In the past few years, we’ve witnessed the launch of silent hair dryers and damage-free bleaching. We’ve learned that shampoo comes after conditioner, and pre-shampoo treatments come before both. And yet, despite all this innovation, the bland, pink and purple packaging in the haircare aisle still looks as outdated as teased bangs.
So, when R+Co landed on shelves in May 2014, it felt like the biggest thing to hit hairstyling since dry shampoo. Yes, the professional formulas inside are advanced, but it’s what’s on the outside that really caught people’s attention. The bright, saturated photographs and quirky product names filled our news feeds faster than you can say texturizing spray — and the brand cemented its cult status before people had even smelled the stuff.
But none of that would have happened without the brand’s creative director and model-turned-stylist Amanda Wall. R+Co co-founder and hairstylist Howard McLaren, who met Wall on a Bumble and Bumble photoshoot years ago, tapped her to advise the art direction of his new line. After years of collaborating with McLaren, she was comfortable enough to say that the existing packaging sucked. Big time.
“They already had the packaging designed and it was all fluorescent orange,” says Wall, cringing. “It was a major design firm they had hired. I said, ‘This is horrible; the brand cannot be this.'" She started reaching out to design friends for assistance when inspiration suddenly struck. “This idea came to me to put photographs on the packaging. It was right at the beginning of Instagram and I liked the idea of people really connecting with photographs,” she said.
But Wall does much more than nod her head yes or no to photo mockups. The former model designs everything from start to finish, and occasionally even jumps behind and in front of the camera — resulting in the prettiest damn product packaging you've ever seen. Check out the slides ahead to see her creative process, and get ready to gain some serious inspiration.