We first saw the need for Verb in our own salons when the cost of hair products began to surpass the price of our haircuts. Affordable salon quality is what we do, and harmful ingredients like sulfates, parabens and gluten don’t fly with our clients. Color-safe and cruelty-free throughout the line are also musts. We couldn’t find an accessible, clean, natural-leaning line that fit those criteria for our retail shelf and didn’t cost a fortune.
"For packaging inspiration, we looked a lot to straightforward, innovative brands outside of professional beauty like Rag & Bone, Madewell, Everlane, Warby Parker, not to mention the aesthetic of artists from Mondrian to the Eames family of furniture makers. "
The challenge was to break the mold if we were going to speak to all those people who didn’t pay attention to a retail shelf they found irrelevant. Mainstays like fancy names, cosmetology-speak and swirling scripts that complicated the product’s purpose were anathema to what we were trying to do. After a lot of thought, we settled on Verb for the line’s name to resonate with the on-the-go, no bull person who’d be buying our product. “Why Verb?” is a question I get a lot. Probably the best answer came from an English teacher I was sitting next to at the airport. Her answer, “Because it works, that’s why.”
Smart buyers want their choices to matter, and we found those elements all around us in the art and brands we liked already. For packaging inspiration, we looked a lot to straightforward, innovative brands outside of professional beauty like Rag & Bone, Madewell, Everlane, Warby Parker, not to mention the aesthetic of artists from Mondrian to the Eames family of furniture makers. As Charles Eames once said, “The details are not the details. They make the design.”
Maybe the greatest influence of all to the Verb look is the band New Order (formerly Joy Division), especially the music and art from their most seminal albums. When we were developing Verb their music was always playing in the back office – a timeless sound of the future, but with heart and soul – the soundtrack to the Verb line. “Movement,” “Brotherhood,” “Technique” and especially the album cover for “Power, Corruption and Lies” spoke to us deeply. Each one different – from minimalism to pop art to Renaissance still life, you still always knew it was a New Order album cover without the name even being there, and the art perfectly conveyed the sound within.
The details make the design.
Until next time. -MP