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Shelf Impact! Anne Marie Mohan
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Do you know the current top ten package design trends?

Learn how today's brand owners are leveraging packaging to win over consumers! Our Workshop offers consumer research, branding strategies and design trends. Plan now to attend our hands-on Workshop on September 13 in suburban Chicago at the Courtyard Marriott in Schaumburg, IL

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July 22, 2011
In This Issue

thumb INTELLIGENCE ON DESIGN

Eight strategies for a more inspiring design brief

thumbPackage Gallery

Natural artesian water carries environmental reverence throughout brand identity

The proverb "The eyes are the window to the soul," offers a guidepost of sorts about human nature. Look deep enough, and you'll find a person's true essence, or at a minimum, intention. It's like that in branding, where the package and label together create the window to the soul of the brand. Some truly define the brand essence, while others only hint at it.

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Quality and purity make up the soul of AQUAÇAI® Natural Artesian Water, the origins of which date back 3 million years. That was when the artesian aquifer that is its source began forming, when the Isthmus of Panama emerged from the ocean to form the narrow land bridge joining the North and South American continents. And as a point of brand exclusivity, AQUAÇAI artesian water is produced, bottled, and shipped directly from its source—an aquifer cradled deep beneath 1,400 acres of the Panamanian Açai Rainforest, along the Continental Divide.

"For millions of years, AQUAÇAI water has been filtered, collected, and preserved in this vast artesian aquifer," says Michael Horth, CEO of AQUAÇAI brand owner Eurofusion. "The quality and purity of our water is the heart of what the brand is all about. We needed the brand design to reflect this. But we also wanted to establish a premium positioning that would be accepted by high-end consumers."

The AQUAÇAI name comes from combining the word aqua and the name of the acai palm, which is known for its fruit. Eurofusion is based in Panama City, Central America, and launched the AQUAÇAI brand in 2008. The product will be available throughout North America by the end of 2011. MoxieTM, an international brand and package design firm with offices in New York and Miami, was given the assignment of creating the brand identity and leveraging the value of purity.

"We used design elements that cross cultural borders," says Tammy Vaserstein, creative principal, MoxieTM. "The brand design connects the purity of the water source and premium quality of the brand, making it attractive to a global audience."

Read the full article

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INTELLIGENCE ON DESIGN

Eight strategies for a more inspiring design brief

By Steve Leder, Associate Creative Director, Interbrand

Recently I was in a very important meeting, in front of very important clients, talking about very important things, when the client asked a question that made me feel very uncomfortable. I wasn't uncomfortable because I was unprepared, didn't know anything about the topic, or didn't know how to answer the question. In fact, I knew exactly how to answer it. So what was the source of my discomfort? Quite simply, an honest answer risked insulting this important client…indeed, every client I had ever worked with over the course of my career. The question? "What is an example of a good design brief I had seen?"

Truth is I've never seen a good design brief. Why? Design briefs are typically about quantifying marketing or sales results, not about inspiring design. They dictate how project success will be determined, using measures such as:

  • Contribute to overall 3% to 5% net sales growth in 2011-2012
  • Package must rate < 9% inaccurate identification on findability exercise
  • Average find time must be less than 10 seconds
  • Grow share within secondary target by 2% first half of year

This format works great for marketers; not so much for creatives like me. A typical design brief isn't inspiring, doesn't jump-start my creativity, or provide a rallying cry to launch the project. It's a document spelling out black-and-white success criteria when I'm living in a blue-sky world.

Often there's a disconnect between the type of information that client brand managers and marketers want to see in a design brief to help quantify success and the type of information that agency creatives want to see to help inspire the design process. So what's the solution? I suggest it's time to redesign the design brief.

Read the full article

SI! Package Design Workshop returns

Art directors, marketing and product development managers, graphic designers, and brand managers are encouraged to take part in Shelf Impact!'s interactive one-day Package Design Workshop, scheduled for Sept. 13 at the Courtyard by Marriott Schaumburg, in Schaumburg, IL. Produced by SI! and sponsored by Crown Holdings, the event will include a full agenda of presentations on package design strategy, as well as time to network and interact with peers.

Among the topics to be covered:

  • The new economy, including fresh research on today’s consumer
  • Global cultural trends
  • The top 10 trends shaping packaging
  • Mintel’s packaged goods trends
  • Grabbing the new consumer, with an emphasis on innovation
  • Inspiration – where and how to find it
  • SI!’s Packaging Innovation Survey
  • Private label
  • Sustainability update

Jim George, director of education for IoPP and former SI! editor, and Jim Chrzan, associate publisher of Packaging World, will be leading the workshop.

Package Gallery

A closer look at the newest trends in today's packaging.

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Passion drives packaging for new Latin liquor brand

A new line of liquors targeted at "discerning female consumers," SX appeared on Florida store shelves in June in a sensuously contoured bottle that suggests the exotic infusion of Latin-inspired flavors within. Developed by SX Latin Liquors of Fort Lauderdale, FL, the brand relies on a bottle with flowing feminine movement, designed by 4sight inc., along with exotic ingredients to deliver on a bold brand promise: "Your Drink. Sexier!"

