Creating a cohesive visual story


The Importance of Public Perceptions

Cellucoat’s personality is defined by our intentions of addressing the problems of food and plastic waste in a sustainable manner. Because our project is centered around consumer perspectives, our team understands that branding and design is critical to our public perception. We carefully wanted to craft every aspect of our brand to convey key themes of our project. The main ideas we wanted to shine through included but were not limited to: environmental-friendliness, thoughtfulness, forward-thinking, quality, longevity, authenticity, and freshness. Our goal was to incorporate these elements throughout our project to create a long lasting, positive impression, and visually tell a story with our work.

Logo and Aesthetics

What Do We Think of When We Hear "Cellucoat"?

The name Cellucoat was derived from the combination of two words: "cellulose" and "coating". While we stuck with using bacterial cellulose for a packaging material, the term "coating" shifted slightly in its meaning. We initially wanted to individually coat fruit with cellulose and be consumed by the user, because cellulose is food-safe. However, the feedback we recieved from the Mindfuel Tech Futures Challenge and our customer discovery interviews, we pivoted away using bacteria to make an edible material. Still, we decided to keep the "coat" part of Cellucoat, because we felt it reflected our products purpose as a packaging material.

One of the challenges we faced while creating a logo was to ensure that we were not mistaken for a fruit company. We wanted a peach to be the focus of our design beacuse of its bright, warm colours, but we also wanted to include elements of synthetic biology - specifically, our use for bacterial cellulose. We initially thought to incorporate a sheild as a symbol of our packaging's protective qualities, however, we were missing a science element that would distinguish us as a biotechnology company. We landed on using a cellulose molecule, which is wrapped around the outside of the fruit to represent our application as a fruit packaging.

Figure 1. Creating a Cellucoat Logo that incorporated elements of fruit and synethtic biology packaging. Iteration 1 was focused on colour and shape choice, Iteration 2 was focused on incorporating elements of a protective packaging, and Iteration 3 shows our final logo (left) and alternate logo styling (right).

Figure 2. Our new Instagram logo!

Using Artificial Intelligence

This year, we incorporated AI into our design elements as a nod to our use of machine learning in the Drylab. We used the open source image generator Craiyon to create images of peach baskets in the style of Picasso, which were used on our thank you cards and postcards. We also used GPT-3 to generate text used in our sponsorship package. Our use of AI both in the Drylab and in design are an ode to the innumerable capabilities of machine learning across disciplines.

Figure 3. AI peach designs.

Working With a Local Artist

Inspiration From Carla Lugo's Work

While we had some of the basics of our branding established, we wanted input from someone with a non-science perspective to help make Cellucoat welcoming for a broader audience. After doing some research about what kind of style we wanted, we were put in contact with Carla Lugo. Carla is a talented artist and recent graduate from Sheridan College with a Bachelor of Animation. She specialises in character design, visual development and illustration, she currently resides right here in Calgary. We immediately fell in love with Carla’s art style - her ability to capture vivid, scenic images in a playful and colourful art piece, was inspiring. If you are curious about what drew us to Carla’s work, we highly recommend you check out her portfolio at!

We worked closely with Carla throughout the summer and fall months of our iGEM season. Together we collaborated on designing our Wiki homepage and create visual elements throughout the subpages. Through Zoom calls, we described what Cellucoat is - an antimicrobial food packaging and sustainable alternative to single-use plastics - and she drafted several design ideas for our homepage!

Figure 4. Initial Wiki design drafts - created by Carla.

It was important that we explain the overarching themes of our project, and not get lost in the convuluted details. Through several iterations of designing, creating, and incorporating our feedback, Carla created beautiful elements for our Wiki page. Her peach-themed colour palette and simple, yet effective design captured the meaning of our project in a visually aesthetic way.

Figure 5. Design considerations for the main three components of our project - created by Carla.