Cavanbah | Byron Bay, Australia
Brand discovery, design and delivery for a luxurious line of hair care products.
Cavanbah | Byron Bay, Australia
Beauty - Hair care
Branding; Brand Development, Creative Direction, Brand Messaging, Copywriting, Art Direction, Product Photography.
Packaging; Creative Direction, Packaging Strategy and Range Architecture, Custom Packaging Design, Product Naming.
Wilde by Oscar is the brainchild of celebrity hairdresser, Oscar Cullinan — founder of Oscar Oscar Salons and twice-awarded Australian Hair Dresser of the Year. Oscar is no stranger to taming tresses and showcasing lustrous hair. Oscar is renowned for his opulent styling skills and high-end salon experiences, but he recognised a gap in the quality of hair products available in the Australian market; products that support hair that’s subjected to the extreme weather conditions that sweep our country.
Between our ocean adventures, blistering sun and cold winters — there’s no denying Australian hair needs a little (a lot) more love than its international friends.
Oscar set out to create a solution. Put simply: high-quality products to revitalise and transform Aussie hair. Better known today as Wilde by Oscar.
We proudly joined forces, closely collaborating to bring his vision for the product range to life.
Just like all the By Ninja adventures we embark on, our approach was a mastered balance of strategic genius and boundless creative output, and so, the journey into the Wilde began.
Wilde is an ode to Nature and Nurture. An exquisite blend of high-quality, sustainable Australian native ingredients centred around the potent reparative hemp seed oils grown on Oscar’s farm in the lush foothills of Byron Bay.
Each product in the Wilde by Oscar range has its own story — it was our job to tell those accurately.
Our work with Oscar and the Wilde team has always been of an open, organic and collaborative nature. Just the way we like it. From day one, we had free-flowing conversations, deep discussions and explored big visions.
Like all projects, it’s paramount that a brand story is defined and its heart and audience are deeply understood before the design work even remotely begins.
It started with a comprehensive brand discovery journey and it progressed with ensuring every element of the project was staying unapologetically true to that – from the messaging we crafted, to the extension of visual identity, and the physicality of the packaging.
A branding project with so many moving parts requires more than creative design output and strategic thinking. It was important that we were managing this project proactively and with clear communication every step of the way. It’s not our first Ninja rodeo — we know the challenges that can arise when collaborating with brands, formulators, printers and manufacturers all at once. We’re no strangers to juggling different shipment times, production processes and reaching launch deadlines – we were ready for anything that was thrown our way.
At its core, our mission was to curate a unique and enchanting custom packaging design experience for today’s women of Australia. We took inspiration from the intentions of each product line and the key Australian botanicals featured in Wilde’s formulas.
We led with striking imagery, complemented by the clean and crisp contrast of open space. The end goal: an overall minimalist design that oozes an uptown, high-end look and feel, and reflects the high-quality goodness that’s inside.
Oscar’s salons are known for leading and exceeding all esteemed benchmarks in both hair and the salon environment – we set out to make sure his product line would be no different.
At By Ninja, we treat brands like living breathing humans. In this project, it was a matter of treating each product as an individual — each with its own personality, purpose and story to tell.
Our design decisions were driven by these unique stories and how we could tell them in an aligned, cohesive way, while still showcasing their individuality.
After plenty of conceptualising, we fly-kicked into action, creating a minimalist concept design that said it all, without saying a word. We named the products and crafted the packaging copy, ensuring the messaging was aligned and impactful.
From there, it was time to embark on the practicalities of the product packaging. We investigated four different design options extensively, testing for protection, impact, assembly and cost - ensuring each element ticked every box.
Then came the visuals. The Wilde by Oscar range is a family affair. The same DNA, yet totally different. Each design concept is Wildely unique and built around the characteristics of each range, yet connected through a consistent architecture.
The design of the moisture line was led by its core botanical ingredients — Kakadu Plum and Hemp Seed. Kakadu Plum is a powerful fruit with the highest recorded levels of natural Vitamin C content in the world. Its beautiful pale green colour sparked the pallet inspiration for this range. As for Hemp Seed – we’re sure it needs no introduction.
The potency of the ingredients inside the bottles of Wilde by Oscar is undeniable. They are rich, active and transformative. Our aim was to mirror these characteristics on the outside too, with packaging that showcased exactly how magical they are.
The protein range was no different. Our design decisions were again formed around Hemp Seed and the highly-beneficial Wattle Seed. Despite their tiny size, Wattle Seed holds ridiculously high concentrations of potassium, calcium, iron and zinc.
The final colour selections were implemented through memorable marble textures and matched against lighter tones to make sure they stand out on the shelves.
We came to the marble concept by looking really closely at hair. Now, when we say really closely, we’re talking under-a-microscope close. Oddly, it reminded us of contours and the textures of marble. At a micro and cellular level, the hair follicles resembled swirling water. That’s where the concept of the marble-swirls began.
As we explored this direction more and considered the premium reputation of marble and its strong and resilient nature, we knew it was an aligned representation of the Wilde by Oscar story.
Our most recent collaboration with Oscar and his team was the art series: a prepping, styling and finishing product line. The concept for this line dug deep into how they make the user feel — stylish, bold, confident, and glamorous. We used abstract representations of the products, placed across boldly contrasting backgrounds. We included a surprise textural element on the bottle caps by using a 360-degree, three-dimensional raised printing technique.
Our ultimate goal was for the primary packaging to be made from post-consumer recycled (PCR) plastic – not virgin. (No easy feat, but a challenge we were up for, and determined to see through.)
We sourced and established collaborative relationships with manufacturers who were willing to work with us and make this as much of a reality as possible – without compromising on product integrity. They did specific, thorough testing just for us, providing insights and data around the highest percentages for each packaging type. The (rewarding) result: a significant reduction in the amount of virgin plastic needed.
With responsibly sourced ingredients and memorable packaging designed that was created just as mindfully, the Wilde by Oscar range is a collection of products that people can be proud to call their own.
The line launched with great success. As its expansion continues to unfold, we’re proud to be in the driver's seat with them.
Wilde’s products and packaging have continued to evolve, with new formulators supporting Oscar’s vision to double down on environmental impacts and move the needle forward to find even better solutions. The new era of Wilde’s packaging reduces its carbon footprint by an incredible 24%, and in 2022, helped divert just over one tonne of plastic from landfill.
Oscar is a visionary with a goal to make sure every Australian experiences Wilde hair.
There’s one thing we know for sure: There is no stopping Wilde by Oscar.
Doing things differently starts with a conversation.