Before & After: New Packaging for Urban Leaf


A few months ago, Urban Leaf reached out to me to redesign their packaging. They wanted boxes for a new product launch along with new seed packets, and they wanted everything to feel botanical. Other than that, I could do what I wanted with the designs. Of course, I said yes.

Urban Leaf is a company based in New York City that is working to build a more sustainable food system. They create kits that allow you to make an herbal garden on your windowsill, and then use the plants you grow in your food. (My first plant is basil!). 


The original packaging used kraft paper and had an organic feel but didn't emphasize what I viewed as the beauty of the products. That is, the plants. The composition felt unbalanced to me and the placement of the logo (those green leaves) and the lettering seemed unintentional. But we all agreed that the kraft paper was important to keep consistent in the redesign, and so we wanted to find a way to include it.


To limit the budget, we decided to make one pattern that would work across all the new products and could be differentiated by color. I incorporated elements from each product kit (different basils, dill, marigolds, etc.) and illustrated and arranged them into a repeat pattern. Then we decided on a 13-color palette that would work across all their new branding elements.


Of course, there needed to be labels on the boxes, so I designed the box with a belly band. As a nod to the original design, we decided to use a thick kraft paper for the bands and keep the text all white (which echoes the logo on the top of the box). I hand lettered the main elements of each band and then integrated a playful typeface that can be easily edited. I chose the fun, scripty Felt That by Blue Vinyl Fonts. 


Lastly, I designed new seed packets to accompany the product launch. I love how the colors mix together, and the way the simple line drawings with white text softens the effect of the colors. I also love the combination of a simple, clear design with illustration. 

This was such a fun project to work on and--I'm so happy to say--we have more designs and branding elements in progress. I can't wait to share them with you!