When we first met with TESS, they had little to show but great passion and a promising concept for a skin care line made especially for teens. With only a couple of products developed, TESS needed to establish every part of their branding — beginning with a thorough understanding of the teen female market. As mothers of teen girls, the founders of TESS lent personal experience and understanding of this age group as a launching point, but needed our help in developing a targeted strategy to effectively communicate to this enigmatic audience.

Brand Positioning
[ Strategy: Brand Positioning ]

In our brand positioning boards, individuality and self-esteem became key brand expression points and informed how we would communicate to the TESS girl. The unique characteristics of the target market and the product’s clean, natural ingredients were the basis for the brand’s core values and informed all subsequent projects.

Product Name System Exploration
[ Naming: Product Name System Exploration ]

The TESS system was to include two main groups of products targeted to specific skin types. The naming had to reflect the differences in strength in the products with a personality that connected to the sophisticated teen girl. Two main naming solutions were explored, one reflecting the honesty of the product and brand, and the other playing off the 24-hour-a-day product system with a clever “to-do list” concept.

Logo Exploration
[ Identity: Logo Exploration ]

The next step in branding TESS was to design the logo. Because the identity had to be flexible enough to accommodate a wide range of products with varying components and sizes — we explored a range of word mark logo solutions that would be versatile enough to exist in all applications. The logo exploration included clean word marks with a hint of personality, hand-written marks that mirrored the individuality of the market, and expressive letter form marks that broke down the TESS acronym with a playful twist.

Stationery System
[ Identity: Stationery System ]

The first printed application of the TESS identity was the stationery system. The solution was a clean, modern, and honest design that directly mirrored the core brand messages. A series of positive affirmations was developed and applied as a secondary branding element on the back of the system, reinforcing the self-esteem boosting messages in a stream-of-consciousness execution.

Component Exploration
[ Packaging: Component Exploration ]

Before packaging design work began, a variety of components were explored to find the solution that would best express the feeling of the brand and products. The staple of the TESS system was the skin care kits, a series of six products that addressed all-day skin care needs. The component exploration included the shapes and materials of the bottles and exterior packaging solutions that provided mobility and ease of use for the on-the-go teen girl.

System Exploration
[ Packaging: System Exploration ]

Once the components were selected, the next step was to explore the best way to communicate the TESS kit system to the consumer. The system exploration included color-coding, numbering systems, and icons to help the consumer navigate the system as easily as possible.

Design Exploration
[ Packaging: Design Exploration ]

One of the challenges in designing the TESS product line was scale — the design had to make as much impact as possible on the tiny containers. Our design exploration ranged from all-typographic for an educational tone, to bold color to visually express the scents, to illustrative collage inspired by a teen girl’s bedroom. All the design solutions enhanced the established brand identity and spoke clearly and directly to the teen audience.

The TESS Line
[ Packaging: The TESS Line ]

The final TESS packaging was a balance between expressive colors, playful product names, and a strong educational narrative. A clean, fruit-inspired color palette brought the bold scents of the product from the inside to the outside and created strong merchandising possibilities. A running narrative of positive affirmations reminded teens to embrace their individuality and created an interactive experience as the product was used.

Winner, American Package Design Awards, 2008
Winner, Print’s Regional Design Competition, 2007
Published, CPC Magazine, 2007
Published, Package Design Magazine, 2006

The TESS System
[ Packaging: The TESS System ]

The final TESS system took the form of three skin care categories and was expressed though a color system — green for “Almost Normal” or combination skin, orange for “Skin with Attitude” or problem skin, and “Mix and Match” for all skin types. The color system made for faster recognition on the shelf, and an easy step-by-step numbering system and supplementary kit product booklets helped educate the consumer about product benefits and usage.

Winner, American Package Design Awards, 2008
Winner, Print’s Regional Design Competition, 2007
Published, CPC Magazine, 2007
Published, Package Design Magazine, 2006

Product Display
[ POP: Product Display ]

To help TESS sell their product, they needed an eye-catching and informative display to promote their new brand to buyers. The solution included coding each shelf by skin type and color for visual impact and clear user navigation. The clean shelf organization was coupled with informative graphics that communicated product benefits and aspirational lifestyle to the consumer.

[ Digital Media: Website ]

TESS needed a sophisticated website to appeal to teens — the most web-savvy market segment out there. The solution featured lifestyle photography depicting natural, expressive, individual, and most importantly “real” teen girls. TESS branding elements including the self-esteem affirmations, kit icon, and bold color palette.