Online Exclusive: Snowberry's Artful Look

The brand's visual imagery conveys its ideals.

By Marie Redding, Associate Editor

Snowberry is a natural skincare brand from New Zealand that launched in the U.S. this year, online at

Snowberry's packaging features illustrations by artist Rob Ryan. and at Henri Bendel's in New York City. The products aren’t formulated with any chemical-based ingredients – and, the brand is certified carbon neutral. Snowberry’s packaging helps set the brand apart as well, and it has won numerous design awards -- the Dieline Package Design Awards, the Discover Beauty Award, Cosmoprof North America, and “Best Niche Brand” at Beauty Astirs in the Netherlands this year.

Packaging Natural Products

Soraya Hendesi, the brand’s founder, wanted to create anti-aging skin care products that were highly functional, but as natural as possible. Hendesi also realized that most natural and organic brands typically didn't contain some of the most effective science-based ingredients. Snowberry blends the two – its products include the most advanced anti-aging ingredients, plus natural anti-oxidants and superfruit extracts.

"Soraya was dissatisfied with the traditional luxury skin care brands that used ingredients such as petrochemicals, silicones, volatile alcohols and parabens, which she believes have no place in skin care,” explains Greg Billington, general manager, Snowberry. “The ingredients we use are not found in the high amounts we use in any other brand, because they are expensive," he adds. Snowberry's ingredients include Acai, Pejibaye, Inca Inchi, Indian Neem, Muruity, Cupuacu, Cannon wood, Seabuckthorn, Cloudberry and Lingonberry.

Snowberry's bottles, tubes, and cartons are mainly white, so the colorful illustrations pop.
The bottles and cartons are decorated with colorful illustrations, including birds and plants that are distinctively "New Zealand," according to Billington, who describes Snowberry's look as "clean, crisp and playful." The designs are screen-printed onto the bottles, but labels will be used in the future. Snowberry's cartons are decorated using vegetable-based inks, and they are produced by PakWorld Ltd., in New Zealand.

The Artist

The imagery used on the packaging was designed by Rob Ryan, a British

Artist Rob Ryan's illustrations adorn Snowberry's packaging.
visual artist most famous for his paper cut-out designs, which have been featured in design publications around the world.

"Rob Ryan's philosophy about life, which is evident in his artwork, immediately resonated with our ideals. The sheer ‘intensity’ of Ryan's designs were perfect, because every part tells its own story and yet is integrated into something larger," says Billington.

For instance, a lady with a lantern is depicted in Ryan's illustration on Snowberry’s packaging. According to Billington, this represented something personal to Soraya, the brand’s founder. “It reminded her of her humanitarian grandmother," he says. There is also a little girl offering a leaf to a woman. “Soraya interprets this as herself offering her mother one of the many fragrances she made as a child, from flowers in the family garden," says Billington.

Snowberry uses white tubes and bottles for its products, which serve as a backdrop for the colorful illustrations. The bottles, which have pumps that are produced by Samwha in South Korea, are airless to protect the anti-oxidant ingredients in the products. "We initially favored glass over plastic bottles, but it is our understanding that polypropylene plastic produces 20% less carbon dioxide than glass, throughout its lifecycle," says Billington.

An Earth-Friendly Mission

Snowberry is certified carbon neutral, which was an important part

One of the illustrations used on Snowberry's packaging.
of its eco-friendly mission. "We measure and manage all of our carbon emissions - from the delivery of our raw ingredients, right through to the stores that sell our brand," says Billington. "We have become the first New Zealand beauty company to achieve carboNZeroCert certification, and we're one of just a handful of carbon neutral certified brands, worldwide," he adds.

In addition, Snowberry's quest for sustainability led to the establishment of an innovative ingredient source -- the Snowberry Gardens in New Zealand. There, thousands of rainforest trees are cultivated for their special extracts, which are used in Snowberry products.

Conveying Abstract Ideals

Overall, Snowberry wanted its packaging to convey the idea of "believing in goodness."
Snowberry’s package design has helped give the brand a childlike playful image,
while also conveying its eco-friendly ideals. The graphics and artwork on Snowberry’s packaging includes sayings like, “This bell will ring when I dream a dream of good.”

“To say our design looks childlike and playful is a complement, because children view the world with innocence and great optimism -- without that adult pragmatism that so often results in ‘ordinariness,’ and at worst, negligent harm,” says Billington, talking about a disregard for the environment. He says the quotes incorporated into Ryan’s illustrations are sophisticated and applicable to everyone – children and adults.

What was most challenging about the design process? "We wondered if our visual identity was too 'out' there,” says Billington. “But, we have been extremely happy to receive such warm feedback from women around the world, who love everything about our packaging – and what the brand represents."