The SX brand, which stands for "Sensual" and "eXotic," includes three varieties, each named after a Latin dance: SXchachacha tequila, SXcalypso rum, and SXsamba cachaca rum. SX founder and CEO David Knight identified tequila for SX's first product line because of its fast-growing popularity, but current lack of category innovation. "We wanted to introduce something that would grow the category and attract new users," he says. "Key to that proposition was to produce a bottle that breaks industry norms and stands out."

In development for nearly two years, the glass bottle, supplied by Pavisa of Mexico in 750-mL and 1-L sizes, is a tall, slim column with feminine curves "intended to suggest the movement and passion of Latin dance, while also being reminiscent of the slit in a dress," explains 4sight president Stuart Leslie. "The curvaceous bottle exudes pure sensuality and mystique."

The entire container is frosted, except for one small, clear panel at the front to represent the slit of the skirt. The modern-styled silver cap, supplied by Tapones, features an artificial cork embedded in an injection-molded cap, making it easy to remove and replace

Simple and elegant graphics at the top of the bottle, just below the cap, include color-coded typography—red for SXchachacha, yellow for SXsamba, and green for SXcalypso—that marries the logo with the three products. Designed at the same time as the bottle structure, the logo by Greg Stewart of Ingenuity Design mimics the flowing shape of the bottle, while rendering a combined "S" and "X" shape.

Notes Knight, "The SX brand is based on passion and emotion, so it was important for the style, look, and shelf impact of the packaging to be a reflection of all those things, and to reinforce the premium nature of the products."

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Custom packaging lends upscale look to ethnic beauty products

Carol's Daughter, a New York City company specializing in ethnic hair and skin care products, was born in the kitchen of Lisa Price, who began experimenting in the late 1980s with organic ingredients like soy, jojoba, and sweet almond. As her business grew, it received backing from such high-profile investors as Will and Jada Pinkett Smith and Mary J. Blige. While the products were well received, its use of stock packaging components relegated it to the mid-range beauty products category.

With its new Monoi Repairing Collection, which employs Tahitian monoi oil, bamboo water, and silk conditioners to strengthen and repair damaged hair, Carol's Daughter opted for a number of custom packages that could take the 23-SKU line to a more upscale level. "They wanted to be the first to be at the higher-end retail stores like Sephora, Ulta and Macy's with a product that was missing from this market," explains Jack Corcoran, senior packaging manager at Berlin Packaging, which supplied the custom components.

Harmonizing with the concept of "food for hair," Carol's Daughter selected 7-oz white polypropylene jars and 8-oz white high-density polyethylene bullet bottles that evoke jam jars and salt shakers, respectively. The use of a soft-touch resin for the containers lends them a luxurious feel. Custom dark brown twist-top closures are reminiscent of spice-bottle caps and make it easy to open and close the products in the bath.

Paper labels are offset-printed with gold embossing to add to the elegant appearance of the packages. The metallic gold suggests the polyethnic skin color of the brand's target market, while hand-scripted copy on the labels, similar to notes jotted on a kitchen recipe, highlight key product benefits.

Since its introduction in retail stores such as Sephora, the Monoi Repairing Collection has received excellent feedback from consumers. In 2012, Carol's Daughter plans to roll out the same custom packages for some of its other products, using different label colors to identify product families.

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Geometry shapes vision for homeopathic hair care

A line of packaging concepts for existing haircare brand CHI, from Farouk systems, has been created by VonDerBlum, reports Lovely Package. The products are homeopathic shower gel, leave-in conditioner, shampoo, and regular conditioner for treated hair. The design is very geometric and colorful with a plaid pattern and an organic CHI logo. All four bottles come in a set placed in a paperboard dock.

Source: Lovely Package

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Mocktail labels capture feeling of summer freedom and festivity

Kraft Foods' Crystal Light brand has launched a limited-edition product this summer in vibrant packaging designed by Landor Associates. New Mocktails powdered drink mixes in Appletini, Margarita, and Mojito flavors are available nationally until Labor Day 2011, providing a low-calorie alternative to popular summer beverages. Packaging consists of a 1.62-oz oval column container made of polypropylene, decorated with a full-body shrink-sleeve label. Inside, five film stick-packs hold the powdered drink mix, each one of which can make up to two quarts of the beverage.

The challenge of the design, says Landor, is that as a limited summertime offer, Mocktails would not be shelved with the rest of the Crystal Light family on the powdered beverage shelf, but placed within large promotional display units. Landor was asked to create a design that celebrated the spirit of these fun drinks—one that captured the freedom and festivity the Crystal Light consumer associated with a "girls' night out." The design needed to break through the clutter and signal the presence of these new and exciting flavor offerings to consumers.

Landor's solution was to create a vibrant, energetic graphic style that expressed the spirit of these cocktails and the joy of sharing them with friends. Each flavor has a unique color palette and pattern that springs forth from iconic cocktail glass shapes. To increase appetite appeal, signal refreshment, and distinguish the uniqueness of each flavor, a combination of illustrations and photo elements were employed. Ultimately, the combined design features made a powerful statement for this limited-edition Crystal Light offering.

Sales of Mocktails were double the initial estimates, and the brand has been able to secure placement well beyond the powdered beverage aisle and within the "summer" sections of key retailers across the U.S., Landor relates.

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Package Design Workshop Video Shorts: Contemporizing Heritage Brands
How do you revitalize a class brand without sacrificing decades of priceless brand equity? Little Big Brands' John Nunziato looks at several recent successful examples.


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