Kurppa Hosk tackles the stigma of gut health with Källa brand

By Rasmus Vestergaard
Published 19/10/2022
Category: Project
Featuring: Kurppa Hosk

Gut health is usually not something we Scandinavians discuss openly. It’s private, a stigma. Källa and Kurppa Hosk set out to change this. With a completely new brand, they wanted “to give people something they were proud to share and to talk about”, explains Edward Hawkins, Creative Director at Kurppa Hosk.

Source of something good

In 2020, the founders approached Kurppa Hosk with an idea. They wanted to sell sustainable, scientifically-proven probiotics using an online subscription model, social platforms and sharing.

So, before deciding on graphics, they focused on naming this new brand. They wanted something alluding to the company’s Scandinavian origins but also the scientific efficacy of the product. Källa, the Swedish word for ‘source’, made for the perfect brand name.

“Once we’d settled on the name Källa, much of the conversation became around owning our Scandinavian heritage,” Edward Hawkins explains. “We decided to move away from the idea of a symbol, instead building equity into the wordmark and making the most of the diacritic accent that alludes so effortlessly to a Nordic origin. Designing just a wordmark felt more in keeping with that lifestyle approach; it almost felt like how a fashion or furniture brand might express themselves.”

“Continuing from our scientific line language, we wanted to create a graphic connection to that. In Swedish, people often use a line as a shorthand for the two dots; the diacritic accent. So creating a colloquial expression that was still precise and graphic felt like a nice way of connecting a wordmark to the rest of the identity.”

“Designing just a wordmark felt more in keeping with that lifestyle approach; it almost felt like how a fashion or furniture brand might express themselves.”

Edward Hawkins, Creative Director at Kurppa Hosk

From science to lifestyle

The category design language of probiotics is usually white packaging with a scientific look. But to destigmatise gut health, Källa and Kurppa Hosk decided to take another route. Instead, they sought to make a lifestyle brand inspired by “the space between the science of the organic”, as Edward Hawkins puts it.

“Many of the reasons for this relate to the need to create a visual experience that felt more in keeping with a lifestyle brand. While it’s always a temptation, placing too much emphasis on that scientific aesthetic just wouldn’t have answered the initial client brief. That being said, we were very keen not to downplay the efficacy and the science behind the product. For that reason, we created a graphic language that played on linear rules and technical typography often associated with a more minimal scientific design vocabulary.”

The hero sender

Being an online shop, the Källa brand identity is, in most cases, experienced through the packaging. So, it was obvious for Kurppa Hosk to tap into the culture of unboxing. They wanted to make that moment as special as possible.

“The packaging design gave people an excuse to talk about gut health and to share their experiences by turning something medicinal into a lifestyle product.”

Edward Hawkins, Creative Director at Kurppa Hosk

“We treated our packaging as more than just a touchpoint for the brand; packaging became a hero sender. The logotype was designed to be a paired back, minimal expression that supported a more expressive approach in terms of how we package the products.

“Durability was, of course, something we needed to consider, but perhaps even more so when paired with Källa’s focus on sustainability. The real challenge was deciding upon a material palette that was simultaneously durable and sustainable while ultimately providing the required look and feel.”

Edward Hawkins continues, “Keeping a reduced palette of inks throughout the packaging and product range was also a consideration, with the brand using almost exclusively white screen printed ink.”

“This focus on reducing the amount of packaging also informed our decision to create boxes that acted as permanent displays or vessels for the product. The idea is that they’ll last for many cycles of refills, and as such, all of our subscription packagings after the original purchase is delivered using just Kraft cardboard.”

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