Pearlfisher’s Cheeky branding

Design agency Pearlfisher has created the identity for Cheeky, a new brand owned by cosmetics label Cowshed aimed at 18-30-year-old women.

Design agency Pearlfisher has created the identity for Cheeky, a new brand owned by cosmetics label Cowshed aimed at 18-30-year-old women.

Cheeky is the second new brand launched by Cowshed this year – a male grooming range, Neville, was announced in September.

While Cowshed has an upmarket feel, Cheeky has a vibrant look and a more playful tone. It’s aimed at young women ‘who want to have fun looking great,’ and packaging features illustrations of animals, buttons and chess pieces instead of Cowshed’s botanical graphics.

As design director Poppy Stedman explains, Pearlfisher was asked to capture the light hearted tone of Cowshed (the brand often uses puns referencing its origins in a cow shed in Somerset, and has a male range called Bullocks) and translate it for a younger audience.

“Cowshed has existed in its own gloriously indulgent bubble for 15 years now, and its distinctive attitude and style is much loved by its loyal consumers,” says design director Poppy Stedman. “In order to build Cheeky for this new, younger audience, we had to understand the key family traits that would be carried through in the younger sister’s personality – for example humour, sociability and indulgence. The result is an aesthetic and tone that references the original Cowshed whilst allowing Cheeky to speak in its own fresh voice,” she adds.

Packaging for Cheeky uses the same typeface and black and white colour scheme as Cowshed (below), coupled with brightly coloured graphics and ‘cheeky’ product names: ‘dare to bare body balm’ features an image of a bear, shower mousse features a moose and lip balm packaging uses speech bubble illustrations.

“The opportunity for Cheeky was to create a world of playful indulgence that projects attitude and spark,” adds Stedman. The typeface and black and white are designed to create “a subliminal link back to the Cowshed brand,” she adds, while bold shades are designed to stand out and reflect Cheeky’s more mischevious image.

Pearlfisher’s identity has also been applied to the Cheeky website and Shoreditch beauty parlour, which features a ‘selfie station’ photobooth and treatments such as a Cheeky Blow.

With its double entendres and playful puns, Cheeky’s products tap into a tone of voice that has worked incredibly well for brands such as San Francisco’s Benefit Cosmetics and Boots’ Soap & Glory range, but has eschewed the retro inspired packaging used by both in favour of flat graphics.

It may not appeal to everyone (such as the older end of Cheeky’s target age range) but it helps distance the brand from Cowshed, conveying a younger image while retaining subtle links to its sister company. The design works well on the brand’s website, which includes vibrant product shots and a rolling feed of all things Cheeky.

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