Mexico-based studio Caracter has designed the branding for home accessories company Cala, which produces products such as vases, pots and ornaments.
Caracter chose the name Cala for the company, drawing inspiration from the paintings of artist Diego Rivera, which often featured Mexican artisans with calla lilies. ‘Kali’ also means ‘home’ in Nahuatl – the most spoken indigenous language in Mexico.
The consultancy has created a custom typeface for the project, Cala Display, which is used across the branding on touchpoints including the lookbook, social media and signage.
According to Caracter, the typeface design is “inspired by very raw strokes to evoke a natural, slightly native look with a modern touch”. It adds: “There is an obvious calligraphic trait to the design, which connects to the handmade origin behind the crafted pieces but the high-contrast speaks to a more fashionable audience.”
The stencil-like nature of the typeface enables it to be easily reproduced across store packaging materials such as boxes, as well as tags and signage. Certain segments from the typeface are extracted to create a pattern used across decorative materials, including gift wrap and shopping bags.
Cala’s strapline combines the phrases “made in Mexico” and “made by hand” to form “Hecho a mano mexicana”, which translates as “Crafted by Mexican hands.”
Across the art direction and product shoots, Caracter aimed to reference Mexican art by drawing inspiration from still-life paintings, incorporating materials such as wrinkled fabric, flowers and plants alongside the products in the compositions. These were then shot with what Caracter calls “dramatic lighting.”