Alaffia branded products on a yellow table

Alaffia empowers women’s futures and entire communities in Togo, West Africa by creating fair trade body and hair care products using traditional methods. And while their social enterprise model and founder have received national leadership recognition, Alaffia’s in-store shelf presence and market share were being crushed by better-branded competitors in the natural beauty space.

In the client’s words, we were charged to “bring back the soul” of the Alaffia brand through its identity and packaging.

Alaffia logo

Grounded in Chen Design’s strategic process, Alaffia’s leadership opted for this courageous “Modern Africa” direction to stand out on the shelf. Our approach respects viewers’ intelligence and references African symbology more abstractly rather than borrowing from it directly. The new identity is contemporary and bold, yet refined and joyful.

Scope of Work


Art Direction







Brand Guide

Woman tending to plants
Two women smiling
Founder Olowo-n’djo Tchala
Maternal Care
School Construction
Bicycles for Education
School Supplies

We thoughtfully used minimal illustration to express Alaffia’s brand personality and to visually convey empowerment metrics key to the mission.

Previous Alaffia product packaging compared to new Alaffia product packaging

Chen Design reclaimed the soul of Alaffia’s brand in large part by streamlining what had become an overworked look and a hard-to-read identity and message.

Our solution provides unmistakable brand recognition to authentically set Alaffia apart from its competitors in the marketplace. Solving for the challenges of complexity and scale of our client’s extensive offerings, we united six different collections — each with their distinct audiences, multiple lines and scents — cohesively under one parent brand. Pleasing altogether, each member of the family independently represents the brand and what it stands for, while expressing its own personality.

For the Authentic African Black Soap collection, we customized letterforms that meld a love for handcrafted tradition with a contemporary tastemaker-Africa vibe. Bright colors evoke scents. Geometric forms echo shapes in our revitalized wordmark. Did you catch the bar of soap?





Authentic African Black Soap product lineup

We gave Alaffia’s beloved hair care an updated makeover as the grown-up but still spicy sister of the family.

Beautiful Curls

Haircare product lineup

Chen Design developed a robust and expandable color coding and iconography system to communicate to customers on logical but also subconscious, emotional levels.

Multitude of Alaffia Everyday Shea branded bottles
Everyday Coconut
Everyday Shea

We developed custom icons for each of Alaffia’s scents, honoring traditional African symbology with a contemporary, clean yet organic sensibility.

Custom pattern
Alaffia Everyday products

Our packaging designs for Baobab Baby and Kids speak directly to their specific, respective audiences.

Aligned with the African ethos of the brand, we illustrated familiar and beloved animals in their natural habitats, with a nod to each product.

Kids bubble bath
Baobab Baby 2-in-1 shampoo and body wash
Alaffia Kids products

Made with love and respect. We immersed ourselves in the roots and essence of the brand and created this supportive tagline that speaks to consumers directly from the heart of Alaffia and its core values.

Collection products

In harmony with the entire Alaffia family of natural beauty products, the Collection line is designed for audiences in higher-end retail environments.

Collection pattern

“I’m delighted to introduce you to our Rebirth and vibrant new look! …These changes represent our commitment to the transparency of our processes from co-op to shelf. I couldn’t be more proud of what the team has accomplished.”

Olowo-n’djo Tchala, Founder and CEO of Alaffia

Close up of bottles and empowerment infographics

Close up of seal on circular metal tinsClose up of logo imprint on soap barCloseups of seal on bottles

What’s in a package? Chen Design uses the power of visual storytelling and effective writing to help further Alaffia’s mission of making the world a better place than we found it.

For deeper information about all the good this company is doing, visit their website.

Women with bicycles
Woman working
Pages from Alaffia brand guidelines

“I cannot recommend Chen Design highly enough! This was absolutely the best experience I have ever had working with a creative team (in or out of house!). True design experts, their creativity, aesthetic problem solving and strategic thinking are core strengths. They did their homework, approached the project from an intellectual, human and commercial lens, and were amazing partners on every level. I will seek out opportunities to work with Chen Design again in future.”

Eden Palmer, VP of Brand Management & Category Strategy