Badal Patel creates identity for Kulfi, a South Asian cosmetics brand challenging 'Eurocentric views and patriarchal culture'

Graphic Designer Badal Patel has created the brand identity for a new cosmetics brand, Kulfi, which celebrates the "rich culture and beauty of South Asians".

Founded and created by South Asian women, Kulfi was formed by Priyanka Ganjoo, who had found that products designed for South Asian complexions were sorely lacking.

"Beauty standards are defined by Eurocentric views and a patriarchal culture which haven't been challenged enough," she says. "We want to change that by centring South Asian skin tones and undertones, which allows us to innovate in the beauty landscape and create delight for an underserved demographic."

Independent designer and creative director of Kulfi Badal Patel, based between New York and LA, developed the brand strategy, visual identity, and packaging, copywriting, art direction, as well as the launch campaign.

She was briefed to create a brand that highlighted South Asian beauty in a way that felt fun, "like a beauty playground where you'd want to hang out and bring your friends," says the brand.

The name Kulfi is drawn from a type of South Asian ice cream, looking to evoke a sense of nostalgia and playfulness.

The typeface LFT Etica was used as a base and customised to create a wordmark that nodded to traditional calligraphic scripts while retaining a sense of modernity. The colour palette was also inspired by tradition: this time, it looked to the iridescent qualities of dual-tone silk sarees. Finally, the art direction looked to Bollywood movies for its style.

The brand launches with a range of colourful Kajal eyeliners, products with significance going back hundreds of years "used to ward off the evil eye, also known as Nazar," according to the brand. "The campaign concept, Nazar No More, is about empowering ourselves to define beauty from our own perspective rather than the gaze of others," says Patel.