Behind the Boka Design Aesthetic
Providing the best oral care products at a price anyone can afford is our top priority. Just behind that is beautiful design, which permeates all we do at Boka.
We took great care in carefully building our design aesthetic. After all, it’s something that affects everything we make—from the toothbrushes, to the tissue paper in Boka boxes, to this blog platform.
Alex Register, our designer, took us through development of the Boka design philosophy, from its inspiration to how it affects the products that hit your doorstep every three months.
When we looked at the toothbrush industry, we noticed it was missing a sense of fun and simplicity, and that gave us a really great opportunity to do something different. From very early on, we knew that we wanted our bristles to use Japanese Binchotan charcoal, so it seemed fitting to look to Japanese minimalism for inspiration. We took that design aesthetic and brought in bright pops of color, illustrations, and lifestyle photography to make it fun and approachable. Overall, the design still feels clean and modern, but with a friendly personality.
The logo is a good example of this mash-up. We used really simple and stark forms to create the holding shape of a toothbrush sitting on top of a box, but then made the type nice and open gave it the soft rounded “A” to add in a little bit of friendliness.
Why our brushes look the way they do
We spent a lot of time trying different toothbrushes in the market, and ultimately decided that a lot of what’s used to differentiate them is pretty unnecessary. While multi-colored rubber nibs and angled bristles may look innovative, we aren’t convinced that they actually help you get a healthier mouth. With this in mind, we decided to simplify the toothbrush and cut out the clutter. A good brush needs soft, tapered bristles and an ergonomic shape that’s comfortable to hold. Aside from that, everything else could be stripped away.
As we get feedback on our initial line of products we’ll continue to revise and improve our brush designs, but these same core principles will serve us well as we move forward.
Our color palette
We kept ourselves limited to four primary colors, starting with mint (which seemed fitting, given our toothpaste flavor) and layering in the other colors to expand the palette. The navy color (which we lovingly call blueberry) gave us a really nice base color to pair with mint. We then rounded out the palette by bringing in louder, warm colors with tangerine and coral. All of these colors are used in a very restrained and intentional way that reinforces Boka’s belief in simplicity.
Packaging matters too
The Boka box needed to stand out so that when you get it in the mail, you recognize it. We wanted the whole experience to delight—it should be something you look forward to. We really liked the idea of doing a big chunky pattern on the outside that deconstructs the Boka logo and other graphics so whichever way the box is sitting or however the label is applied, there are no awkward cuts. The chunky pattern is also much more forgiving to shipping and mailing scuffs, so the outside of the box isn’t something that’s super precious.
From there we wanted the unboxing experience to hit you with bright colors and detailed patterns. We created around a dozen sub-marks using little expressions, and then took those marks and created a pattern we apply to the packaging and a few spots on the website. The tissue paper we use to wrap the products uses the blueberry color with this detailed pattern, and we applied the same pattern to the polybags our brushes are sealed in. We then use a tangerine sticker to seal the tissue paper so you get all Boka colors in one box, regardless of the toothbrush you order. The whole experience pulls all our brand elements together, starting big and becoming more personal and delicate as you dig into the box.
So that’s a little insight into how we believe in offering the best of both design and oral-care products. We put a lot of thought and care into creating Boka, and we hope that you enjoy all the little details we poured so much of ourselves into.
Expect this same attention to detail and beautiful design as we unroll new products in the future.