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  • Writer's pictureNicole Brixi

Project Management: Week 4

Moving forwards: Show and tell.

My third tutorial session with my supervisor was very productive, we discussed about my finalised ideas for my marketing strategy and also talked about areas which I need further development. Jess also emphasized to me the importance of keeping tabs on any developments of my work here, as small as they seem to me. This is something that I have struggled with in the past and find quite challenging because I find it very hard to share my work before its completion which is why I wanted to finish each of my individual tasks before posting here for anyone to see. However, I have made the decision to make a better effort at not treating this platform as a polished project and to allow myself the freedom to share miscellaneous details and development of ideas before reaching their final outcomes.

Sourcing packaging design

During my Fashion Business & Entrepreneurship module I had made the decision to find as industrial designer to work with that could illustrate my vision of what the idea packaging for my brand’s product would look like. Since I don’t have any contacts with people in this area I began my research by going on a website called Fiverr to look for free-lance designers which were affordable to me. After sending my brief to multiple people, I ended up coming across one small agency on the website which seemed the perfect fit, called Pixel Studios. I decided I wanted to work with them because after sending over my mood board and design ideas they were quick to respond to me and seemed confident they could deliver the job in three days or less, which to me sounded like the perfect accord. I had a very pleasant experience working with them, the person who I was directed to work with was named Ali, he was amazing at hearing my thoughts and coming up with any solutions or adjustments required to my designs. The final outcome was great and they charged me a special student price which was very kind.

The brief given:

The final outcomes:

Final Thoughts

Although I did really love the design I received some negative feedback from a friend who owns a skincare brands who said that to her it did not look like a serum bottle. The design was meant to be different and it was inspired by ceramic vases, but if the is unable to interpret what the product actually is it could be problematic to my brand. Therefore, I decided I wanted to start over, using the skills and experience I had with my first try, but making it into something more polished and commercial.

The new design

I knew I felt comfortable working with Ali from Pixel Studios again since my experience with him the last time was more than satisfying. However, this time I wanted to create a product which was envisioned from something that was already available in the market for financial purposes. I thought to myself, if this product is based on an existing product sample it will be cheaper to produce than a custom piece would be should I chose to pursue this idea as a my own business venture in the future. Additionally, having the design loosely based on an existing product proves its functionality, leaving me with the certainty that it could become a commercially viable alternative. However, a big challenge that I was facing was finding a design that was unique and to my taste without having been done before and that represented a strong brand association.

Therefore, I had the idea to look into factory samples rather than products that were already in the market so that I would have a large variety to choose from and samples which had not been used before. In order to do that, I went on a third-party services website called Alibaba, where thousands of vendors list their inventories available for purchase directly from the factories. After many hours searching, I finally found a bottle which was entirely unique and that I had never seen been done before. Although the bottle did not seem like much by itself, I was able to envision a strong concept that could turn its simple aesthetic into something great and suited to my brand. Also, the bottle is entirely made out of glass, which was important to me for being easily recyclable helping enhance the brand’s appeal to the environmentally conscious consumer. To make sure that I was on the right track, I consulted with a selected focus group to verify whether they agreed that this particular bottle was alluring to them from a consumer standpoint.

After coming to the decision of which product I wanted to use as a design base for my products I drafted a document containing a mood board and design guidelines to explain to my industrial designer what I wanted done to the packaging. I had already my brand colour and logo, so all I had to do was create a label, a box and decide on the finish of the bottle.

I wanted to create a label which was clean and straight forward, in line with the brand’s ethos of minimalism and formulation transparency. Therefore, I made the conscious effort to state the ingredients right at the front of the box for a consumer friendly appeal. Also, I wanted to incorporate a little message in the box that aligned with the brand, this was an idea I came up with after observing how a lot of Korean skincare brands have been doing this in their packaging. As a consumer, it brought joy to me to the experience of opening up a new product and receiving a little unexpected surprise. Also, I was inspired by the packaging used by BYREDO and Apple products, the experience of opening up their products resonates with a feeling of prestige since they reveal the item in appears in full as the consumer opens up the box.

The inspiration

( Pictures are all my own)

Mood board

The Label

I created the label design myself using Adobe Illustrator. I utilised the same font choice as the one from the logo and used the same shapes to create an added texture to the packaging.

Design Guidelines

I created a design guidelines document using Adobe InDesign where I wrote all my specifications for the bottle and packaging design. This file contained all the information that my industrial designer to might need to create my vision, to make things easier I informed with images and text.

The conclusion

I have sent out a full brief to my designer and am now awaiting for my designs to be sent out. I am very pleased with the direction of my designs and hopefully they will be conceptualised as I envisioned them as. When the products are finished I plan on once again consult with my focus groups about their thoughts and opinions on the final product and what does it convey to them if they were to see it for sale in real life.

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