Job of the Week: Bulletproof

 

With one of our busiest years ahead, Bulletproof is on the hunt for Packaging Designers of all levels to join our thriving New York studio in the heart of the Flatiron District. If you have a jaw-dropping CPG portfolio and solid experience working at some of the best design agencies on some of the biggest CPG brands, this may be the right opportunity for you.

Learn More + Apply

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The Dieline’s Best of the Week

Monday Funday! Here are our picks for the best packaging design projects and articles from last week.


45 Bold Colored Packaging Designs

 

Vocation Brewery’s Crisp New Craft Lager Range

 

The Future is Now: How Today’s Best Brands Prepare for the Consumer of Tomorrow

 

Take a Peek at the Exciting Updates to Adobe’s Design Tools

 

We Love This Botanical Inspired Ice Cream

 

This Milk Concept Was Actually Inspired by Standard Clothing Sizes

 

Job Hunting Advice for Designers in our Digital Age

 

20 Striking Packaging Designs that are Total Minimalism 2.0

 

Telling the Story of Bonnie & Clyde Through Gin Packaging

 

These Conceptual Wine Bottles are Decadent and Detailed

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Protecting the Planet: Brand-Centric Extensions Expand the Story for these Environmentally Minded Companies

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by: Julie Wolfson

Telling a clear brand story has become more important than ever. While the ethos and message need to stay focused, extending the product line successfully to new areas requires earning trust from customers. Fashion designers have had a history of launching perfumes, asking the people who wear their clothing to also trust their taste in creating the corresponding fragrance. Other brands have taken a decidedly more entertaining and quirky approach. It’s hard to forget KFC’s foray into edible nail polish and “extra crispy” sunscreen. Then there was the time the classic American sport utility brand Jeep created a mud mask, ideal for drivers who were not already splattered with dirt from off-roading adventures.

Brand extension can also tell a more serious story of mission and purpose, and many companies are staking their identity on an environmental message. One newly launched and another with a reputation for making sustainable eco-friendly outdoor apparel are examples of brand extensions that help preserve the earth’s precious resources in the type of products they offer and the ways they are packaged.

New on the lifestyle scene, The Lost Explorer is the passion project of trained naturopath and world adventurer David de Rothschild along with Creative Director Len Peltier and design director Jonathan Kirby. To tell The Lost Explorer story they wanted to convey the idea of being more than an apparel brand. With the goal to challenge the idea of fast fashion, their designs for the world traveler focus on efficient bags and three-piece suiting made from linen, wool, cotton and high tech fabrics. These timeless pieces evoke classic and military shapes with natural and technical fabrics for long lasting wear. Along the way developed products that would make sense with their ecology mission. They launched with their own mezcal and now have teas, as well as apothecary items to offer alongside their clothing and accessories.

For the mezcal project they have partnered with Proyecto Humo, an organization that protects ancient artisan communities and empowers sustainable industries. “In Mexico, they think of mezcal as a tonic. We love the process of it and the art of making it. It is a good introduction to our brand. That bottle struck me as bold and unusual. It’s not masculine or feminine. It also mimics the shape of the agave heart once you carve the arms off,” explains Peltier when asked about their design process. “We don’t want to be vintage inspired, but there is something that might harken back to something you have seen.” The neck is wrapped in 100% French linen rope to evoke a modern pirate look. The bottle comes with 3D glasses, a booklet, and has a reverse printed label inspired by an old National Geographic botanical book.

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With their balms and apothecary line for the adventurer launching soon, The Lost Explorer products harness the power of nature. Face wash and scrubs will be available alongside magnesium arnica gel for inflammation, a bug repellent balm, and a prickly pear moisturizing serum. Ingredients are sourced around the world from Olkeria Marula oil in Kenya to Foraha oil from Madagascar, and tansy from Morocco. “Wellness bubbled up because it was a no brainer. Even when you finally learned to eat after years and years of bad eating as a culture, we are still putting chemicals on our skin. We had this conversation about the things we put on our body, the things we put in our body, and thing things that are happening around us.”

