Alphabet’s “East meets West” identity for Fable & Mane is inspired by a symbolic tiger
Alphabet was approached by Fable & Mane earlier this year to help its founder come up with a name and visual identity for the new line of hair products. During her research phase, the studio learned that Niki Mehta drew inspiration from her Indian heritage and that during times of stress, she remembered the power of hair oiling, an Indian tradition. Alphabet helped bring this story to life, transforming it into a modern brand that is still very much rooted in tradition.
With a positive tone of voice and a playful suite of illustrations in support of Marcos Navarro, the new identity centers around a symbolic tiger. According to Alphabet, the animal is a symbol of “magnificence, power, beauty and ferocity and has been associated with bravery and valor”. It also occupies an important place in Hindu mythology as the vehicle of the goddess Durga.
The color scheme was also inspired by the tiger with “pinks and oranges of the animal’s ears and face as well as blues of its eyes,” according to the studio. “These colors are also a nod to colorful shop windows and sign writing in India,” he adds.
Looking at the packaging, the label structure itself is a modern take on traditional Indian beauty products, which often used devices or containers to hold text and graphics. For Fable & Mane, Alphabet created a rounded window shape as the central element, taking inspiration from iconic Indian architecture: it is a way of bringing an “oriental touch to western design”, as Alphabet explains. .
Symbols are also very present in the design. “We created a clean keyline iconography style that felt modern while retaining an old-fashioned quality,” the studio continues. “The visual style and positioning of the hands, in particular, is inspired by traditional Indian culture.”
In addition to the illustrations by Marcos Navarro, the accompanying photography is fresh, contemporary and uncluttered. “It’s a contrast to some of the symbolism that runs through the logo and packaging design, as well as the playful and bright illustration style – creating the perfect balance between East and West.”
The identity has been deployed on in-store displays and other marketing materials. Alphabet has also created a series of stickers that can be used physically or digitally in the future. And there’s “The Mane Edit,” a bimonthly newsletter and blog that “celebrates individuality, shares crazy news, invitations and good karma goodies”.