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Thought Leadership Article

Elisa Vitale at BBCA | A Decade of Change and Great Design

by | June 25, 2021 | Beauty Expertise, Packaging

Our team is made up of strategists, designers, copywriters, publicists, producers, social media specialists  and account management experts. This month we’re celebrating one team member who is particularly special – Elisa Vitale, Base Beauty Creative Agency VP of Design. This year marks her 10 year anniversary with the agency, and ten years of spectacular design talent, clean beauty expertise, and Dunder Mifflin jokes.

Our brilliant VP of Design has seen the industry and our agency evolve immensely over the past decade. Since Elisa started with BBCA, it’s grown from a three-woman show operating out of a two-story house in Maplewood, New Jersey, to a multi-department agency with an office in Manhattan and team members all over the country. Her expertise comes from an inherent eye for design, honed by professional experience in music, publishing and beauty, and personal interest in skincare and natural products.

Elisa met Jodi Katz, CEO & Founder of BBCA, in 2010, walking down the street on her way home from the neighborhood deli. In the age of Creatively, Bumble BFF and LinkedIn, the idea of meeting a future friend and colleague on a daily errand feels almost entirely foreign, but the chance encounter led to a coffee meeting, which led to Elisa’s first project with BBCA working on design for CLINIQUE.

Our Guru of Design hasn’t always worked in the beauty industry. Before joining BBCA, Elisa shared her creative insights as an Art Director at a music magazine. After several years in music, she felt it was time for a change and in her mid-twenties, she shifted her career to beauty. Prior to Base Beauty, she served as a Creative Director for Sally Hansen at Coty. There she focused on packaging, photo art direction, and retail displays.

Along the way, she developed a passion for clean beauty. At age 30, health concerns made her really start to evaluate what she was putting in and on her body. She became more conscious of the fact that the skin isn’t just a barrier. It’s an organ, and as such it can absorb both nutrients and toxins into the body. She also became more aware that there wasn’t transparency from many beauty companies. Being part of a small agency with big values has provided the opportunity to help change that by providing strategic direction to brands.

Our dedicated, talented, humble (and sometimes hilarious) Design Director has seen and been through it all, from Jodi venting to her the struggles of entrepreneurship during the infancy of the agency, to taking on global clients with multidisciplinary scopes. Her witty quips and Star Wars references give a unique and clever twist to what might otherwise be mundane meetings, and her expert eye for design and passion for the industry guide our work on everything from social media, to repackaging projects.

Out of the many projects she’s worked on at BBCA, Soapwalla is a personal favorite for her – not only because of her love of natural products, but because it was a satisfying challenge on so many levels. “We not only rethought what this brand looked like – from the logo to the packaging – but we had to create and incorporate a color system for the brand’s many categories and scents. The end result is such a crisp, colorful and modern upgrade for the brand and it gives me so much satisfaction to see it in person.”

We asked her if the creative process was a painful one. “Creativity isn’t pain. It’s tugging and pulling and growth. Anything that makes me stretch is welcome.” Perhaps it’s this attitude that’s helped Elisa be so successful through so much change — from an ever evolving industry, to the constant growth of the organization she calls home.

See her top ten favorite projects from the past 10 years.

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