Last year I was considering minoring in Packaging. One of my friends was appalled, asking why I would want to do such a boring minor like that. To me, packaging can be fascinating and creative. Therefore, as we finish our first real industrial design packaging project, I thought I would discuss what packaging means to me. Packaging can serve multiple purposes, but in my opinion, the most important are representing a brand, appealing to a customer, and logically carrying/representing a product. I thought I’d show some of my favorite products that I bought and love based on their packaging.
What initially drew me to purchase the Eos shaving cream was the simple design of these bottles. Previously, I constantly used another brand because it was reliable and convenient for me to buy since I knew I liked the product, and it was readily available at most grocery stores and convenience stores. However, as I was looking for the product one day, the Eos shaving cream bottle caught my eye. Most people are familiar with Eos’s signature chap sticks (another clever, uniquely shaped, minimal design), and I easily recognized the brand due to the similar color scheme. This is helping create an identity for the brand.
Each bottle of shaving cream features a main color along with a white dispenser. They are simple cylinder shapes with a few couple indents for grip, which makes sense for a shower product. I’m also not overwhelmed with words or images on the bottle. The shape isn’t more than it needs to be, and due to the minimal words and lack of loud words or images on the packaging, I was easy able to put enough trust into the product to spend money on it.
As some of you probably know, in high school one of my interests was art, and I loved painting with my acrylic paint. The summer before senior year, I spent 3 weeks at VCU taking art classes. However, that required me to buy a lot of supplies I didn’t initially have. When it came to choose a brand for paint, I went with Golden because their paint tubes were a simple white with the brand a swatch of the color on the bottom of the tube, but what really drew me to them was their cool metal packaging. The packaging felt more high quality to me than the plastic Basic’s bottles even though I have since heard that Golden paints tend to have lower amounts of pigment in each bottle. Whether or not that is true, I will continue buying them for their packaging and to match my set.
Makeup (Bite Cosmetics, Tarte, Sephora)
With so many makeup brands, packaging for cosmetics is often a critical factor for companies to create distinction. The first image is one of a Bite Cosmetics lipstick. While the packaging is the most simple design of all the examples shown above, I think it is one of the most clever. The indent at the top of the lid resembles a “bite” while still being a clean form. The lipstick also features a soft matte finish, which makes the product feel more luxurious (and matches the price point). While this isn’t a product I bought myself, l did receive a free sample and love showing it to people.
Tarte is another favorite brand of mine due to the quality of the products and the packaging they come in. Gold and pattern are consistently used in all their packaging, which again reflects the higher price points. The Hamptons Weekender palette also features an easy magnetic close, which is ideal for quick use. I love keeping Tarte products in my makeup bag and sharing with my friends.
The last image is a more recent collection of Sephora lipsticks. These are the most affordable of the above products, and their packaging reflects that without making the product feel low quality. The brand used paper for most of the packaging with minimal plastic to allow the lipstick to twist up as it gets used. After doing some research, I found that that the collection was an attempt for the brand to be more environmentally aware. The lipsticks “use plant-derived inks, and the mechanism through which the lipstick is able to rotate out of the tube doesn’t use glue or silicone” and “uses ‘less plastic, more paper’” with “a fair bit of recycled materials in its composition”. By using no metal in the process of production, Sephora “helped to decrease its global CO2 footprint by three times”. Despite not knowing this when buying the product, the bright images on the packaging and the new yet logical idea of using paper instead of the common plastic for the packaging differentiated this product from others of similar quality. As a consumer I began questioning why plastics were commonly used since lipsticks are only temporarily used items. This new approach was very successful on me, and the range of colors (and colorful printed packages) was vast and complimented the colors of the lipsticks themselves.
This website goes into more detail for Sephora’s eco-friendly packaging and other cosmetics brands attempts at being more resourceful with materials: https://dailyvanity.sg/news/we-found-out-why-sephoras-new-lipstick-tubes-are-made-out-of-cardboard-psst-urban-decay-got-into-a-recent-controversy-for-a-similar-reason/
As I was looking at sources for this post, I came across a fun website, showing some more quirky, clever packaging designs: https://www.boredpanda.com/creative-product-packaging-part2/?utm_source=google&utm_medium=organic&utm_campaign=organic
What products do you love the packaging for? How effective do you think packaging design is on you as a consumer?