Branding agency SMAKK delivers radiant new identity for skincare standout Mother Dirt.
Since its introduction in 2015, Mother Dirt has earned acclaim for pioneering a skin wellness system that uses the power of live, active probiotics to restore the skin’s microbiome. Now, in celebration of the reformulation of its entire line and the release of two new restorative skincare kits, the brand announces a bold refresh of its entire identity, led by branding and marketing agency SMAKK.
With its Active Probiotic System featuring Ammonia Oxidizing Bacteria (AOB), Mother Dirt needed its branding to better reflect the power of its unique offering. “When someone envisions glowing, radiant skin, we’re pretty sure their first thought isn’t of a balanced microbiome,” explains SMAKK Founder Katie Klencheski. “Our goal was to tie the idea of biological balance and microbiome science to the end result of vibrant, healthier-looking skin in a way that still felt beautiful, elevated and resonated with consumers as a way of self-care.”
This meant recognizing that the cause of an unbalanced microbiome is actually modern skincare itself, as it’s often full of preservatives and other chemicals that hurt the skin’s “good bacteria”. For many, this is the cause of eczema, acne, and other skin conditions — creating a vicious cycle of using more skincare products to correct problems caused by skincare. SMAKK wanted to help the brand stand out and make a statement against these traditional skincare approaches while staying grounded in Mother Dirt’s game-changing discovery and research.
“From the beginning, our strategy started with the insight that Mother Dirt isn’t skincare, it’s a skin wellness system,” Klencheski continues. “We put a stake in the ground with the fundamental idea that ‘We don’t believe in bad skin, only bad skincare’. That simple message became the guiding light behind everything we created for the brand.”
Accordingly, the new Mother Dirt branding uses bold and disruptive visual cues to deliver this message. The dynamic logo boasts a variable height letterform treatment that “grows” — reflecting that the product itself is actually alive, living bacteria — as well as a journey with peaks and valleys that are ever-evolving. Also central to the identity is a circular mark mirroring the red AOB flower-like dot structure — a ”bloom” that references the microbiome thriving. The color palette pairs naturally soft and quiet tones with energetic red and deep purple. These themes extend across all of the materials and brand touchpoints, informing everything from brand strategy and identity to copywriting, messaging, site design and development and packaging.
Photography also became more integral to the overall brand – for use on social platforms, the brand website and in marketing campaigns. SMAKK partnered with Doan Ly, a floral designer and photographer who was able to bring a beautiful, modern perspective to the natural elements of the brand through product shots. They also worked with lifestyle photographer Sergio Kurhajec to capture the natural, radiant skin that is a hallmark of the brand.
For SMAKK, the collaboration helped underscore the impact of a positive brand mission when matched with the right design and message. “This project shows the wide breadth of our capabilities and how they all work together in a meaningful way, allowing the brand to lead the conversation and tell the brand story in a way that boldly resonates with its audience,” says Klencheski. “It also creates a strong foundation and platform for the brand to continue to evolve, and we’re proud to have been a part of that evolution.”