Sydney-based design studio Universal Favourite launched a new branding for US beauty brand Youthforia, whose mission is to make makeup more playful. To appeal to a Gen Z market bored by the minimal aesthetic approach adopted by most beauty brands, Universal Favourite created a maximalist identity. The result is purposefully messy, uncurated, raw.
A throwback to late-90s internet aesthetic
Drawing inspiration from 90s teen magazine mastheads, the “Y” mark not only feels accurately rebellious but also becomes a changing container (think classic MTV logo) that introduces the idea of mixing up your makeup based on your mood. Hand-in-hand with this idea is a suite of energetic shapes and stickers rolled out across all touchpoints (packaging, product, digital) that reflect the brand’s intention to let you flex your self-expression. Coupled with a cheeky tone of voice, the blend of verbal and visual identity encapsulates the carefree yet angsty attitude that comes with being a teen. “It’s fun, it’s fluid and exciting with a blast of bold colour and comforting nostalgic quirk that extends an invitation to anyone’s inner-child” says Dari Israelstam, Founder & Creative Director at Universal Favourite.
Working with Uncommon Agency’s Jamie Heath and featuring online icon Lil Ahenkan (aka Flex Mami), Universal Favourite art directed a lifestyle shoot reminiscent of getting ready with friends for a night out as a teen and all the excitement that goes along with it. A curated mess of posters, glitter and glam, the result was a cheeky, colourful collage of images shot on 35mm, VHS and iPhone.
A forward-thinking website taking a nod from the past
Given the Gen Z direction of the brand, nailing the digital experience was key. The website, as well as all social media assets, needed to both work together seamlessly and allow for flexibility to showcase a brand that’s constantly moving, evolving and flexing — much like its audience.
“The website is custom-built and gives you all the gradient-dense, Wordartheavy, emoticon-happy vibrance of the internet explorers of the 90s, without any of the slow-loading clunkiness. The design of the site is still inherently conversionfocused but bucks the tired trends of the online beauty space and brings the playfulness of the brand to the forefront” adds Dari.
Adding an extra element of fun with a playful packaging suite
The brand’s premise of having fun and playing around extends to its packaging. Each item comes in different colours, with different holders to choose from, bringing back the thrill of coveted childhood collectibles. “The magnetic pans designed into the suite allow users to click, combine, stack and arrange their Youthforia makeup to suit their mood — an idea also reflected in the logo. They can mix and match their product arrangements based on however they’re feeling that day” says Dari.
Universal Favourite worked with 3D2D to develop a suite of motion and still 3D assets that would showcase the modularity of the products and that could be used across their website and marketing.
Full case study – https://universalfavourite.com.au/work/youthforia-branding
Designer : Universal Favourite
Location : Sydney, Australia
Project : Universal Favourite crafts maximalist identity for new Gen-Z beauty brand Youthforia