Hibiscus, green, and black teas are used to dye the suiting fabrics of their desert collection. And their favorite teas have been package for sale. Their tea boxes are made from 100% recycled chipboard. Peltier confesses to an obsession with a particular Japanese box and discovered it was a hard item to source. So he had the dyes made and recreated it to look like an item one would collect on a trip. Their logo, a layering of desert jungle ocean mountain symbols on top of each other is blind debossed on the box. The woven cotton tab on the tea box and the linen rope on the mezcal bottle, aim to connect each product back to the other parts of The Lost Explorer line. “The Lost Explorer is the lifestyle we want to live and hope to live. It is a conscious decision of buying better things and less of it.”


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The Lost Explorer aims to leave a smaller footprint on the earth with clothes made from long wearing fabrics, mezcal that preserves tradition, teas that nourish, and all natural grooming and travel products in minimal packaging. “It’s everything that makes us happy,” says Peltier. “I know that sounds a bit corny. We were talking about wellness. It is not just about products. It is definitely about sharing ideas.

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In the world of creating products the name Patagonia, has made a name as the go-to source for outdoor apparel made with sustainable manufacturing practices. Company founder Yvon Chouinard has become a leader in working to preserve natural habitats and resources. In 2012 Chouinard launched Patagonia Provisions with Birgit Cameron, a brand extension committed to offering responsibly sourced foods. With the recent addition of Long Root Ale added to their line of fruit and nut bars, whole grain hot cereals, buffalo jerky, wild pink salmon, and soups, Patagonia Provisions products each tell a story of nutrition, conservation and activism.


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“We thought through the lens of food we would be able to resurrect some of the stories we have been talking about already, but reach people in a different way,” explains Cameron. As this division of the company has established a clear mission, they add products to their pantry. Now Cameron and her team are working to update the branding to reinforce the idea that Patagonia and Patagonia Provisions are indeed part of the same company (and not a licensing agreement). The original packaging launched with the images of ingredients. Cameron explains, “We wanted to show there are just a handful of ingredients in here. And every single one of them is pronounceable. We wanted a package that was not yelling at you in the sea of things in the market. You get overwhelmed.”

Now with the rebranding and redesign in the works, they have teamed up with Steven DuPuis and the DuPuis Group with the idea to develop a new look that clearly tells their mission. “We thought: let’s have an oasis for the eye to rest upon. And have some indicator on the front that ‘I want to pick that up’ and turn it around and read it about the story. Story is what is important. Can we make those things more clearly visible to make it easy when you are shopping? To say ‘wow,’ that really addresses my needs.” Their new look will debut in summer of 2017.  

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The commitment of Patagonia to be part of the conservation conversation has led them to in depth research into how to make packaging more ecologically friendly.  “We like to look at ourselves as being as innovative as possible, as quickly as possible,” says Cameron. “I feel that packaging is lagging. It’s because it is such a difficult thing to solve, to be able to close the loop. To have something compostable, but also provide that convenience factor of shelf stable, oxygen barriers and moisture barriers, we have to accommodate for that.”

Through Tin Shed Ventures, the investment arm for Patagonia, they hope to find packaging innovators and help fund their work. “The idea is as soon as there is someone out there doing what we need, we will change our packaging to accommodate it. We will invest in the infrastructure to get that to market, not just for ourselves but also for the general public as fast as we can,” says Cameron. With Patagonia’s strong voice in sustainable apparel manufacturing, their venture into conversations about ecological package design feels organically connected. The company is a also member of the packaging trade group focused on this called One Step Closer to Organic Sustainable Communities (OSC2) and are constantly looking for innovative solutions. They are currently in talks with a packaging company is developing a film made entirely of one type of plastic, rather than multi-layer film that would be recyclable in curbside recycling.

When it comes to considering design elements and using the most environmentally friendly materials possible Cameron’s priorities are steadfast. Protecting precious resources remains goal number one. “I think we are getting to a point that if you are a creative person, you can figure out a beautiful way to present something. If it is a solution for this planet we better get into it fast. That is the design challenge for everybody out there,” she says. “Let’s make it work because it is the right thing to do. I love a challenge.”


