Method has created a new website and customer magazine for cosmetics brand Lush, with a surprisingly minimal design…
Founded in the UK in 1994, Lush now has stores in more than 50 countries and sells environmentally friendly products made using natural ingredients.
The brand’s new website features the same black-and-white scheme used on its packaging and in-store visuals, but its distinctive script font has been replaced with Helvetica. There is a greater focus on editorial content and the homepage now includes articles on fair trade, an organisation in Colombia that supplies its cocoa beans and the use of music in Lush spas.
The new website
Lush’s customer magazine The Lush Times has been given a similar makeover and the script font, scrapbook style visuals and colourful icons have been replaced with more Helvetica and full bleed photography.
The new Lush Times
David Eveleigh-Evans, managing director at Method’s London office, says the new look is designed to simplify Lush’s visual language and focus on the stories behind its products, such as how ingredients are sourced.
“People who know Lush know it’s an ethical business, but we needed to communicate that to a wider audience and the people who might see it as just a nice smelling soap shop,” he says.
The agency has been working on the project for around a year, after Lush asked for help launching a YouTube channel. “We soon realised that it was going to be a much bigger project – clarifying what the brand is, who they are and what they are about,” adds Eveleigh-Evans.
As well as placing more emphasis on articles, social feeds and customer reviews, the new site replaces shots of packaging with images of products. Product pages also provide full ingredients lists, which link to pages explaining the benefits of those ingredients and a list of other Lush products which contain them.
Eveleigh-Evans says this is designed to highlight the fact that those who shop with Lush know exactly what they are buying, and that most of its products are unisex. It also aims to capture the sensory experience of being in Lush stores, he says, where customers are invited to sample items before buying.
Another new feature is The Kitchen, which will list a new set of products each day, made in limited runs and sold exclusively online. “This came about in the prototype. We thought it was a good way to showcase Lush’s USP; that it owns its supply chain and can create fresh products at speed,” adds Eveleigh-Evans.
In its copywriting and in-store visuals, Lush has always exercised a strong tone of voice with a friendly, light-hearted style. Product names include Happy Hippy and Tisty Tosty and descriptions often feature puns or jokes. This was evident in the brand’s packaging too, and in the colourful imagery and illustrations used in its previous magazines and the old website.
This strong personality may seem absent in the new design but Eveleigh-Evans says the aim was to give Lush a “blank canvas” which they can add to and customise. More creative will be added over the next few months, he says, and Dalton Maag is designing a digital version of the script font for use on the site.
“Lush has a strong tone of voice but there were a lot of different styles and voices on the site. We wanted to pare it back and give them a canvas on which to grow. The core brand language is still very present, but it’s a little more neutral and still gives Lush flexibility to update it and experiment,” he explains.
At the moment, Lush’s minimal new site seems a little at odds with its in-store visuals but it will be interesting to see how this develops over time. The new site presents a better user experience and, coupled with the magazine, a sleeker image, but it does feel as if some of the brand’s personality has been lost. The new design also feels a little like other beauty sites, which Lush has traditionally been keen to distance itself from.
It does, however, provide a better platform on which to showcase the interesting tales about Lush’s products and ethical initiatives, and is more in keeping with the minimal signage on its shop and spa fronts, which feature a black and white logo instead of the green and yellow one used on packaging: