The Seated Queen is the first beauty product brand that Giulia Garbin (see Pulp 6) has designed and art directed. For the firm’s plain cardboard packs of natural creams and serums she chose Fedrigoni Acquerello Bianco 390g/m2, using a restrained sans serif typeface and a marque she originally made as a linocut, a craft Garbin has employed in several other projects. The monochrome monogram represents Cassiopeia, also known as the Seated Queen, a title that sisters Libby and Josephine Banks chose for their skincare brand when they founded the company in 2020.
Cassiopeia, a star constellation in the northern sky, shares its name with a figure from Greek mythology, a beguiling character who liked to boast of her unrivalled beauty. ‘The sisters liked the idea of someone who is strong,’ says Garbin, ‘but who is also imperfect and unpredictable.’
‘Libby Banks contacted me in 2018 about creating a beauty brand for smart, busy women using natural ingredients,’ says Garbin. ‘I didn’t realise how different it was to design packaging for small products like creams or serums. Some tests looked really nice on screen, but then quite bad when printed at the actual small size. For example, I had to choose and source a type that was very legible in 3 or 4pt.’ For the bottles and jars the type was screen-printed directly on the glass.
Kimberly Hawmmond’s lighthearted, slightly surreal photographs were intended to play with the concept of the ‘balancing act’ that affects our everyday lives, explains Garbin. ‘It’s been real fun to work with Kimberly, Libby and her sister Josie.’