Conservation Art: A New Look for Who We've Always Been
Since our founding in 1995, our commitment to a healthier world has found expression in our beloved artwork. It’s been part of our identity ever since our founder, Bill, released the first Badger Balm and commissioned a local artist to create one-of-a-kind artwork for the packaging. We see it as some goodness on the outside to reflect what’s on the inside, a touch of healing magic to delight the mind and soul.
As we celebrate 25 years in business and look ahead to the next quarter century, we feel called into a new era. We have been steadily expanding our climate advocacy and wildlife conservation efforts as we recognize that many different spaces need our help, from coral reefs impacted by chemical sunscreens to soils depleted by conventional ingredient farming. Rather than anthropomorphize these animals and ecosystems, we feel that our cornerstone artwork should represent them authentically – because appreciating nature helps us remember why we need to protect it.
Just as we did in 1995, we’ve been working with a talented artist to reenvision our product packaging in a way that celebrates the outdoor spaces we enjoy and hope to protect, from the waves we surf to the trails we explore. This new design on the outside also reflects the ingredients we use on the inside: clean, simple, close to nature, and of the highest quality. If our whimsical original Badger artwork represented the dreamer in all of us, this new artwork illustrates our waking clarity that our impact on the natural world matters now more than ever.
Can you guess which artwork belongs to each of our sunscreens? Keep reading or click to find out!
What is Conservation Art?
We are thrilled to be partnering with Rachel Hudson, a wildlife illustrator working with leading conservation organizations (including the Badger Trust!), to expand our artwork’s ‘biodiversity’—depicting more of the wild spaces and species we seek to protect. You’ll notice that the new artwork features more than just badgers; our new designs celebrate pelicans, monarch butterflies, turtles, and more.
Working at the intersection of science and art, Hudson’s conservation art aims to raise awareness of endangered animals and ecosystems, helping people appreciate the beauty and importance of these creatures. “My ethos has evolved from a deep love of wildlife formed in childhood,” she says, “enriched by studying the anthropology of art and indigenous societies that live more closely with nature… and having worked in conservation, alongside ecologists and environmental campaigners.”
With bold shapes and lively colors, Hudson has captured coastal birds along Big Sur, the vibrant fish and corals of Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, and the pelicans that surfers often encounter racing them across the waves. “My goal is to capture the essence of a species or a wild place, because that’s when people can form a connection with that particular species,” she says. “I looked at quite a few videos of pelicans air-surfing to get an idea of where they fly above the wave and how they hold their wings, so that was quite fun!”
“What’s lovely about working with Badger is that we’re so aligned,” says Hudson. “We both want to make a positive difference with what we create.” Thanks to her deeply intentional and beautiful creations, we hope every Badger product can be a reminder of the healthier world we imagine.
The Badger Logo
So how does our original Badger logo fit into this rebrand? In collaboration with our design team, Ascent, we simplified our many friendly badgers to just one mascot, a guardian of nature and all its inhabitants. With a strong and determined spirit, the badger is fierce and persistent in overcoming obstacles, successfully seeing projects through to the end.
In creating the new logo, the team incorporated our favorite elements from over the years – the badger’s hopeful gaze on our Foot Balm, the badger’s kind eyes on our Baby Balm, and the golden orb that our original badger clutches in his paws – combining them into one mascot that stands for all of our company values.
Then, of course, there was the wordmark. When Bill created Badger in 1995, he sketched the word himself, a wordmark that went on to appear on every product. That made for a truly one-of-a-kind wordmark, but it also meant we only had those six letters! So, as a nod to our founder, the team asked Bill to sketch the word BADGER as he had done for the original design in 1995. Based on his handwriting, the team built out an entire custom font called Badger Apothecaria. (Yes, we know that’s not a word… but we still think it’s pretty cool.)
Toward a Healthier World
Just as the badger is connected to the earth, we strive to honor our connection to nature with every product we make. The same sunscreen ingredients that are concerning for humans (including oxybenzone and octinoxate) have been shown to bleach or kill coral, even at extremely low concentrations. This is why we take the products we make seriously, and it’s why we’ve taken our work a step further.
We’ve supported Hawaii in becoming the first state to pass legislation banning chemical sunscreens. As a member of the Safe Sunscreen Council, we’ve proudly worked with other sunscreen brands to support new legislation and raise awareness about reef-friendly sun protection. And we are fighting to bring our country’s safety standards in line with other international cosmetic standards and regulations, to require ingredient disclosure, and to raise the safety and quality of all personal care products.
“We believe in creating products that are good for your skin and the environment,” says Rebecca Hamilton, family owner and Co-CEO at Badger. “Badger has always considered the environmental impact of our products, so we were making naturally reef-safe sunscreens long before people were searching for them. We feel we have a responsibility to make products that are truly safe for people and safe for ecosystems.”
Making products sustainably and ethically from only the purest natural and organic ingredients is who we are, but it’s not the whole story. Much of our work at Badger focuses on taking action to achieve positive change for people and the planet. You can see this in our commitment to climate action, our support of regenerative and organic agriculture, and our work on coral reef conservation. With this new brand identity, we’re honoring this mission while looking toward the future with excitement, determination, and hope.
Thanks for being on this journey with us!