In May of 2010 we reported on the introduction of a new corporate identity for Grupo Boticário, the parent company behind consumer brand O Boticário, which covers more than 600 products in body care, female fragrances, home spa, make up, male fragrances, man care, and skin care. I’m recycling some of the introduction from that post: Originally a small prescription pharmacy that started in 1977 in the city of Curitiba, Paraná in Brazil, O Boticário has 2,500 stores in Brazil alone, 70 across 15 other world cities, and presence in multiple sales points like department stores. Earlier this month, O Boticário introduced a revised identity designed by the São Paulo office of Futurebrand, who were also responsible for the parent company logo.
Inspired by the origin of the Greek word calligraphy, which means to write with beauty, the O Boticário brand’s monogram was designed. Involving delicately the letter B — which is also the initial letter of beauty and Brazil — an icon is composed which inspires you, seduces, you, makes you dream. A seal that tells a success story in learning about and satisfying its consumers’ desires. In the letter’s outline, the suggestion of an open flask, an invitation to experiences that awaken the senses. In the organic lines that surround it outlines of fluid, spontaneous, ascending movements.
— Press Materials
FutureBrand selected our Foco font family for its friendly beauty, a key requirement for the display font in the new identity. To give it that special touch, and to make it Boticário Foco, we worked closely with the FutureBrand design team exploring varying terminals and contrast adjustments. We used the letterforms of the tagline ‘Live all your beauty’ as a test. The resulting design has softer terminals and a higher contrast that adds a warm elegance to the new brand.
Our Brazilian design team also worked closely with FutureBrand to refine the new logo, carefully crafting every letterform and each curve of the symbol.
— Dalton Maag
It’s always a good day in the design industry when a horizontally-scaled wordmark gets squished to oblivion. Even more so when that wordmark is set in Rotis Semi Serif. O Boticário’s previous wordmark wasn’t terrible but it wasn’t memorable either and it felt more like a pharmaceutical brand than a lifestyle brand. The new logo is all lifestyle: fun, happy, girlie, accessible. Even though in my gut I feel like I should not like it, I do. There is something odd about the “B” shape, with its gap in the upper-left corner, and the curly cues come out of weird places but I find it very attractive and, more importantly, very appropriate. It is also very well executed. Doing these kind of thin loops can be catastrophic if the bezier curves are not done correctly but everything here flows perfectly and I love the slightly voluptuous terminal. The typography is not my favorite — that “r” is way too narrow and where are the tittles? Oh, the poor tittles — but, again, I think it works.
In application the logo works quite well. When it’s meant to be the center of attention as in the shopping bags it has enough presence to make those bags work like a Bloomingdales or Saks Fifth Avenue bag, iconic and eye-catching. When the logo is placed on a product it recedes into a supporting role yet it’s perfectly distinctive. Overall, this is a really effective redesign.
Update May 24, 2011: Some images removed by request of the client.