After nearly a year of preparation, design work and development – Skulls and Rubys was finally launched on Monday.
My very good friend Niki Stafford has been working as a beautician for many years, and for nearly 5 years has owned her own salon with Emma Mitchell. They have built up a huge client base locally and Niki has been over-run with appointments, with a 2 month waiting list at some times. Her most popular treatment is her nail art – she paints and designs the most amazing things on nails, and if you look at the Bliss Hair and Beauty Facebook page you’ll see whole albums dedicated to her work!
To help out her customers, and to supply people who aren’t local who had seen her work through Facebook and Instagram, she decided to start making and selling her false nails online. She approached me with the idea and a request to help with the design and website last year, and we have been busy with designing the logo and branding, packaging, website and online store ever since. We had a busy year last year, what with weddings and all, but by December we had come up with a plan, branding and a basis for the website.
The logo came first – Niki had decided to name the company Skulls and Rubys, and liked the idea of sugar skulls, tattoos, kitsch and kawaii style graphics. So I went away, researched and started drawing…
We quickly decided that we wanted to go with a skull and just text, and decided against the scroll as it was looking too tattoo-like, and not kitsch enough. We decided on the typeface Sailor Larry Fade as a homage to tattoos, but also use Lobster as a link to the cute, Kawaii style.
We played around with a few layouts and by Christmas had decided on this design – and used a decorated version on a website holding page and the Facebook page, to let people know the website was coming and to start and build some excitement around the upcoming launch.
We carried on designing the website, marketing material and packaging, before we both realised the text was mainly upside down! So after a small amendment we had the final design…
We have two versions, one for a black background and one for a white background – and we also have the skull that can be used on its own. Once this was finalised we were able to finish the packaging.
We looked at using plastic blister packs and clamshells to begin with, But found that we couldn’t get a good size for the plastic piece without spending lots of money, and that the packaging looked a bit too normal for our liking!
We started looking into other alternatives, CD style packaging, boxes and bags, before we struck gold with the pillow boxes. We decided on black pillow boxes, and rather than have them printed, we found a company who would print clear stickers for the front and back – diginate. They print stickers in any shape and size, in any quantity, so we were able to mock up a few examples before we decided for sure. It also meant that we were able to easily print different labels for the different ranges in small quantities without it costing to much money.
Inside the pillow boxes, each set of nails is in a small sealed plastic bag, and then wrapped in pink leopard print tissue paper, sealed with a Skulls and Ruby’s sticker. The whole package is then posted out in a black jiffy bag, with a branded postage label on the front.
We have tried to keeps cohesive feel to the brand throughout, sticking to a black background where possible and practical, and using the two typefaces throughout. The pink leopard print is the main supporting graphic throughout, and the hands along the bottom of the back of the packaging – which tie into the website (more on that later) as well as showing the product.
Once we had finalised all these designs we were able to finish the website, and then launch! The website is now live at www.skullsandrubys.co.uk and you can see the Facebook Page here as well. Niki’s instagram page showing photos of all her amazing nail designs is skulls_and_rubys. You can see this project and more of my work here on my website: www.laurapakoradesign.co.uk
More on the website page soon…