Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Harlem Candle Co. Packaging Design

I have had the pleasure of working with Teri, founder of Harlem Candle Co. for about a year now.
She came to me for a logo upgrade and needing packaging and labels for her candle line.

Truth be told, I actually really liked her logo.
Usually when clients tell me that they need help with their logos, they do.
The story usually starts with

My Mom (or, best friend, 12 yr old nephew, boyfriend etc) got a copy of Photoshop and created this logo for me...

Coincidentally, Teri's logo story started the same way, however in this case, her Dad ;-)
1. Was smart enough to use Illustrator to create a vector based logo
2. Kept it simple and clean looking
3. Has talent!
I tweaked a few details, made some slight typography changes but by and large, the essence of what he had created stayed. I thought he had done a great job!

Teri had been using labels on her various candles before coming to me, however, this time, she wanted her new labels to really reflect where she was taking the line, with luxurious new fragrances and new glass vessels. She also felt that she was ready to take things to the next level in terms of her brand and wanted me to design some custom packaging for the line

We started by creating the labels for both beauty and utility ; a label for each fragrance in a rich saturated corresponding colour and a gold foil. Since custom boxes can get expensive and Teri was starting this venture with a small-ish print run, we opted on only one box design for all the different fragrances. I did this by creating an area on the front of the box that could accommodate the same label as the vessel, so every boxed candle would have a label on the front of the outside of the box and on the glass candle vessel. Since we could use the same label, it increased her label volume and thus, ended up bringing her (per piece) label price down, so it worked out perfectly. By only creating one box at this point, it also ruled out some of the pitfalls of printing lots of different custom boxes, like running out of some and having overstock on others. With this scenario, we only had to worry about labels. Plus, Teri could introduce new fragrances by only adding a new label to the existing box.

I stayed with the classic black and gold of the original Harlem Candle Co. aesthetic for the boxes and created an all over pattern using the H, accented by spot gloss on the H's. This gives the box some texture and although the H pattern is black on the black background, it stands out in a subtle way depending on how light catches the gloss and resembling custom wallpaper. On the inside of the box, Teri was granted permission by the family of the late artist Elmer Simms Campbell to use the amazing illustration of his Harlem Night Club Map.

In March, Teri presented her all-new line in her exquisitely designed booth at the Architectural Digest Design Show in NYC, it was a huge success!

We are working on her next new ideas together and I'll be sure to keep you in the loop.
You can enjoy these beautiful candles in your own home, (I have burned several and the fragrances are divine), definitely order a few for yourself or someone you really love!