Penny & Rose is a collection of unique scents inspired by unique stories. The line of home fragrances, which also double as beautiful home décor, includes diffusers, room and linen sprays, surface cleaners and body mists. The line features scents distinctly attached to brand owner Keri Gollance’s childhood memories of her beloved grandparents and their family farm. The brand’s namesake is dedicated to Joe, her “handsome and hardworking” grandfather whom everyone affectionately called Penny and the love of his life, her grandmother, Rose.
Launched in 2018, Jess Glebe, of Jess Glebe Design was asked to develop the Penny & Rose brand identity and package design. The brand mark is where it all begins: the silhouette of a young, carefree girl with pigtails in mid-swing is the epitome of a happy childhood memory. “I had originally presented it with a boy, but Keri thought a girl would be more appropriate…and she was right! After all, the brand pays tribute to her grandparents and her nostalgic childhood memories. So in a very big way, this little girl on the tire swing is representative of Keri,” said Glebe.
One look at the packaging and you’re transported to a place of fresh air, screen doors, bare feet running across the yard, and the smell of something wonderful baking in the oven. The vision for the packaging, Glebe said, was to set the tone of nostalgia and warmth while not losing sight of the product’s premium quality and luxury price point, “We wanted the package to feel ‘homey’ but not ‘country’ or homemade. Incorporating the light and airy, white, CLASSIC® Linen background along with the colorful flowers on the telescoping box lid helped bring color to the package while supporting the nostalgic element of the brand. The flowers and foliage we selected have a special meaning as well. As kids, during their visits to the farm, Keri and her cousin would create carpets for their outdoor forts with the ferns they picked, and Keri would pick Queen Anne’s Lace for Rose.”
Each of the brand’s 11 scents is inspired by and named for a distinct childhood memory. From Penny Candy, and Lawn Chair Lemonade, to Roasted Maple ‘Mallows, Farmhouse OJ, and The Tree of ’53 the Penny & Rose brand is dedicated to evoking memories of home, sweet, home. The attention to detail in every aspect of the packaging is inspiring, from the bottle and box construction to the graphic design and the surprise stories.
A short story describing the memory that inspired the scent is printed on a hang tag and tucked inside each box. For instance, the Roasted Maple Mallows story begins, “The 4th of July was the day I looked forward to most on the farm. It began with the annual Farm Olympics, where everyone won a trophy and winners and losers did not exist. My poor cousin, Lisa, had to be penalized after every single event to even the playing field; she was just so much faster than the rest of us, and God forbid Farm Olympics didn’t end with every kid receiving the exact same number of points….” (Read more here) “These stories, beautifully written by our in-house copywriter Caitlin Riley, pull from Keri’s childhood memories of growing up on the farm. Every scent tells a story, hence the tagline, ‘A scent for your thoughts,’” Glebe said.
One of the design challenges Glebe and her team faced was keeping the aesthetic clean and minimal while incorporating all of the graphic elements. Glebe said, “I sometimes second-guess my choices here, but I think balancing the scale and proportions, and the tracking some of the typography helped. We were very intentional about the typography and placement of the flowers, making sure to leave as much white space as possible, particularly around the logo.”
To complement the plethora of graphic elements, Glebe incorporated multiple paper colors and textures. “Neenah’s CLASSIC® Linen, Solar White box wrap was the perfect color and texture for our lid illustrations. It printed so crisply and vividly, and the texture supports the hand-painted look we were going for,” she said.
For the reveal on the box, Glebe chose CLASSIC® Linen Epic Black to give the box added dimension and enhance the gold foil stamped tagline. Glebe said, “The brown kraft base kept the design grounded and natural, while the linen paper stocks paired with gold foil and vivid imagery elevated the design. Overall, we wanted to evoke a feeling of ‘approachable luxury.’ So often the idea of luxury comes not only with a high sticker price but with a cold, pretentious exclusion, which we tried our very best to avoid.”
“This project,” Glebe said, “was one giant undertaking and a labor of love, especially for the Keri, who could not be more dedicated to this brand. We pour our heart and soul into every project that comes our way, but this one felt particularly special from the onset. The hangtags, which are printed on Neenah’s ROYAL SUNDANCE®, are my favorite element of the package design because they represent the true essence of the brand all wrapped up in one special, little card.”