Microalgae

Client: WLGYL Year: 2021

Promotional video for the New York based Skin-Care and Make-Up-Brand When life gives you lemons.

WLYGL approached me to come up with a creative and experimental lettering piece to highlight their oil-based booster. Something surprising, something that takes on a different perspective.

I choose one of the ingredients, the microalgae, to use for this project and searched for a new way to highlight it. After a lot of experimenting with the microalgae I finally implemented the concept in the laboratory with the support of Gläsernes Labor here in Berlin. I compiled the process into a promotional video as well as photos through the whole process.


First concept

My first approach was to write into the microalgae powder and then to mix water to it, so the powder would dissolve. So far in theory, but after several attempts it ended up not mixing with the power as spectacular as hoped, so I kept experimenting.

More experiments

For the next concept I had the idea to lay out the letters with the powder and then mix water to it, hoping it the dissolving effect would be bigger. It did worked on the edges of the letter, but the thick layer of the powder stoped did not.

Another direction

As the idea with the powder did not work out, we had to go into a different direction. I adapted the ink-diffusion effect I am used to work with acrylic inks to the micro algae powder. I wrote down the word with the water first and then add the powder into it. I did work, but the effect wasn’t as big as I hoped as the powder would not dissolve as good either. So another direction was needed.

Finishing line

For the next concept the initially idea was to mix the powder with the water upfront and to paint the letters using a brush. This gave me more control over the consistency of the paste and the look of the letters. After I wrote down the letters, I added more water to the already mixed-up powder which led to a more visible effect of the powder dissolving further with the water, as well as an overall cleaner and legible lettering. We found the final concept.   

Back in the lab

After a lot of experimenting with the microalgae I finally implemented the concept in the laboratory with the support of Gläsernes Labor here in Berlin.

We decided to do the final run in a petri-dish, to emphasise this experimental feeling of this project. I mixed up the powder with water and wrote down the word “Strength” with a brush. After this add a little bit water with a pipette into the letters under a binocular and a microscope to see the microalgae moving as the water dissolved more and more of the powder.


“This project was one of the most creative pieces of content that we’ve done as a brand. We wanted to dramatize the potency of our Micro Marine Algae in our Oil-Balance Booster and do it in a way that is disruptive in the category. Nick brought a unique and clear vision from the start and understood the brand core very well. Working with him fast extremely easy and the output is exactly what we wanted.”

Nita Sederholm / Founder, When Life Gives You Lemons