Erno Laszlo strengthens its global skincare wellness position | #BehindTheBrand

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Luxury skincare brand Erno Laszlo elevates its position as a pioneer in the wellness skincare space through a new brand identity and positioning. Developed by creative agency Free The Birds, established experts in the beauty industry, the partnership comes at a time when Erno Laszlo is growing its presence across North America, Europe and Asia.

With Erno Laszlo’s strong heritage in dermatology and psycho-cosmetology, Free The Birds evolved the brand’s luxury positioning as part of a 360 project that involved redesigned front-line packaging, digital marketing templates, photographic assets and the introduction of a brand ambassador programme all designed to have equal allure for both devotee and new consumers.  

As part of the brand’s focus on the science of skin and mental wellbeing, Free The Birds refined its portfolio into skin concern pillars. The new brand architecture consists of a complete naming strategy of the core collections as well as a reinvigorated colour strategy that follows the skincare category semiotics for various skin types (e.g., orange represents brightening and blue is linked to dry skin/hydration).

The new packaging brings synergy across the product ranges and a focus on specific skin needs while improving navigation within the brand's online and offline environments. The visual identity is further elevated by bringing a new brand device “I” to the foreground of the packaging to reflect the brand’s focus on the 'i'ndividual user and self-care.

The distinctive graphic element emphasises the brand idea of “science of skin and mind” and is implemented across all touchpoints including packaging, physical spaces, websites and social media. To learn more, we spoke to Nick Vaus, Partner & Creative Director at Free The Birds.

What was the brief for the rebrand?


With Erno Laszlo’s strong heritage in derma and pscychocosmetalogy, we were tasked to strengthen the brand’s positioning within the medical wellness skincare category and apply this to visual and verbal communications across multiple global markets.

How did the initial pitch/brainstorming phase go?

We started by reviewing the competitors within the luxury and scientific skincare space to understand the brand positionings and semiotics in the beauty category. The team spoke with key global stakeholders within the business to understand the brand and commercial objectives from all angles.

Erno Laszlo had a strong and credible point of difference, ‘psychodermatology’, and a tailored approach to the individual. The brand strategy and design needed to be seamless to convey this.

The only challenge was how much focus we applied to the connection between skin & mind in order to appeal to the Chinese beauty consumer.

Describe the purpose of the brand and its target audience


Erno Laszlo believes Skin and Mind are one and that every client is individual which allows them to deliver one-to-one, science-based solutions for every skincare need.

From younger problematic skin types to ageing, Erno Laszlo understands the mental challenges one experiences throughout different stages of life and how these can impact the skin.  

What was your thinking behind the rebranding solution?

Erno Laszlo was a pioneer of psychodermatology, creating bespoke beauty treatments based on the individual’s needs, lifestyle and skin type. We wanted to capture this and embed this through everything we did.

We evolved the brand positioning, focusing everything on the individual. From there, the idea came to iconicise the letter ‘I’, both the introduction to and a graphic embodiment of the word ‘individual’. This became a strong visual beacon, an ownable asset for Erno Laszlo, central to the new visual identity.

We crafted the letter ‘I’ into an elegant styling, using it across multiple touchpoints. The ‘I’ is reflected within our brand line connecting the ‘I’s within the words ‘Science’ and ‘Skin’.

The ‘I’ has flexibility and adapts to different layouts and proportions yet retains its elegant style. We use it as a variant indication across packaging, a frame for photography and a communications device.

Did you learn anything new during the project?


It was enlightening to follow the history of Erno Laszlo and realise how innovative his methods were at a time when the link between skin and emotions was still in its infancy.

Also we had insights into the Chinese beauty consumer and how they are less inclined to be motivated towards mindful & wellbeing skincare language and would rather know about efficacy, results and credibility.

What was the biggest challenge? How did you overcome it?

To create an identity and a positioning which could chime with the diverse cultural requirements of the different markets and regions.

What kit/tools/software were used to create it?

Adobe Creative Suite, Klavio

What details are you most proud of any why?


Creating a holistic and elevated packaging design which is elegant and universal, has a strong idea at its heart and is supported by hi-end photographic content which showcases the quality of the products.

What visual influences fuelled your solution?

The skincare category is crowded with all colours, shapes and sizes, we wanted to utilise the key assets of the brand and iconise our new identity to stand out against the crowd and be the beacon of choice.

Our white structures gave us a great backdrop to create an elegant identity that stood out and injected life through the use of bold colour, helping define the category semiotics.

What do you hope it achieves for the brand


Increased awareness and sales within key markets and migration of consumers into a broader range of Erno Laszlo products. 

Credit list for the work?

  • Sachin Kavia – Design Director
  • Paul Domenet – Partner & Creative Strategy Director
  • James Hardy – Designer
  • Emily Mills – Account Director
  • Dom White – Account Manager 
  • Sean De Sparengo – Photographer
  • Charlotte Oldman - Photographer


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