Standing in the ‘sexy’ section of the local pharmacist, dodging the judgemental eyes of shoppers, many women will relate to gingerly reaching for some lube and wondering if this really belongs on our bits. Kathie Bishop – a medical herbalist specialising in female intimate health, founded Into the Wylde with the mission to create a lubricant brand for women, made specifically with women’s physical needs in mind, and not just from a product point of view. A vulva is not a penis, it has very different needs, and mimicking natural lubricant is about more than just making things slippy. A female lubricant product must work on a psychological, emotional level – connecting with women visually and verbally through the brand design and communication. And so, Into the Wylde set out to cross the slippery category of fem-care with a lubricant that gets women’s needs, inside and out.
The brand and packaging was conceptualised by designer Claire Hartley who set out to create a visual identity that’s a harmonious balance between elegance and play. The hand-drawn logo brings an organic yet sensual feel – a nod to the brand concept of connecting with our inner Wylde One. Paired with a rich colour palette of pinks and greens, the aesthetic is flirtatiously vibrant. The packaging features hand-illustrated nudes seductively wrapped in wylde botanicals – referencing the product’s natural ingredients. It was important the brand’s nude (which, we nicknamed Freda on account of her powerful poses and effervescent confidence) emerge from her botanical backdrop strong and unabashed. So often do we see feminine nudity as either oversexed or somehow hidden and secretive. The visual identity is about presenting a body the way it is, draped in nature, wylde, beautiful and unapologetic. The look and feel expresses femininity through its essence, with a sexy, adventurous tone that invites you to reawaken play.
The brand tone of voice and messaging, written by Siena Dexter, Creative Director at Idea Dolls London, was inspired by Kathie’s straight-talking tone and journey to creating the brand. Suffering for years with thrush, Kathie found the condition disconnected her from her intimate expression. The tone of voice had to approach sexuality in a gentler way, showing respect to the emotional and psychological complexities of female intimacy – all that with sophistication which fitted our visual identity, and a playfulness which articulated being ‘into the wylde’ – the freedom of connecting with a natural flow. The brand tagline ‘reawaken play’ and social hashtags ‘#VulvaLovinCare’ and ‘#FreeTheV’ all communicate the brand’s message of connection, natural vulva health, and between-the-sheets fun.
Creating the brand messaging highlighted some very real issues around fem-care messaging – we wanted to be progressive, forward thinking, even bold, but can we really say ‘vulva’ on the pack? and will we sound like a GUM clinic doctor if we do?
Our messaging had to be direct, we didn’t want to shy away from talking about female anatomy, but if we were honest about how women communicate, the word ‘downstairs’ is far more likely to be used than ‘vulva’ in everyday conversation. We navigated uncharted paths of how to say natural lubrication without saying ‘moist’ or ‘wet’ (too gross, too X rated), and whether yoni, vulva or just ‘down-under’ are best suited to describing where the product goes (we went with the latter).
After 6 years of development, and almost 2 years of brand creation, Into the Wylde’s ‘Wylde One’ water-based lubricant is finally set to launch on Monday 13th April, and we hope will resonate with sexually active women of all ages, reawakening play and lubricated lovin’.