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Both The Lost Explorer and Patagonia care about the environment show how it is possible tell a brand story with a clear message of sustainable practices. They serve as a reminder that when products offerings are diverse, customers who value preserving natural resources will seek them out and trust their mission. Whether sipping mezcal from The Lost Explorer or nibbling on Inca berry and almond bars from Patagonia Provisions, the flavor of caring about the planet come through loud and clear.


Julie Wolfson
Julie is a freelance writer. She spends her time exploring the creative process. From artists, designers, and entrepreneurs, to whisky distillers, coffee roasters, farmers, chefs, and musicians, she focuses on stories of determination, innovation, and ingenuity. Her writing has been published in the Los Angeles Times, HOW Magazine, Angeleno, The Henry Ford Museum Magazine, Cool Hunting, The Bold Italic, KCET, AOL Travel, and Gothamist and many other food, design, and lifestyle publications.

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Designing the Luxury of Eden & Bridge’s Decadent Pies

We definitely can’t say no to these luxury pies. Designed by Fable&Co., they make the simple meat pie seem like a decadent meal to behold. We spoke with Ross Davison, Managing Director at Fable&Co. to learn more about designing the two ranges of pies, the key to combining modern and traditional elements, and designing a luxury product.

Walk us through the design process that you went through for this project.

Fable&Co.: We began by considering a name for this new range of pie packaging. Our client’s location ‘Edenbridge, Kent’ inspired us in our pursuit for an impeccable name and narrative for which to shape this unique identity. ‘Eden’ meaning delight, finery, and luxury is more commonly famous for the paradisiacal garden in which Adam & Eve lived. It is often said that the Garden of Eden is marked by four beautiful rivers, adjoining together, enabling the vast virility and fertility of this area of unsurpassed natural beauty.

With the name approved we set about examining how Eden & Bridge could translate into a strong visual brand aesthetic, across both the premium and luxury ranges of pies. We initially worked concurrently across both ranges, to ensure the positioning of each of these brands would offer an obvious difference of perception in retail value.

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LUXURY RANGE: Following the design of the primary work marque & logo asset, we set about considering the look and feel of the packaging graphics for the luxury range. Inspired by the natural balance of nature, coupled with the serenity of the Garden of Eden—represented through the simple, eye catching, symmetrical graphic device. We introduced monotone iconography/imagery to effectively differentiate the product variants within the range. ‘On pack’ messaging, relating the Eden & Bridge brand story, was devised to encourage an emotional connection with the brand.

We wanted the luxury range to offer a lavish and seemingly decadent pie brand. Innovative packaging, encouraging a gratifying experience to the consumer was of paramount importance in promoting the true extravagance of this new brand. This began with Fable&Co. designing the look and feel of the luxury brand first, before considering how the packaging graphics could be complemented using innovative carton board engineering. The structural design began with hundreds of failed attempts folding paper to create diagonal opening flaps for the sleeve component of the packaging. The most important consideration throughout this phase was to design something that could be manufactured. Once we had the overall structure of the packaging working effectively, we were able to refine the design across the new, approved carton profile.

PREMIUM RANGE: To address the ‘Premium range’ our quest led us to explore a brand identity with strong personality and charisma to inspire, intrigue, and excite consumers. Our challenge now was to rethink the brand positioning by developing a new range of packaging, targeting a far wider consumer audience. The brand identity was inspired by the Victorian legacy, popularity, and heritage of baking. Random vintage illustrations were used to add a memorable obscurity to the brand, from distinguished gents carrying obscenely large mushrooms, to half human, half zebras with sea creatures nonchalantly in tow.

The on-pack messaging complements the oddity themed visual brand identity. From ‘Marvellous’ and ‘Spectacular’ as variant descriptors, through to the references of ‘monocles, ‘jolly hockey sticks,’ and ‘poppycock’ to reinforce the peculiar eccentricity of the brand. Bold, vibrant colours were used to easily identify between product variants and highlighted with an impressive spot UV varnish throughout the packaging. It was important that the structural design of the carton complemented the visual brand aesthetic. The idea of intrigue and discovery inspired us to propose a book flap on the front of the carton, once opened, revealing the delicious pastry beneath the transparent printed window film. On the opposite side of the open flap, a succinct brand proposition could be read to reinforce the unique narrative.


