Ivy is a modest brand with a remarkable story: a line of hair care products, firmly rooted in the Netherlands, made with natural, locally sourced ingredients and based on the hands-on experience of stylists. After five years as a house brand, it was time for IVY to stand on it’s own feet.
We immersed ourselves in the world of beauty- and haircare products. Here we discovered that in a market where brands try to outdo each other with scientific claims and flashy campaigns, Ivy stands out through their modesty and matter-of-factness. Of course we source our ingredients from small, local entrepreneurs. Of course we work with a farm that offers opportunities to those with a complicated employment history. Of course our packaging is renewable. The sincerity and directness with which the people of Ivy talk about their work, inspired us to create an identity that revolves around two words: authentic beauty.
So what do the words ‘authentic’ and ‘beauty’ mean in a visual culture that increasingly revolves around photoshopped supermodels and carefully orchestrated instagram posts?
Together with photographer Kasmir Szekeres, we documented the people behind the brand in their personal, daily reality: the farmer at work in his linseed field, the stylist in a candid moment while waiting for a client. We examined the beauty of natural-looking hair without excessive studio lighting and hidden hair pins, and with a minimum of styling and make-up. The result is a visual language that bridges the gap between brand and consumer.
The same approachable quality resounds in the tone of voice of Ivy. We embraced the matter-of-factness and the down to earth company culture that makes Ivy into what it is: a clear and compact language that expresses true enthusiasm.
To bring everything together into a coherent whole, we developed a visual identity that is as distinctive as it is practical. The soft, powdery hues of the product packaging work equally well as a subtle background for photography and typography and it brings consistency to a variety of creative material. The Akkurat family of typefaces supports the brand’s tone of voice, and delivers a fresh and pragmatic take on typography in the best tradition of Dutch graphic design. We combined everything in a carefully crafted Brand Book, which makes the brand values of Ivy tangible, expresses the confidence of their corporate culture, and provides practical guidance in the application of their visual identity.
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