Farmacy is a farm-to-face skincare brand that harnesses natural ingredients from local farms to provide clean, thoughtful formulas. The impetus for the brand was a wild discovery — a single green Echinacea bloom that Mark Veeder, CEO & Creative Director of VP+C, found in his flowerbed. Upon receiving confirmation from horticultural lab tests that the plant was a hybrid Echinacea that far exceeded any other Echinacea genus, Veeder named it GreenEnvy™, and patented it for its medicinal potency.
The brand was launched by Manhattan-based VP+C Partners. This marketing and communications agency has an incubator program where they develop and launch new brands. Farmacy’s brand identity, logo, website and packaging were a result of this incubator program.
Gavin Strumpman, S.V.P. Marketing at VP+C said, “Farmacy was the first brand to come out of the VP+C incubator. It put us in a unique position where we both were the client and agency, which was an incredible process for the whole team.”
Of designing the packaging Strumpman said, “We really challenged ourselves to create packaging that we would be proud of and that would stand out from the crowd. We were inspired by farmers markets and clean science, fresh faces that glow, rolling fields of green grass, botanicals, herbs, flower patches, rich soil, clouds in the sky and a classic white clapboard modern farmhouse. We sought to celebrate great stories and natural beauty that comes from within.”
Authenticity and sustainability are key brand values for Farmacy, so VP+C was sure to incorporate those values into the packaging. For the primary packaging, the bottle is made of glass with a stained ash wood cap. All primary components are branded with labels, for easy removal and preparation for recycling. All of the secondary paper packaging is biodegradable, and it also multitasks as the vessel to tell the brand story and instructions for use of the product.
The exterior packaging uses FSC® certified paper from well-managed forests, and inks derived from naturally renewable materials. “We selected Neenah ENVIRONMENT® Papers for the boxes because sustainability is such a core pillar for the Farmacy brand; we absolutely wanted to go with a paper product that reflected that. Additionally, the uncoated, natural texture was perfect for the farm-meets-science aesthetic that we wanted consumers to understand just by looking at the packaging. We chose a white paper to relate back to some of our original inspiration of a clapboard farmhouse, as well as evoke the scientific and clinical side of the story as well,” said Strumpman.
When designing the structure and function of the box, Veeder said the goal was to reflect the transformational qualities of the product formulas in the packaging. “We ultimately decided on a six-sided box constructed in a unique origami-inspired format that unfolds, or blooms, to reveal the brand story printed on the inside,” he said. Rather than overwhelm the outside design of the box with messaging, or print additional materials for an insert, VP+C’s solution to sharing this rich brand story was to print it on the inside of the box, adding to the unboxing moment of this folding box.
The box itself is designed to use little to no glue, aligning with Farmacy’s environmentally responsible mission. The honey that is used in the brand’s honey collection is cultivated by what the Farmacy team calls their “happy, healthy, VIB’s (very important bees) that pollinate their Echinacea GreenEnvy™ flowers, infusing the honey with powerful antioxidants.
Veeder says he and his team did a lot of learning on the fly with this project, “We started from scratch, never having launched a skincare brand before. There were many factors to take into consideration for how we would share the brand ethos, story, directions, benefits and ingredients all in one. We worked (and reworked) to distill the information, to be succinct and easy to understand, yet still feel like it was representing the brand personality of Farmacy.”
The brand and package design has been well received. Since its launch, Farmacy has become a multimillion-dollar brand, with a sales hit exclusive to Sephora and QVC and on the Farmacy website.