Creative Packaging and the Male Consumer

Just how far will creative packaging take a product?  Can it create a new market out of thin air?  Or is it simply just another arrow in the marketer’s quiver?  In our humble (or rather, biased) opinion, product packaging is somewhere in between.  A recent article by the Australian design agency Truly Deeply got us thinking about this issue (its well worth the read).

When it comes to gender roles and gender cues, packaging is very effective at targeting in not so subtle ways.  The Truly Deeply article noted above features a student project by Dutch design student Annemiek van der Beek.  The project is a package design concept for a male-oriented cosmetics line, as seen below.

Creative Packaging - Masculine Cosmetics

 Clearly this creative packaging crosses boundaries from a gender perspective and introduces masculine visual cues into a very feminine product category.  Would something like this work?  Depends on the category and the consumer profile.  Its not entirely clear that there is a market for very masculine cosmetics.  That said, this concept–while somewhat extreme–demonstrates how innovative and creative packaging can be effective at repositioning a product for an entirely new (perhaps shockingly so) consumer segment.

This masculine design makes us think of a couple of other creative packaging examples that we were recently struck by, per below.  Any interest in yogurt, gentlemen?

Creative Packaging - Masculine Yogurt

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5 Designs We Love: Cookie Packaging

Today we would like to kickoff a series of articles where we review 5 snack food packaging designs that we love, or at least really like.  Below are 5 examples of awesome package design in the cookie category, in no particular order.

1. Sweet Loren’s Cookie Dough

Snack Food Packaging

Sweet Loren’s Cookie Dough

While not quite ready-to-eat cookies, Sweet Loren’s makes frozen cookie and brownie dough that is sold at select Whole Foods stores and a number of other specialty retailers.  What we love most about this package design is the use of varied typography (with an engaging layout), bold colors, and product photography that has a ton of appetite appeal.  While the front of the package is a bit cluttered, its contemporary design is a far cry from what you would expect to see in the frozen dessert section.

2. Fruute Gourmet Cookies

Snack Food Packaging

Fruute Gourmet Cookies

Fruute Gourmet Cookies and Gift Baskets is a Los Angeles-based company that makes very high end cookies and gift baskets.  They have an amazing website with a simple and clean interface and incredibly appetizing photography… definitely worth a visit.  That said, it was their package design that really impressed us.  It features a clear plastic bag with minimal yet witty copy on the front of the package.  Presumably these are not sold on store shelves, but in any case the packaging screams super premium and of course emphasizes the products themselves.  They are almost like little works of art.

3. Tate’s Bake Shop

Snack Food Packaging

Tate’s Bake Shop

An oldie but goodie, Tate’s Bake Shop is a gourmet cookie company that sells crispy cookies in high-end specialty shops.  We have loved their cookies for quite some time, and their packaging has always intrigued us.  The simple and prominently displayed brand name coupled with the light green background really tends to distinguish itself on the shelf.  Its not the most exciting and modern brand, but its very distinctive and functional.  While you might not have tried Tate’s cookies before, you may recall seeing them on store shelves.

4. Botanical Bakery

Snack Food Packaging

Botanical Bakery

We love the package designs for Botanical Bakery’s line of shortbread cookies, which feature a number of unique herbs and spices (cardamom, lavender, etc).  Each package has a leaf positioned to depict a set of feminine lips, and the varieties are color coded and represented by large illustrated typography.  The packaging contains no product photography, presumably because the products themselves (shortbread cookies) are not visually appealing.  That said, the packaging has an irreverent feel that complements the product’s exotic flavor profiles, and we’re into it.

5. Bla Bla Cookies (a student project)

Snack Food Packaging

Bla Bla Cookies (student work)

This last design is not a snack food packaging item that you will find on store shelves, but rather its a conceptual work from a group of Russian students from Moscow.  We love the fun and cheeky theme (shutting up cartoon characters by stuffing their mouths with cookies), and how the packaging functionally ties in to the theme (by opening and closing the package).  We have seen many versions of stacked cookie packaging (mostly from Europe), but we’ve never seen anything like this.  Pretty cool, and worth sharing in any case.

The “New” Factor

We’ve been doing our research. We’ve found that more and more brands are calling attention to their new look or variety by using the word “new” in various ways in their retail packaging design – in a bar, across a box, in a circle, you name it. Sure, it seems like the oldest trick in the book, but what we are finding is that some brands are creating their entire design around this word that they deem so important, or even going a step further and telling consumers what’s new about it on the design. So, the next time you are at the grocery store, see if you’re more likely to buy a product because it has the world “new “on it. But before you do that, take a look below at the different ways and places you’ll see this word used on a product design.

 

 

Some brands, like Pepperidge Farm and Fiber One are using what are called “basic interrupters” in their retail packaging design.  This means that the word “new” is not affecting the whole layout and design on a product, but is just a small call-out on the front.

 

Here are more examples of basic interrupters:

Here are examples of design altering call-outs. As you can see, the word “new” takes up the entire top portion of the boxes below, and utilize a completely different color than the rest of designed box.

Often times, when brands are creating a line extension or a new variety, they also want this called out by using the word “new.” Fiber One did this on the box design when they created their Nutty Clusters & Almonds variety.

