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Shelf Impact! Anne Marie Mohan

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August 22, 2011
In This Issue

thumb 'Big Book' provides package design inspiration

The book is the latest edition in the 13-title "Big Book" series for graphic artists

thumbPackage Gallery

Vision science-based tool offers rapid design feedback

Anne Marie Mohan, Editor

The Integer Group is a global promotional, retail, and shopper marketing agency based in Lakewood, CO, whose main goal is to "turn shoppers into buyers." That's according to Craig Elston, senior vice president of Insight and Strategy for Integer, who adds that some of the largest consumer packaged goods companies, including MillerCoors, Kellogg's, Procter & Gamble, and Johnson & Johnson, are among the agency's many clients.
Much of Integer's work takes place in the retail context-providing clients with signage such as shelf talkers or shelf strips, as well as with primary, secondary, or promotional packaging design-as part of an overall marketing strategy.

During the last couple of years, Integer has employed a new Web-based software tool to help its inside strategy team rapidly and cost-effectively evaluate the visual impact of its retail designs during the creative process. 3M's Visual Attention Service (VAS) is a scanning tool that uses software algorithms to analyze a design and predict which areas will attract a consumer's attention in the first three to five seconds.

Says Elston, "We started using VAS because we were terribly curious, and because we like new, innovative things. We also liked the way 3M had put this together-a rapid research tool that is easy to access and is built on actual eye-tracking studies. We basically started playing with it and found it to be a really interesting way to map the work that we were producing, whether it was packaging or signage or other marketing pieces, to relatively quickly assess and diagnose the visual stopping power of what we were creating."

Tool based on years of vision science

VAS is based on an existing technology platform developed over the years by scientists at 3M to understand how the human visual system works and how that knowledge can be applied to 3M products. Using this science, the Commercial Graphics Division created software algorithms for VAS that predict how the human visual system will respond to different scenes.

"We have developed an understanding of how the vision system works and have identified some visual cues that are very important for determining what we are going to pay attention to," explains Bill Smyth, business manager for the 3M Digital Out of Home Department, 3M Commercial Graphics Division. "When we first view a scene, it turns out our eyes generate more data than our brains have the ability to process. So when we first view a scene, we do a quick scan and then we decide what to pay attention to. That decision-making process is driven by things like faces, which turn out to be very important, colors and certain color differences, higher contrast, and also certain shapes and the sizes of those shapes."

Read the complete article

'Big Book' provides package design inspiration

Anne Marie Mohan, Editor

Bright orange and bursting with 384 full-color pages of package designs, The Big Book of Packaging from Harper Design, a imprint of HarperCollins Publishers, celebrates some of the most compelling global packaging innovations introduced over the last several years.
The nearly 500 designs contained within the hardcover book were culled from among 2,000 candidates, screened and selected by three designers with extensive brand design experience. Will Burke, founder and Chief Change Officer for Brand Engine, James Pietruszynski, partner/creative director for Soulsight, and Lisa Baer, president of Baer Design Group, spent nearly a year evaluating hundreds of submissions from working and student designers to come up with the final selection.

In his introduction, Burke writes of the final designs chosen for the book: "The common thread among this elite group is their ability to tell a brand story that is authentic, meaningful, and compelling. These designs deliver on many levels by transcending the merely obvious and offering us the possible. The shape, material, color, and graphics combine to arouse our interest and influence our decisions."

The book is the latest edition in the 13-title "Big Book" series for graphic artists and is intended to provide inspiration for designers, creative professionals, marketers, and retailers. "It offers a rare opportunity to take a survey of global trends and micro-trends and look at the functionality in packaging," says Baer.

Read the complete article

Package Gallery

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

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Bold colors, photorealic imagery distinguish new baby yogurt packs

Hain Celestial's 25-year-old Earth's Best baby food brand is marketed as delivering the highest level of purity and freshness, "to ensure that babies can grow up healthy and strong." In developing a package design approach for the company's new line of Organic Baby Yogurt in four flavors, Smith Design was challenged to create graphic imagery that could leverage the inherent equities of the Earth's Best franchise, strongly communicate flavor, and differentiate the product from other baby and toddler yogurt brands.

"Creating a line extension for an established, heritage brand that enters an entirely new category is a very exciting challenge," says executive vice president of Smith Design Martha Seidner. "The advantage is that you can leverage the visual equity that already exists and consumers recognize. That provides instant credibility to the new launch. However, this can also mean you may be locked into an existing design system."

