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Pack of the Month: Handmade Elements Bring Lilk’s Plant-Based Milk To Life


For a few years, the design cues round milk options had been pretty customary—present it poured, present it sloshing round. Essentially, make it as “milk-esque” as your presumably can.

But it needn’t be the one means. Plenty of milk options have come to grocery shops throughout the globe with ingenious, playful designs that make these drinks something however homogenous. Case in level, our November Pack of the Month from Finnish illustrator and graphic designer Leena Kisonen, the blended oat milk Lilk.

We spoke with Leena about chubby clouds, hand-drawn blocky kind, and the way she created the Lilk universe.

Walk us by the design course of that you just went by for this venture.

The Lilk design course of was extremely collaborative. I labored with the beautiful Lilk workforce, together with Elisa Eymery, Bastien Eymery, and Emily Hayes. They preferred my work’s playful, retro-ish really feel and commissioned me to create the Lilk brand and the general look. I drink plant-based milk myself and had enjoyable designing a brand new model I might purchase for myself.

The Lilk m*lks are made by mixing various kinds of plant milk, which makes them completely different from different plant-based options. Lilk’s aim was to achieve common milk customers open to plant-based options. That set the baseline for the design—it wanted to be one thing that may match the plant-based milk class, whereas it might additionally must really feel engaging and protected to somebody making an attempt plant-based milk for the primary time.

I used to be based mostly in Helsinki, Finland, whereas I labored on the design. The Lilk workforce despatched me many photographs of the milk aisles in UK supermarkets and grocery outlets. That was what I based mostly my visible analysis on whereas I checked out numerous examples of milk options already on the market.

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The course of began with designing the brand because it was a central ingredient of the packaging and the Lilk model. The concept was to create one that may seek advice from the English saying, “having a cloud of milk in your tea.” I designed numerous variations of the theme by papercut and hand-lettering. The closing brand emerged by that course of fairly rapidly—undoubtedly not one thing you may take without any consideration in a design course of!

Once the brand was in place, we began engaged on the general look of the packaging. At first, we had a number of design instructions in thoughts however went with a slightly simplistic concept constructed round a curvy, hand-drawn milk line that goes across the packaging. 

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The remainder of the design is sort of minimal, however we rigorously thought of every element. The completely different sides of the packaging have small papercut illustrations and hand-drawn kind. These little particulars add heat to the design and make the packaging really feel pleasant and straightforward to method. The Lilk shade palette is restricted to some colours, which makes the packaging stand out, particularly in visually noisy store environments.

Graphic designer Federica Aradelli gave the ending touches to the ultimate design. The closing packaging ended up with a beautiful stability of retro and trendy blended with a splash of playful quirkiness—a visible nook that also wasn’t stuffed within the plant-based milk market.

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What was one of many greatest objectives you got down to obtain with Lilk packaging, and the way did you accomplish it? 

My aim was to create one thing that may really feel basic (perhaps even nostalgic) however playful on the identical time amongst different milk options. That wasn’t straightforward to perform, however the Lilk workforce had a transparent concept of what they had been searching for and did a superb job briefing me. 

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What was it about UK milk cartons that impressed the packaging?

We created a well-recognized reference to basic UK milk cartons, particularly for individuals who hadn’t tried plant-based milk earlier. That connection got here to life fairly naturally by the colour palette. 

In the UK, the blue milk cartons are full-fat milk; the inexperienced ones are semi-skimmed milk. These conventional colours get repeated within the Lilk cartons—blue for the widespread mix and inexperienced for the plush mix. It’s virtually like a little bit visible joke for individuals who get it!

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What was essentially the most difficult a part of this venture?

Creating one thing that feels contemporary and unseen in a really saturated market. 

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Why are the asterisks for “I’s” in milk?

According to an EU court docket ruling, solely animal merchandise can use the label “milk.” Milk options must be known as one thing else, therefore why Lilk is named m*lk.

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If you may decide one facet of the completed design that you just like essentially the most or really feel particularly happy with, what wouldn’t it be and why?

I wish to assume the Lilk total really feel is definitely very spot on, and I’m proud to say I’ve designed it virtually totally by hand. I take pleasure in combining handmade parts with digital in my work because it creates a top quality that you may’t obtain with digital instruments alone. In at present’s very digital world, the handmade feels private and distinctive—perhaps even intimate.

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Share one lesson that you just realized whereas growing the completed product.

I loved the targeted collaborative work with the Lilk workforce. As a freelancer, I typically find yourself working alone by myself, generally virtually in isolation. This venture served as a much-needed reminder for me of how rewarding it may be to work in a workforce. I actually want to do extra collaborative design tasks sooner or later.

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