BeadWORKS is a social enterprise that sells Kenyan handcrafted beaded products. The company needed a brand identity, website, and packaging.
Creative & Art Direction - Strategy - Production - Photography - UX Design
BeadWORKS had previously been trading under its parent company’s name so it needed a whole new identity-- one that reflected the business’ product and important backstory.
The social enterprise works with rural Kenyan women, giving them a financial outlet for their renowned beadwork. Offering a much needed source of income, the company helps to reduce the pressure on the local environment and wildlife, while empowering the women.
For the company logo, we capitalized “WORKS” to emphasize the multiple meanings behind the word, referring not only to the products but also to the effective scheme that offers employment. We created an orange “cog necklace” graphic out of the “O”. The design resembles one of the common patterns found in traditional Samburu necklaces, while referencing a cog to highlight the working element. We used an African-inspired humanist font, Biko, which is clean while acknowledging the brand’s heritage.
BeadWORKS never had an online presence. It is a B2B company, selling its beaded products wholesale to retailers such a zoo gift shops, boutiques, and online vendors. The BeadWORKS website needed to show the full product range while providing crucial information about the business and its parent company.
In developing the site, we also tried to provide solutions to some logistical challenges. Many of the company's customers are based in the US and Australia, and patchy telecoms in Northern Kenya can make it difficult to email large files. So we created a Press & Downloads Section, enabling editors/ clients to gain access to high res image assets and print-ready point of sale posters.
I created a small BeadWORKS brand library, having shot material for the website, packaging, and other collateral. A small selection of images have been made available in the Press & Downloads section.
We were asked to redesign the product packaging, incorporating the new identity while providing less-labour intensive, lighter, shipping-friendly options.
We created hang tags and wraps made from recycled cardboard, punctuated with white labels. The materials echo the design of the website with its rustic brown wall background and white content area. The irregular, recycled cardboard also references the company's environmental mission, while feeling artisanal. To further reinforce the products' craftsmanship, we also developed a “Handcrafted in Kenya” stamp, adapted from the BeadWORKS cog. This stamp becomes a seal of quality while acting as a vehicle to vary the presentation of crucial copy.
For the company’s forthcoming premium range “BeadWORKS Unique”, we adapted the packaging, featuring a white cog logo that complements the collection's use of non-traditional colours. To accompany the jewelry products, we designed branded, white linen bags with jute drawstrings. The bags feature a large black, reversed-out cog stamped on the front.
I secured, wrote, and provided my own images for a BeadWORKS editorial feature that ran in the "News" section of the YAHOO US website. BeadWORKS' website traffic increased by over 250%.
BeadWORKS rotating homepage
BeadWORKS rotating homepage
BeadWORKS product search page
BeadWORKS product preview page
BeadWORKS product magnification roll-over
BeadWORKS password-protected asset download area
BeadWORKS social media
Site on ipad with category rollovers
Site on ipad with "handcrafted cog"