Hugmun Studio bridges Japanese folklore and avant-garde make-up for EnKō Beauty

By Rasmus Vestergaard
Published 03/01/2023
Category: Project
Featuring: Hugmun Studio

83,000 and counting. That is the number of people who follow avant-garde makeup artist Caylin McDonie. On the side, she also runs her brand of make-up, EnKō Beauty. To make it reflect its founder, McDonie worked with Copenhagen-based Hugmun Studio on brand identity and packaging design suited for her experimental artistry.

When artists come together

When Caylin McDonie and Hugmun Studio met, they clicked instantly. McDonie had reached out to the design studio through Instagram after having researched their profile. “As an artist, she had a lot of respect for our creative process, and she wanted to work with us because of our style on some of the previous projects,” Harriet Elsom, Partner & Project Manager, adds. “Caylin was involved in the whole process. However, she gave us great freedom to experiment. She was very open to our interpretation, and for us, it was a brilliant way to approach the project because we had so much inspiration to draw from based on her makeup artistry.

Because of the pandemic, the creative process happened over a long time. They even had a bit of a pause in between. Elsom says, “This meant when we revisited it, we took a fresher and cleaner approach to the packaging; it was at this time we decided we wanted to keep it black and white.”

Hugmun Studio also collaborated with 3D artist Marek Degórski on 3D elements that helped bring the brand to life, including a personalised 3D mask just for Caylin. “And when we came across 3D artist Vi.zuza’s work, we knew we wanted to bring these surreal, extraordinary scenes of nature into the EnKō fold,” Elsom adds.

“For the packaging, we love to work with Marceli Printery. They have a special eye for detail, materials and rigorous print testing. It should not just be about looks but how it feels, and they are masters of this craft. They used a blind deboss and black letterpress on Carte à Parfum paper by Fedrigoni. Complimentary font Sometimes Times Italic by Boulevardlab provides a lighter but equally intricate contrast to Rabbit Hole. These are offset by serif font Plain by Optimo.”

“Liquid, free-flowing lines”

EnKō is a word originating in Japanese folklore, meaning water dragon. Hugmun Studio intended to make not the inspiration obvious, but it led them to the typography style. “The liquid, free-flowing lines”, as Harriet Elsom puts it. “The fact that this corresponded beautifully with the makeup style and products was a nice moment.”

“Caylin and the EnKō products inspired the brand. The high fashion avant-garde looks. This is why we see a lot of interesting shapes, and whilst colour does not play a big part in the packaging itself, the identity has colourful holographic elements, just like the eye shadow colours. The liquidity in the shape of the typography is representative of her makeup style and the products,” Elsom explains.

“We wanted to keep the packaging black and white because of the fantastical colours inside,” Elsom continues. “We didn’t want to overshadow what happens when it is opened. Instead, we gave each product an individual lettering system based on the first letter of each product name. Whilst black and white are the primary colours used for the packaging, we have a secondary colour palette built up of multidimensional holographic colours based on the 3D elements and animations that were created.”

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