UTU: Refinement in the Sun

Summer, with an abundance of sunlight, invites us to enjoy our free time outdoors. However, getting a suntan can sometimes negatively affect your skin, so skincare products can be your friends on holiday. With this in mind, you may find it confusing to choose a suitable sun protector, as there are many specialized products with unclear compositions.

In response to this, the Los Angeles, CA-based startup UTU focuses on sun protection and skincare by implementing an innovative and sustainable approach. The brand’s product range includes sunscreens and after sun oils that efficiently protect, nourish, and moisturize your skin. UTU emphasizes the use of natural ingredients and harmless formulations designed for a “safe and pleasant sun experience.” The brand also emphasizes its commitment to sustainability and respect for the environment while promoting a positive attitude towards sunbathing.

To establish a powerful and unique visual identity, the brand has partnered with the French design studio Yorgo&Co, which created a simple yet impactful logo: the sun and its reflection in the water, symbolizing a “horizon of opportunities.” It is worth noting that UTU is, in fact, a reference to Utu, the god of the sun in Sumerian mythology.

The UTU icon is visually appealing due to the contrast between the continuous space of the sun and the reflection designed with separate, perfectly aligned lines. Different versions of the icon, with varying heights of the sun over the horizon, are used on packaging to indicate the product’s protection level, creating an original and flexible graphic system that helps customers understand the characteristics of each sun protector.

In addition to the sun icon, the UTU logo includes a wordmark in a custom typeface called Utu Neue. This linear font with orthogonal ends offers optimal legibility with subtle details. It is also used for brand messages against a warm, deep orange background, which dominates the brand’s color palette.

This unique color ensures instant recognizability for the brand across all mediums. A bright shade of beige enhances the visual identity, contrasting with the main color in both straight and negative color schemes to improve readability. These elements follow a strict hierarchy of graphic elements that make it easier for consumers to understand the information presented.

UTU’s visual identity, characterized by copper reflections and distinctive typography, ensures consistency across all communication channels. This graphic simplicity leaves a lasting impression, providing a competitive edge in the skincare industry dominated by such brands as Coppertone and La Roche-Posay.

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