds.
At times, the words overlap in the logo or look as if they’re being squeezed together. This seeks to convey the closeness between pet and owner and the feeling you get “when you give your dog a cuddle”, according to Swan.
The same typography has been used for phrases that interact with the dogs in Pet Lab Co’s photography. Swan describes how the text moves and jumps with the outlines of the pets’ features and is “always full of life, never static”.
Though “an online brand has different challenges and different opportunities”, Swan says the logo variation “is something you might not get away with in store but is possible with a digitally native brand”. The fact that it “primarily lives on social media” presented more opportunities to create a “dynamic, playful and lively” brand, comparable to the characteristics of pets.
Pet Lab Co also has physical products, which need to fit into people’s homes. “This gave us an opportunity to think differently about the design touches, from ordering online to receiving the D2C (direct to consumer) box”, Swan explains.
Derek&Eric worked with illustrator Andrew Strugallo who was tasked with continuing the playful vision for the brand. The illustrations are intended to be “ambiguous enough for people to relate to their own pooches”, says Swan.
Strugallo’s line drawings appear mainly on packaging, with a small illustration of Krystal popping up in “unexpected places”, he adds, giving Pet Lab Co a personal touch.
The brand’s previously “washed out” colour palette has been reinvigorated with a more “vivid” and screen-friendly blue, says Swan, “reflecting the joy of life dogs can bring”.