Quality Meets Cultural Motifs: 8 Indian Brands Raising The Bar For Homegrown Packaging
L: Diaspora Co. R: Subko

Quality Meets Cultural Motifs: 8 Indian Brands Raising The Bar For Homegrown Packaging

How many times have you fallen prey to the thrall of beautiful packaging?

I know that I’ve been the willing victim who has bought food, makeup and even drinks, just because of how appealing the packaging appeared. Some, like Diaspora Co. and Kulfi Beauty, are homegrown origin brands that are beautifully representing South Asian design elements to a global audience, while others like Goenchi Feni to Gunam Beauty are changing the game for the standards of packaging design and innovation of products from India, for the world. The following are some of the Homegrown brands across the lifestyle spectrum whose packaging makes as much as impact at the products themselves.

1. SUBKO

A brand that is known for constant innovation from the product side and memorable packaging, Subko has progressed from being a mere coffee brand to being a culinary innovator that is synonymous with experimentation. But one thing that remains unwavering, no matter how much they play around with ingredients and collaborations, is their brand identity. Developed by Aniruddh Mehta of Studio Big Fat, Subko is a brand whose name is both a play on the Hindi word meaning ‘for all’ and of being ‘from the subcontinent’. In seeking to create an identity that was globally appealing but representative of the Indian subcontinent, they focused on the diversity of the nation in mind; specifically its linguistic diversity that is almost as varied as its culinary diversity.

Fusing contemporary and vintage elements of the three major scripts used in India - Latin, Devanagiri and Nastaliq, the identity for Subko was created. As mentioned on the agency’s website, they created a visual identity for the label that, according to them, “...truly localises specialty coffee and bread from this part of the world. It's a synthesis of a global mindset that‘s proudly rooted in local practices,” and this is clearly reflected in every product.

Follow Subko here.

2. Bombay Sweet Shop

A beloved brand that modernised the mithais we all grew up with, Bombay Sweet Shop from Hunger Inc. is a way to ‘re-create’ the familiar in a new way, as is typical of most culinary innovators. In seeking out to reinvent the Indian Mithai, they created a brand whose offerings bridge the old and the new of the culinary world while paying heed to the sheer variety that exists among what one calls ‘Indian Mithai’. The packaging design for the brand was created under the Agency ‘Please See Advertising’ led by Creative Designer Shweta Mulekar, with Aakriti Goswami, Vidhi Doshi, and Purva Mehra.

Drawing from the Art-Deco architecture that is iconic to Bombay, that brings forth memories of childhood, they created a logo and packaging that features geometric shapes typical of old-school mithai like Kaju Katli. The choice of colour according to the designer, “...was an ode to Bombay and its surplus of blue through all seasons, with slight accents of gold and Royal Magenta that exude Indian luxury.”

Follow Bombay Sweet Shop here.

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3. Goenchi Feni

Founded by a brother-sister duo who grew up hearing of the heritage of Feni making that is typical to their native locale, Goenchi Feni has created a modern rendition of the local liquor for a global consumer. The brand whose name literally translates to meaning ‘of/from Goa’ in native Konkani, also features packaging that captures the legacy of Feni making. The label features illustrations depicting the ‘Rendeirs’ and ‘Cazcars’ who make the drink, as well as the iconic glass carboys that were introduced by the Portuguese to Goans. Designed by Studio Big Fat, the dark bottle of Feni paired with the intricately illustrated label has a timeless yet distinct appeal.

Follow them here.

Quality Meets Cultural Motifs: 8 Indian Brands Raising The Bar For Homegrown Packaging
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4. Manam Chocolate

A Hyderabad-based craft chocolate brand that oozes sophistication and intention, Manam Craft Chocolate has packaging that is just as intentional as their product. A label that seeks to do justice to the bounty of Cacao and the many things it has to offer, Manam has everything from an online shop and chocolatier lessons to a dedicated cafe and lab. Creating yearly editions of chocolate flavours that evoke the nostalgia of the chocolates many of us Indians grew up eating, while staying true to crafting quality chocolate, they are taking a novel approach to crafting chocolate. According to YS Life, to create its identity for the inaugural edition, they brought together renowned New Delhi based artist Namrata Kumar and Bangalore based Anomaly Brands to create designs that speak to their elegant, yet nostalgic approach to the world of craft chocolate.

Follow them here.

Quality Meets Cultural Motifs: 8 Indian Brands Raising The Bar For Homegrown Packaging
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5. Diaspora Co.

The bright yellow hue of Haldi is something that has remained unchanged with the brand identity of the artisanal spice brand Diaspora Co., just like their focus on quality sourcing. The brand, founded by South Asian Entrepreneur Sana Javeri Kadri, was started with select spices sourced from India for an international market. To create its initial visual identity and packaging design, designer Swasti Mittal was brought in. Over the years, the brand and its visual identity has grown and changed. The recent renditions of the Diaspora Co. packages were designed by graphic designers Lianne Mendes and Kinshuk Bains. Its truly South Asian identity comes through its bright colour palettes, whimsical yet grounded details, and India-inspired typography.


Follow them here.

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6. SALT Oral Care

There are many things about Salt as an Oral Care brand that sets it apart. Their focus on creating products designed to encourage an oral care routine is one and the innovativeness of the products they have created is the second defining aspect. In seeking to elevate oral hygiene from an everyday afterthought and mindless practice to a mindful wellness practice, they’ve also created products whose function and design are just as appealing. Designed by Sampriya Bhandhare of the creative agency ‘almst’, Salt’s packaging is akin to those by premium skincare and craft alcohol brands, while still being functional. From a ridged glass bottle for their mouthwash to toothpaste tubes that are colour-coded for Day vs. Night, the packaging design for Salt was intentionally created to elevate the process of oral care.

Follow them here.

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7. Gunam Beauty

While there are many things to love about Gunam Beauty, one thing that truly stands is the packaging. The combination of the word Gunam - that means innate goodness in Malayalam - paired with beautiful green frosted glass, in a font that clearly drew inspiration from the Malayalam script of the brand’s roots, was both polished yet original. The packaging, and overall brand identity designed by Pallavi Nopany drew from the lush origins of Kerala and the botanicals that go into the products at Gunam. They also kept in mind the elegance of the 'French Pharma' influences that inspired the formulations to create a unique but memorable design identity for the brand. 

Quality Meets Cultural Motifs: 8 Indian Brands Raising The Bar For Homegrown Packaging
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8. Kulfi Beauty

Founded by Priyanka Ganjoo, Kulfi Beauty is a makeup brand that was created with the values of celebrating our rich South Asian culture, on a global scale. To create the visual identity and packaging design for the brand, she worked with Indian American creative Badal Patel. Taking a fun, playful approach to the design identity, the creative director set into motion what she envisioned as a ‘beauty playground’. With each product and campaign, the idea was to create a cohesive narrative that empowers individuals to look at beauty from a personal perspective that is true to one’s identity. While the brand and its overarching communication features a diverse group of people, the packaging itself has been kept minimal yet global in its appeal. 

Follow them here.

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