Lucky for Smith, the design system was one of its own making, as it recently completed the package graphics for a line of Earth's Best baby food purees. Elements carried over from the puree packs include the use of bold color cues to differentiate flavors, photorealistic imagery of fresh fruits, and a baby illustration that helps quickly define the appropriate age stage for the product. "This product is designed for babies moving to new food after six months, so it requires the 'nurturing' or even nostalgic aspects of the Earth's Best brand to reassure mom that this is pure, natural, and healthy for baby," says Seidner. The chosen typography adds a touch of playfulness, she adds, "but does not detract from the premium quality attributes of Earth's Best."

To ensure maximum shop ability and shelf-impact for the product, which is often stacked low in refrigerated cases at retail, Smith Design placed key information on the top panel, placing photographic flavor cues close to the center of the panel.

Earth's Best Organic Baby Yogurt-in Vanilla Prune, Apple, Banana Mango, and Peach Pear flavors-was introduced last July to supermarkets nationally in a 4-oz multipack with a paperboard sleeve, six-color litho-printed by Proteus Packaging.

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U.K. gin brand gets 'radical and contemporary' refresh

Literally centuries old, Greenall's Original London Dry Gin from U.K. distiller G&J Greenall was lacking in shelf presence and public awareness, and facing an aging consumer base, as it approached its 250th anniversary this year. The heritage brand, number two in the standard gin category, was also being threatened on price, squeezed between private-label brands and aggressive price promoting by the brand leader.

With a new marketing team in place, G&J Greenall set about repositioning the brand away from private label, at the top end of the standard gin category, by offering a premium-style gin at a standard price. "The objective was to create a new visual identity and package design to increase shelf impact, build brand awareness, and appeal to a new generation of gin drinkers," says Marcus Hewitt, chief creative director of Dragon Rouge, which was tasked with refreshing the brand identity.

Dragon Rouge designed eight concepts, two of which were tested in independent, national consumer focus groups. The resulting package design, using Greenall's existing rectangular, clear glass bottle as a base, departs dramatically from the former graphics, combining tradition and heritage with a modern twist.

A clean, contemporary logo replaces the former script logo, and rests prominently on a dark green square label. Copy that reads, "The Great British Spirit Since 1761," at the bottom of the bottle's front panel, reassures consumers of the brand's tradition. A proprietary abstract "Union Jack" design in green on the inside back label delivers a 3D effect and underpins the brand's English heritage in a contemporary way.

"The new, bold design breaks with convention yet remains relevant to gin," says Samantha Dumont, creative partner at Dragon Rouge London. "It disrupts but does not violate category codes. It reaches out to the younger consumers and talks their language."

The reinvigorated brand was launched in March 2011, along with a $1 million-plus integrated marketing campaign. "The major multiple buyers recognize a positive step change for Greenall's gin," says Dumont. "All have commented on the 'radical and contemporary' design, which will definitely increase the brand's shelf presence and differentiate it from competitors."

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Pure refreshment is the message of canned water brand

Printed to appear as if refreshing, cool water is beaded on its surface, a 24-oz aluminum can from Ball Corp. is the package of choice for a new noncarbonated, purified water brand infused with natural fruit flavor essences, from New Age Beverage.

"Packaging our Just Pure Water in aluminum cans was the natural solution for our company," says Scott LeBon, president and CEO of New Age Beverage. "Selecting the purest of natural ingredients for Just Pure Water and then offering it in recyclable aluminum cans combines the best that Mother Nature can offer in a package that is environmentally friendly and convenient."

Company co-owners and brothers Scott and Tom LeBon designed the graphics for the six-color wet-on-wet printed package, using an aqua blue background and water droplet imagery to make the product look "natural, refreshing, and cold," says Tom LeBon.

Flavor varieties of Lemon Lime, Orange, and Berry Essence are distinguished by flavor names in bright lettering, colored to match illustrations on the bottom half of the can that depict the fruits from which the essences are derived.

The recycling logo placed prominently to the left of the can's front "panel" emphasizes the eco-friendly nature of the package. Notes New Age, the aluminum can is the most recycled beverage container in North America. The Just Pure Water can contains an average of 68% post-consumer content and is 100%-recyclable. "Our company tries to make sustainable choices in how we operate, and choosing a can for Just Pure Water made sense," Tom LeBon says.

Further emphasizing sustainability to consumers, each flavor variety is printed with a sustainability fact about cans. For example, the Lemon Lime flavor poses the question, "Why water in a can?" It then provides the answer: "The energy saved by recycling just one aluminum can will power a TV for 3 hours." Other advantages to the can, say the LeBons, are that it is lightweight, chills quickly, and does not break.

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Featured Video
Methods of variety segmentation
Ted Mininni, president of Design Force Inc., discusses the critical role that variety segmentation systems in packaging play in guiding consumers to the right products. Successful examples include the use of different package, label, and product colors, as well as the use of specific illustrations to distinguish varieties.
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