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naming | creative strategy | creative direction | identity | packaging | print | environmental

AURA Candle Bar is a Chicago-based socially interactive retail experience bringing people together to explore and create through the power of scent.

The visionary owners, a husband and wife team newly relocated to Chicago, wanted AURA Candle Bar to be an experience unlike any other. Their aim is to be THE place in Chicago to escape from the ordinary, embark on a fragrance discovery journey, make custom-scented products, and most importantly, memories with friends and family.

We started this project from scratch, having only seen a potential retail space (a former a real estate office that was very dark/dated), but knew right away the owners were creative, imaginative and determined. In partnership with them, we initiated discovery discussions to learn about their ideas and talk about their mission. We exchanged ideas on Pinterest boards and then surveyed the local market for other candle-making or fragrance shops and inspirational retailers. 

After these phases, we turned to brainstorming name concepts and aspirational brand ideas. Every touchpoint after that, starting with the logo to the expanded identity system, to the signage and packaging was developed collaboratively, and the result was a joyful, journey of creation all its own.

For this work, Bodnar Design was the recipient of a 2020 Graphic Design USA Brand Design Award (see below).

click image to see full slide show



Graphic Design USA -
Brand Design Award 

Art Direction & Design:

Paula Bodnar Schmitt


Minuteman Press (collateral)

The Label Printers (packaging labels)


Corporate ID Solutions

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