New York-based studio Smakk has designed the identity for new pet skincare brand Floof, taking cues from skincare and wellness lines for people to appeal to the new era of “sophisticated pet parents”.
Floof founder Michael Kim approached Smakk for its experience working in the skincare category, according to Smakk founder Katie Klencheski. She says that Kim wanted to shift the conversation around pet grooming products, making it more about “skincare and wellness” than just making animals look and smell nice.
Klencheski knows from personal experience that skin issues can be more common in older dogs or in certain breads. Her King Charles Cavalier Spaniel would sometimes get eye infections due to dry skin or PH imbalances as well as sore paws from nervous licking.
“When you’re grooming them, you’re also caring for them and treating things that could become chronic and painful conditions,” says Klencheski.
When the project started two years ago, it was revealed that around 3.2 million homes in the UK and 23 million homes in the USA acquired a pet during the pandemic. Smakk carried out research into the type of pet owners that exist nowadays and came up with a target audience: “the evolved pet parent”.
Klencheski says the studio wanted the identity system to be more “credible”, skincare-orientated and focused on “pet wellness”. Floof’s messaging reveals what the product ingredients and highlights their benefits, similar to products you would find “in the beauty isle”, she adds.
Since the brand name is already “playful”, Klencheski says Smakk didn’t want to go for something “super stylised” for the logo and take away from the credibility of the brand. The more abstract headline typeface – intended to be more “elevated and sophisticated” in tone –draws a connection to high-end skincare, she adds.
Floof’s neutral colour palette was also chosen to align it with trends in human skincare and wellness.
When launched, Floof’s product page on the website will present information about ingredients and science benefits. In a bid to “bring in a human element” and make it more “approachable”, Smakk created “gestural” illustrative marks that provide a backdrop and sit around the information.
The marks will also feature in a “super graphic” style on the bottle, says Klencheski, adding a “textural” element to the packaging.
Brand photography was art directed by studio design director Gabriella Searles. Klencheski says it aims to show products in use in real life scenarios, represent dogs of all sizes, and convey grooming as a way to “strengthen your bond” with a pet.
Smakk director Danielle Dutile created the portrait illustrations of people and their dogs for the brand. While they are intended to be used sparingly to complement the photography, they add more “flourishes of humanity”, according to Klencheski.
Smakk is also responsible for Floof’s web design and development. Since Floof is a direct-to-consumer brand, Klencheski says Smakk built a “strong ecommerce funnel” into the website, as well as thinking about “brand storytelling in connection with the audience profile” and helping people understand the need for the products by highlighting “unique product benefits”.
She adds that the studio also helped to develop the packaging for Floof, opting for aluminium bottles and a reusable pumping mechanism.
Though the brand has already launched on social media, Floof is due to launch in full capacity next week with its ecommerce website and products.