Mother Design has created the protest sign-inspired identity for sustainable and plastic-free chewing gum Nuud.
The work has been done in collaboration with Mother’s entrepreneurial incubator Broody and includes packaging for the gum as well as a gender-neutral mascot called Charlie.
Nuud hopes to shift behaviour in the world of chewing gum, according to its founder Keir Carnie. “Most people don’t know that regular chewing gum is made of single-use plastic and isn’t compostable,” Carnie says. UK councils spend around £60 million cleaning up gum from the streets, he adds.
Nuud is made from harvested tree sap and decomposes as quickly as banana skin, according to Carnie. “We want to bring this biodegradable choice to a mass audience.”
“An interesting design challenge”
“How the brand had to highlight the problem and the solution in one was an interesting design challenge,” Mother Design executive creative director Kirsty Minns says.
The visual language borrows from the protest and revolution aesthetic, Minns explains, but combines it with a sense of fun. “We wanted something that had a stand-out quality but felt light-hearted,” she adds.
It was also a priority to resist any health and wellness branding cues, the designer says.
The wordmark is drawn in a bespoke typeface that takes the form of smile. In what Minns calls a “serendipitous moment”, the typeface also mimics the form of the chewing gum itself. “It does what it says on the tin,” she says.
The colour palette comprises three tones for each of Nuud’s flavours; blue for peppermint, green for spearmint and pink for berry. While it adheres to traditional gum colour associations, Minns says the team wanted to add “more vibrancy” to the tones.
“The finishes on the packaging and vibrancy of the colour tones we picked will stand out on the shelf in comparison with the competitors,” she says. All the packaging and finishes are biodegradable, Minns adds.
Mother Design commissioned South Korean illustrator Daye Kim to design the gender neutral mascot Charlie. This was about providing the brand with a strong tone of voice, according to Minns. “By giving the brand a mascot, it allowed it to have a voice,” she says.
Charlie will be a way for Nuud to talk about relevant topics, Minns explains, such as the environmental impact of gum that contains plastic.
Charlie can also be animated which be crucial for the brand’s future development, according to the designer. This might include editorial content such as thought pieces.
The tone of voice also ties in with the “fun and playful” spirit of the brand, Minns adds. Posters carry straplines like ‘Yuck!’ and ‘Sweet!’ and facts about chewing gum. “We didn’t ever want it to feel judgemental,” she says.
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