 

Still, many brands want consumers to know exactly what is new or different about their product, so they make sure to explicitly state it on the design of the bag, box or package.

Quaker wanted consumers to know that even though the look of their bag changed, it’s still the same great taste of the mini rice cakes.

 

 

Schar however wanted consumers to know that they in fact did make the actual product better – it’s a new recipe this time that they are using to create softer rolls. And Ensure uses two tactics. Peach is a new variety, but they still want to reiterate to consumers that the Ensure brand in general is a good source of protein.

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Works Design 2012 Holiday Gift – Our Very Own Brand & Packaging Design

Works Design 2012 Holiday Gift - Our Very Own Brand & Packaging Design

Ta Da!

If you weren’t lucky enough to have received our 2012 Holiday Package, here is a glimpse of what our clients received in the mail or by hand delivery.  Amazing product, brand new brand and unique packaging design.

These all-natural carrot cakes were baked in 4 mini jars, and placed in a carefully designed package—complete with individual wooden spoons (for sharing) and a hand-stamped logo on the lid of each of the jars.

Nestled in an embossed box and wrapped in a letterpress belly-band, these cakes are as much a joy to open as they are to eat.

We’re proud to show off this latest brand identity and packaging design we created for The Cake & Carrot Company (C&C) ….and yet, our clients and friends were equally (if not more) thrilled to have received them!

Works Design 2012 Holiday Gift - Our Very Own Brand & Packaging Design

 

Works Design 2012 Holiday Gift - Our Very Own Brand & Packaging Design

 

Works Design 2012 Holiday Gift - Our Very Own Brand & Packaging Design

 

We had a very short timeline in which to have this packaging completed. We’re very grateful to the vendors that we worked with to get each element produced with such time constraints. A Quick Cut, of Maple Shade, NJ was able to turn our custom dieline into a functioning and beautiful box, stamped from Neenah Classic Crest stock and then embossed with the Cake & Carrot Co. logo and crest.

 

Works Design 2012 Holiday Gift - Our Very Own Brand & Packaging Design

 

Works Design 2012 Holiday Gift - Our Very Own Brand & Packaging Design

 

Works Design 2012 Holiday Gift - Our Very Own Brand & Packaging Design

 

The belly-band was produced by Colleen at Cleanwash Letterpress on Frankford Ave. in Philadelphia. Printed on French Paper’s 100 lb. Construction Line stock, she was able to achieve a nice impression that really brings the branding to life. On the day the cakes were baked, we hand-stamped the date on the bands, adding a personal touch.

 

Works Design 2012 Holiday Gift - Our Very Own Brand & Packaging Design

 

Works Design 2012 Holiday Gift - Our Very Own Brand & Packaging Design

 

The holiday card and production notes contained within the box were digitally printed by our friends over at Garrison Printing. We were kept plenty busy while these elements were turned around to us. Debossing the C&C crest into each steel jar lid proved to be quite a challenge. Using a custom ordered aircraft-grade steel stamp, we found that we needed 12 tons of pressure to get a clear imprint. With each lid needing to be stamped individually while operating a modified hydraulic press by hand, Eric’s weekend was pretty much spent in his garage.

 

Works Design 2012 Holiday Gift - Our Very Own Brand & Packaging Design

 

We were relieved when all elements merged seamlessly to create the finished product! As we work to expand upon the Cake & Carrot Co.’s brand, and to help get these treats to market, be sure to visit thecakeandcarrot.com to sign up for updates, or visit the brand’s Facebook page.

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The Making of Our 2012 Holiday Gift – Brand & Package Design

For our 2012 holiday gift to our clients, we decided to design and deliver mini carrot cakes by the dozens. From creating the logo, to drawing up the box and making sure each color blended perfectly, to even photographing the freshly baked treats, we left no detail untouched.  End of the day, we created our very own brand and package design.  And if you weren’t lucky enough to receive one of these all-natural packages, keep an eye out for our next post where we’ll unveil the finished product.

Works Design 2012 Holiday Gift - Our Very Own Brand & Package Design

Works Design 2012 Holiday Gift - Our Very Own Brand & Package Design

Works Design 2012 Holiday Gift - Our Very Own Brand & Package Design

Works Design 2012 Holiday Gift - Our Very Own Brand & Package Design

Works Design 2012 Holiday Gift - Our Very Own Brand & Package Design

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Nestle is Naturally good

If you read our blog, you can see that there are a lot of current trends between green packaging design, clean packaging, promoting healthy habits and so on. With that said, this new product from Nestle fits right in. A healthy habit that Nestle is pushing is natural tastes, without preservatives and food coloring.

Their product Beltè with Infused Fruit is just that. The infusion is a natural process that allows lemon and peach to free all of their flavors, giving freshness and goodness to iced tea.

So the challenge was, how to get this brand message across in a liter and a half package and how to make it recognizable on the shelves? Take a look–its tall and slender bottle with a square section, completely stands out among the array of short bottles with round sections. The result, also from a visual point of view, puts together marketing goals with aesthetics. The label transmits a sense of genuineness and goodness and exudes a lightness and fresh feeling. Furthermore the label, simply attached to the wide grip area, allows a constant physical contact between the brand and the consumer.

The stylized tea leaves on the shoulder and on the lower part of the bottle are a key element that gives graphical continuity to the spirit of the brand.

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