Nailscape: The Future of Nail Art


Nailscape is a nail art service that provides customers with curated nail art options from our artists by utilizing virtual display and 3D scanning & printing technology. Nailscape offers cutting-edge, eco-friendly, and fully bio-degradable 3D printed art that allows users to enjoy the unique expressions of customizable art without the exposure to toxic chemicals used in the current nail art industry. Nailscape provides better nail care experiences to customers, with the added benefit of reducing their ecological footprint.

Nailscape is a proposal for a new valuable brand and consumer experiences that address emergent needs, improve quality of life and/or are desirable in a context of new technologies, policy changes, and increased cultural consciousness focused on the reduction of human ecological footprint in the future context that begins now and looks forward for 15 years.

Nailscape was created during my master's degree in Art Center College of Design in Spring 2016.

Business strategy  |  Accessories Design  |  Branding  |  Art Directing   
Independent project
Created in Spring 2016
Art Center College of Design

Photographer : Patrick Kim
Package illustration : Yoonnsun Song


Why nail art matters?


The nail art industry is one of the fastest-growing sectors in the beauty market in recent years. Between 2008 and 2014 the market increased by an average of 10% annually. More than 50% of women (and some men) use nail polish and it's an 8.5 billion market in US.

Nail polish is sold more than 5 million bottles a week in the US, which produces 200,000 to 600,000 gallons of toxic waste. The primary ingredient in nail polish is nitrocellulose cotton, a flammable and explosive ingredient also used in making dynamite.


Hazardous Substances
Nail polish uses the same material as car paint and it is one of the most hazardous substances. The nail industry uses 10,000 chemicals in its products, 89 percent of which have not been safety tested.

Impact on Nail Health
These toxic materials are not only harmful to our environment but also to the health of the users and the nails. These materials are known to cause cancer, miscarriages, and lung disease. 21% of all nail product users worry that nail polish is damaging their nails, and nearly 20% are concerned about the chemicals in nail polish.

Poisoned Workers
More serious impacts are on the nail salon employees. Working in a nail salon exposes workers to many different chemicals each day. Many nail salon workers also work long hours, which adds to the amount of time they may be exposed to chemicals.


Just like fingerprints, every nail is unique.
Nailscape's custom fit nails are designed to fit and look best on each individual.


A simple and user-friendly application was designed to provide a streamlined Nailscape service. First, you scan your finger nails with our scanning app on your phone. Next, you can browse through our design collections. You can try some of the designs created from our nail artists on 3D display or collaborate to create your own unique designs. The virtual display shows how your nails look in real-time, as you move your hands around. Once you make a decision, our specially designed 3D nail printer starts printing in our office! It takes 5-10 minutes based on the complexity of your design. Finally it will be delivered to your doorstep in the next day.



Better for you, better for earth


Nailscape reduces carbon footprint by using eco-friendly, fully bio-degradable materials and reduces waste by creating customized nail arts that could be recycled. Gradually our customers will have made less trips to nail salons by getting nail art from drone delivery and from printing from their home 3D printer.

Our materials

All the materials we offer are 100% eco-friendly and "breathable" materials(bees wax, orange peel, coconut fiber, etc.) that allow air and moisture to pass through for healthier nails. The materials can be produced in different colors and patterns with natural pigment. The nail glue we use are soy-based infused with kale extract. Kale is known for its high levels of Vitamins A, C, and K, which stimulates keratin production, it hydrates and nourishes your nails.

Our employee benefits

A lot of nail technicians suffer from bad working conditions and they are usually underpaid. Working in a nail salon exposes workers to many different chemicals each day. Many nail salon workers also work long hours, which adds to the amount of time they may be exposed to the chemicals. Nailscape provides our employees with incentives each time the customer chooses their design creation. Each design will be labeled with the artist's name. We respect our employees as artists and designers. And most importantly, they do not work in traditional toxic conditions anymore.


"Products are individually designed,
then digitally printed in food-grade organic ingredients
; this ensures the highest level of quality and safety."


The process


User scenario was created to explain the user profile and to demonstrate the user experience. After observing the current nail arts technology and trends, 3D nail art forms and shapes were studied. 


3D modeling and rendering were created to simulate the look and feel of nailscape nail art design. I tried to make them look attractive and accessible for the contemporary nail art lover. 


For this project, it was critical to produce prototypes of nail art pieces from a 3D printer to demonstrate the quality and aesthetics of 3D printed nail arts. Nail decals are very thin and different materials and colors require varied minimum thicknesses. Nails were printed through many rounds of testing to explore the profile, thickness and durability in different materials. Although the concept is feasible with today's technology, not all the 3D printing technology was accessible at the time I produced the prototypes. I approached various 3D printing services and tested the prototypes in a wide range of materials to learn more about the feasibility at today's commercial level. After many trials and errors researching different sizes, material resolutions, and strengths, the first round of nailscape prototypes were printed. The proposal was designed for the next 15 years and I believe that the 3D printing technology and materials will greatly advance and mature in the immediate future.


I worked with photographers and a model to create editorial images. Each shot was created based on nail art concept and story. The images talk about the target user and reflect the brand identity. It was important to create attractive editorial images for a fashion brand like Nailscape to make the products convincing and desirable.


Nailscape is an online based service and the product is delivered to your doorstep. Packaging is the first physical contact with Nailscape for the customers. I designed the package structure that can keep each printed nail decal separated in order to keep them secure during the delivery. Nailscape products can be worn multiple times and the customers can keep them in the original packaging for many years. The package is made out of a single sheet of fully recyclable paper yet the design is structured to provide durability. 


The prototype was presented with the packaging and poster. A full business plan for Nailscape was also presented.