Design studio LDS has collaborated with plant sciences brand Sowvital to create its new identity. Founded in London in 2022, Sowvital is a plant care brand offering vegan and environmentally friendly products.
To create the branding, the team drew heavily on the cosmetics industry as a source of design inspiration, taking cues for everything from its product shape and packaging to its colour palette and product photography. LDS founder Leslie David says that the branding and packaging are based on the idea of “mirroring the rituals and behaviours from the beauty and wellness space”.
Although Sowvital’s current core offerings are indoor and lifestyle-oriented, its plans to expand to more outdoor, technical products in the future meant that the LDS team developed a versatile and adaptable identity – one rooted in the duality of “heritage and innovation”.
Much like other aspects of the branding, the Sowvital logo references forms found in nature, but offers a modern twist. “We developed a brand symbol that reinterprets early botanical drawings, often cross-sections, showing the innards of a leaf in a very schematic way,” explains David. It was about “taking inspiration from a broad archive of horticultural art, bringing the core foundations of the botanical world into the present day, and creating a contemporary interpretation of the science that backs up the formulations that Sowvital creates”.
Despite the academic nature of the inspiration, these visual elements feel far from rigid and formulaic. The abstract, artistic rendering of the logo combines with other playful illustrations found elsewhere across the brand, including anthropomorphic drawings of plants that add a joyful and friendly touch to Sowvital’s communications.
Speaking on the former, David says “these mysterious shapes came together quite fast, likened to a Rorschach test, and highlight the ambiguity of flowers, and forms found within nature as a whole”. She goes on: “It’s our hope this reignites the innate awe and appreciation we all have for the natural world, which urban living doesn’t always allow us to feel so connected to.”
These evocative and eye-catching illustrations are complemented by a minimal colour palette that juxtaposes off-white labels and packaging with punchier gradients, again referencing the cosmetic industry in its slickness, but offsetting that against earthier elements that speak to Sowvital’s ethos.
As a B Corp, creating a sustainability-focused identity was a crucial part of the process, and David says this commitment informed her studio’s approach. “They take great care not only in the processes used in their formulations but also in their packaging and fulfilment. By focusing on recyclable, carbon-neutral materials, the packaging aims to maintain its elegance and quality to reflect the product within, while still being considerate of the world it occupies.”