Make-Up Designory

Make-Up Designory (MUD) already had a solid business as a renowned make-up school and trusted cosmetics line within the professional make-up industry when we first began our work with them. However, their presence within the general cosmetics marketplace had yet to be established. MUD had a solid grasp on their professional consumer, but needed our help to expand their market to the everyday make-up user. The cosmetics marketplace was already flooded with competitors that all took an “expert” positioning with their brands. Since MUD was using the same messaging, it was time to take a different approach to help them stand out in the crowded marketplace.





Strategy: Brand Platform

Our first step to rebranding MUD was to analyze competitive messaging and trends in order to find areas of opportunity within the marketplace. We found that although many competitors took a “professional” approach to their brand positioning, none were owning education. In order to differentiate MUD the school from the cosmetics line, we explored three unique naming, tagline, brand story, and look and feel concept directions to communicate the proposed positioning options for the brand.

Published, Package Design MagazineGCI Magazine 

Identity: Logo & Stationery

Our identity exploration included embellished acronym solutions, custom iconic wordmark designs, and beauty-inspired supplemental icons. The final solution was a modern, iconic word mark with a clever fusion of all the characters in the name and subtle reference to make-up artistry. In order to ensure simplicity for the busy MUD consumer, we divided the line into easy-to-follow categories and color-coded each product grouping through the accent element in the logo. The stationery was designed with an ultra-clean front with a “surprise” flooding of color on the back, with diagrammatic illustrations that brought an educational feel to the design.

Published, HOW Magazine

Packaging: The MUD Line

The new educational brand positioning was explored through dense informative typography, diagrammatic illustrations, and layering of information presented throughout the package experience. The final packaging communicated the educational brand positioning with clever copy headings, subtle diagrammatic product illustrations, and color coding for quick recognition on the shelf.

Winner, American Package Design AwardsAmerican Graphic Design Awards
Published, GCI MagazineHOW Magazine, + Package Design Magazine

Photography: Advertising

Our ad shots conveyed honest, approachable beauty with carefully selected expressions to give a sense of each character’s lifestyle. Our models were selected to portray teen through aspirational baby boomer ages to accurately reflect MUD’s target markets. Realistic retouching maintained the accuracy of each demographic for an honest connection to the audience. MUD’s signature grey was used as a backdrop to further connect the shots to the brand.

Photography: Product

Branded product photography was created to convey a unique brand personality in instances where the product image had to be the star. A comprehensive art direction phase established the look and feel for the multiple setups prior to the shoot date. The final shots ranged from group shots with the signature brand colors executed with painterly light, to expressive color shots that showed the process of the artistry of make-up.

Printed Collateral: Corporate Brochure/Press Kit

MUD needed a collateral piece that would feature its unique qualities and be flexible enough to use for both buyers and editors. A branded brochure brought the brand to life with authentic photography, instruction, and clever copy, with pockets in the back for inserting additional collateral. The product brochure featured 160+ SKUs in a clear, easy to understand format with bold splashes of color acting as tabs, breaking up each section clearly. Approachable close-up photography of “real women” was paired with step-by-step instructions and pro tips and tricks.

Winner, American Graphic Design Awards 

Print Ads

Advertising: Print Ads

For MUD’s print ads for trade shows and popular make-up publications, a simple and direct approach was taken. Hero product photography was reinforced by copywriting that supported the brand story and educational positioning. Consumer ads featured clean, lifestyle-oriented beauty shots paired with education on how to create the featured look.

POP: Product Display

Our product display solutions featured space-saving ideas and additional space for educational messaging. We also explored a visual division of the line in the product line categories with color coding and separation within the display forms. The proposed solutions were modern and communicated the MUD brand attributes in form and execution.

Winner, American Graphic Design Awards


Cosmetics Website

Digital Media: Cosmetics Website

The new MUD brand was further executed in the website, where the home page featured a selected look with corresponding products to help the user to quickly find products. Headlines such as “Lip Lessons” and “Eye Know” reinforced the educational positioning and let the user know quickly which category of product was being featured. Clean, simple navigation lead the user through the content and broke down information in a digestible format.

Digital Media: Schools Website

As a global player in make-up education, MUD’s school site needed to communicate their industry position as a leading makeup school with an elevated design and messaging, conveying a strong sense of artistry and community while balancing a professional presentation of the educational offerings. Our inspired design embodies MUD’s brand personality and effectively communicates its unique selling points. The site was developed with all the bells and whistles of contemporary responsive website design including video, parallax scrolling, and animating elements, also compatible on tablet and mobile devices.

Winner, American Web Design Awards

Social Media & PR: Integrated Social Campaign

Our digital marketing and advertising campaign for MUD Cosmetics is centered around the education-focused brand positioning through product tips & tricks, pro-targeted messaging, industry crowdsourcing, and instructional content that helps differentiate Make-Up Designory in the highly competitive landscape and generate brand awareness and sales. A tandem campaign for MUD Schools focuses on the local aspects of the main campuses including school events, classroom culture, advanced makeup techniques, student work, and creative inspiration, with the overall goal of converting potential students into actionable leads.

Video: Instructional

We created a series of short instructional videos to launch MUD’s new Illuminate collection for use on website and social media. Clean beauty lighting and a simple backdrop set the stage for the model to pop for this glowing look. We used an LA Campus instructor as the artist featured in the video to reinforce MUD’s deep roots as educators and communicate the education focused brand positioning to the audience.


Video: Influencer

Because MUD cosmetics’ unique point of view is their educational foundation, it was important to bring the campus experience to life in our social media and ad campaigns to cross promote the cosmetics and the schools. Our “MUD Portraits” video series focuses on highlighting the work, philosophy, and teaching style of key instructors in an authentic documentary style format. 

Video: Motion Graphics Video Series

A series of motion graphics videos brought the advertising campaign to life and further communicated the educational brand positioning by taking the viewer through the process of creating a signature look from start to finish. The heavily branded videos were utilized online and on flat screen televisions in various trade show applications.

Motion Graphics Video Series

Space: Retail Store

Our first priority was to make the store pop by adding large illuminated signage, bold graphics, and a deep grey paint color. Branded graphics, overscaled photography, and an inviting interior design created interest at the street level. For the interior, we focused on making the shopping experience as simple as possible by creating custom displays that enhanced the color-coded categories of product. Instructional graphics conveyed important product information and useful professional tips and tricks for an added educational experience.


Space: Trade Show Booth

Large, bold graphics on the front and side walls and dynamic motion graphics on the flat screen created a strong brand presence for this lightweight, modular, and simple booth design. Seamless shelves allowed for additional storage and a clear area to feature key products.

Trade Show Booth

Space: Modular Retail Store

As the largest make-up school in the nation, education was a large component of MUD’s retail partnerships. The MUD Loft concept took this idea to the next level as a unique retail offering that provides customers with products and educational support. The design for the space had to be flexible enough to accommodate any size and type of retail space both domestically and internationally, while embodying the premium quality of the MUD brand.

The Kitchen was able to bring everything to us in organized fashion and to help to maintain the integrity of diverse ideas within the company. Our new brand has allowed us to be taken far more seriously, and has empowered  us to really go after new customers. They helped us to launch a strategic and comprehensive digital marketing and paid media campaign to take control of prospective student lead generation for our national Schools and fuel online sales surrounding promotions on our Cosmetics line. Their digital marketing and advertising work has successfully increased our site traffic, leads, and overall brand awareness considerably.

from launch of schools digital marketing and advertising campaign to present