MEET THE DESIGNERS: NR2154 & THE QUEST FOR THE PERFECT YELLOW
All visual aspects of the NUORI brand have been developed in close collaboration with one creative partner: NR2154. A multidisciplinary creative agency with studios in New York and Copenhagen, NR2154 works with an impressive roster of international clients, ranging from ambitious start-ups to global luxury brands.
We sat down in New York with Executive Creative Director Jacob Wildschiødtz and Senior Art Director Julie Lysbo to hear their take on the creative process in general, and the unique NUORI Yellow in particular.
What's the story behind the NUORI Yellow—why did you consider hues of yellow over other colors? What does yellow mean to you and how does it reflect NUORI's story? Can colours be timeless in skincare?
NUORI is all about freshness – in every sense of the word. Each product is freshly blended in small batches and meticulously designed and packaged to deliver pure products at peak efficacy. The ingredients are all completely clean and natural, free of synthetic preservatives and additives. Everything NUORI does is geared toward maximizing freshness, naturally, so the skin can fully benefit from the best ingredients when they are most potent.
When we designed the packaging and the brand, NUORI’s fight for fresh was a completely innovative idea within the beauty industry. Because we were presenting something so new and so unique, we wanted to ensure the products would stand out among other existing beauty lines. It was also very important that the packaging and branding communicated the message of “freshness, purity & efficacy” which are NUORI’s USPs. So any colors we selected needed to reflect that.
To find the right colors, we spent a lot of time on visually research. We looked to nature, fashion, art history, Nordic culture, and to the beauty industry itself, seeking a unique expression of freshness and purity in the world.
We selected white as an elevated, neutral, and pure base color for the brand. It also clearly signals the fact that NUORI’s products are extremely pure, and all-natural with no synthetic additives. Then, inspired by early morning light, new beginnings, the brightness of a fresh lemon, and the coolness of fresh water, we developed our proprietary yellow. When you add a little bit of blue to a bright yellow, it becomes slightly more Scandinavian, and to us that clean and cooled down yellow hue is our unique color of “fresh.”
The way we apply the color on NUORI packaging also symbolizes freshness. It creates a diagonal line, and the perforation along that angle peels open, like a fresh fruit, to reveal the product inside.
What do the NUORI’s brand values mean to you as designers?
Transparency, fresh thinking, intelligence, and of course beauty, are all important values for the NUORI brand. The design is intended to communicate these values in many ways. For example, the primary packaging helps to keep the ingredients fresher for longer; the colors and materials reflect the product qualities of purity and efficacy; and the perforated box opening, stamped with “Today’s Fresh Batch N.XX,” creates a feeling of honesty, building trust with the customer.
How do you choose a color in other projects, and what does the process look like? Where do you look for inspiration? What are the challenges in the design of a specific brand color?
Like in the case of NUORI, our choice of color starts through visual and historical research. We like to understand the ecosystem of the brand first – in this case, not just the beauty industry, but the other worlds that help to build the personality of the brand to tell a story. We find inspiration in the world around us. We believe inspiration can be found everywhere, especially within visual culture. We look to art, design, music, film, literature, fashion, history, and beyond. We adjust our sources and reflections based on the individual needs of the design project at hand.
The biggest challenges in designing a specific brand color are uniqueness and storytelling. It’s important for the color to be unique, especially within the industry category, so that the brand can own its color and be recognized easily by it. It’s also very important for the color to tell a story that aligns with the brand, since it is one of the primary codes that communicate a brand’s message.
How do you build a sustainable bridge between trends and long-lasting design?
The magic key is to create a balance between timelessness and uniqueness.
Who are your design heroes and your role models?
Too many to mention!
What is great design for you personally?
J&J: Great design goes beyond an instant impression of beauty. Of course it needs to look attractive, but it also needs to have depth and strategic thinking to back it up. A brand or a product is not merely what meets the eye. Instead, it’s an expression of a deeper and more complex and interesting story that can be told in order to connect emotionally with consumers. Also, great design serves a purpose. Its function is to tell a brand’s story in a compelling and unique way.
What does your workspace look like?
Here in New York our study is deeply rooted in the worlds of fashion, luxury, and lifestyle, and our studio has extensive experience in elevating brands through design, collaboration, and storytelling. We have a clear, distinct voice that creates compelling brand stories for our clients across a variety of platforms and expressions. We are a multidisciplinary team of 22 people, including art directors, designers, producers, strategists, and writers. Our studio is based in Tribeca in lower Manhattan. We have one big open and minimal work space that we share, plus a collaborative space dedicated to workshops, meetings, and presentations. The studio is on the second floor of a corner building with large windows wrapping all around, inviting in ample daylight to fuel our creative thoughts and collaborations.