Project by Dotvita, 2011

Reliq, a startup pet grooming brand, had a unique advantage over its competition: It used cutting-edge nanotechnology to completely dissolve odors instead of just covering them up with scents. For this project, we started all the way at the beginning and assisted in the brand naming process. The name RELIQ is derived from the term “Relic“, an object that has interest because of its age or its association with the past. It represents the brand’s adaptation of ancient materials such as volcanic ash and titanium. The name is intentionally re-spelled to end in “IQ“, subtly tying back to the brand’s science-driven approach.

The Reliq logo tells the brand story. The horizontal lines represent the earth, the dots represent the application of nano particles, the wavy lines represent the pet’s fur. This hieroglyphic design system was continued throughout the art direction and applied to pet identifiers and ambient patterns.

A sequence of icons was created to illustrate the main product story: 1. Odor is caused by harmful, microscopic bacteria that collect on the skin. 2. Generic products can’t eliminate the bacteria because their particles are too large. 3. Reliq uses nano-size particles that surround and dissolve the bacteria.

The core element of the project, was the label design for the first two products: Dog shampoo and dog deodorizer. We went through a lot of different iterations. My favorite, was the dark label featuring a volcanic landscape. It felt the most “elemental” and really captured the essence of the tagline: ancient wisdom modern solution.

Along with the label design came the exercise of scent identification. We tried everything, from simple color treatments to silhouette-style illustrations. In the end, we combined background textures with clipped photography. This made the most sense because the scents turned out to be more complex than anticipated and were hard to depict with a simple approach.

The final product turned out alright. I will say that this project involved a lot of groupthink and there were clearly too many cooks in the kitchen. Unfortunately, it also ended abruptly due to reasons beyond our control. Looking back, I still think its a viable brand identity that gives pet grooming a unique twist.

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