We don’t tend to think of chewing gum as coming under the bracket of single-use plastic, but according to startup brand Nuud, millions of tons of polymer are contained in conventional, synthetic chewing gums. In response to this, Nuud’s mission is to make chewing traditional gum as unacceptable as using plastic straws, and to offer a natural, sustainable alternative.
“Most people don’t know that regular chewing gum is made of single-use plastic and isn’t compostable,” says Keir Carnie, founder of Nuud. “UK councils spend around £60 million a year cleaning up gum from our streets. We want to tackle this and effect a wholescale change in behaviour when it comes to chewing gum. Made from the sustainably harvested tree sap chicle, Nuud gum decomposes as quickly as a banana skin – we want to bring this biodegradable choice to a mass audience.”
The brand identity for Nuud is created by Mother Design and Broody London – Mother’s incubator arm, which works with entrepreneurs to help them launch or accelerate their brands and businesses, giving them access to creative and strategic expertise.
Despite the serious eco message containing in the brand, the design takes a fun rather than earnest approach to spreading the word about its sustainability, while making sure its difference in the sector is still clearly articulated.
The key elements of the identity include a logo inspired by a clean, happy mouth. It is complemented by a friendly and playful mascot named Charlie, designed by South Korean illustrator Daye Kim, which intends to lend the brand a strong, approachable personality.
“With the inherent brand message and mission of changing chewing gum behaviour, it was important that the brand didn’t come across as militant or patronising,” explains Thomas Humeau, design director at Mother Design. “Nuud is tackling a serious issue but doesn’t want to come across as too worthy. Inspired by other food categories that often make use of a mascot, we introduced Charlie to help the brand communicate its passion and inform users with levity.”
The logo and mascot, which also exist as animations, are intended to be used across advertising, social media and on merchandise. The colours used by Nuud include blue and green – already familiar in the gum category – but its palette also includes a neutral grey as a platform for more campaigning or informative communications.
“The visual identity perfectly expresses the brand’s personality and message – it has helped make the product universally appealing and accessible,” says Carnie. “Best of all, it makes our product stand out … we have just agreed a 200-store listing with Waitrose, which would not have been possible without the branding work by Mother Design.”