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What was one of the biggest goals you set out to achieve with Eden & Bridge Premium Pies packaging and how did you accomplish it?  

Fable&Co.: One of our biggest goals was to effectively demonstrate the obvious difference of perception in retail value across the two ranges of packaging. This would enable our client to communicate how packaging can change the consumer’s perception related to the value of a retail product. This was achieved by combining strategic branding, structural innovation, design creativity, as well as the composition of specialist print finishes used to create something truly unique for each of these differing ranges of packaging.

How did you go about balancing the incredibly modern elements of this design with the more traditional ones?

Fable&Co.: The balance of old and new was carefully considered across both ranges of packaging. We were looking to offset the more traditional illustrated elements with a uniquely refreshing personality that brought about a modern design aesthetic. Specifically, in the case of the premium range, we opted for bright, bold variant colours highlighting the decorative ampersand, complete with spot UV varnish, which balanced the more traditional vintage illustration. In the case of the ‘Luxury’ range it was the combination of the cold foiling process and highly innovative structural design that helped to modernize this range of packaging.


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What was the most challenging part of this project?

Fable&Co.: The most challenging part of the project was setting up both complicated artworks for print. There was a range of printing processes involved, such as cold foiling, lamination, spot UV varnishes, window printing, etc. Each of these processes have very specific requirements on how the artworks need to be supplied. This resulted in quite an iterative process between Fable&Co. and the different print finishers involved.

If you could pick one aspect of the finished design that you like the most or feel especially proud of, what would it be and why?

Fable&Co.: Our favorite aspect of the finished designs that we are most proud of has got to be the contrast of the screened UV varnish and the matte lamination achieved on the premium range. Fable&Co. and Alexir worked in collaboration with Celloglas to achieve this striking feature, which adds another dimension to the decorative design features of this range.

Share one lesson that you learned while developing the finished product.

Fable&Co.: We learnt a great deal about the cold foiling process, whilst working on the Luxury range. We had never utilized this technique before, therefore there was an education that was required to ensure we achieved the correct variant colours in production.

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We’ve Never Seen Shoelace Packaging Look This Good

We all wear shoes but how often do we think about the laces that keep them together? Mariana Gorn designed the clean and effective packaging for HICKIES Laces. The transparency of the packaging allows for the shoelaces to stand out, which in some cases automatically brings color and attracts your eye directly to the product. We don’t think we’ve ever seen shoelace packaging get this kind of design love.

“HICKIES Laces are the next step in the evolution of footwear. They make any shoe look, fit, and feel better due to their unique modular design. Not only do they transform any shoe into a slip-on (no more tying!), their patented, adaptive material conforms to your foot’s shape and movement, making any shoe custom fit to you and super comfortable. Established in 2012, the footwear startup struggled with multiple forms of packaging in an attempt to communicate the unique benefits of a product that was never before seen in the footwear space.”

“On its own, the product is not easily identifiable, an indicator that the previous one-size-fits-all forms of packaging were not optimal. By creating individual artwork for each colorway, the flexible pouch redesign provides product clarity and brings the usage context to the forefront. A visual hierarchy was also established to simplify the flow of information with a first time user in mind. Technical information moved to the back, and an accordion insert accompanies each pack with installation instructions and information about the brand.” 

“As an added bonus, the updated design streamlined logistics at the supply chain level by reducing cost, volume, weight and lead times, while increasing durability by 500%.”


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Designer: Mariana Gorn
Packaging Developer: Andres Marcos
Photography: Corey Olsen
Client: HICKIES 
Manufacturer: Outlook Group
Location: Brooklyn, NY

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These Blackberry Products Come With Surreal Illustrations

Luminous Design Group has created the packaging for the next line of products for the Corphes brand which now includes a delicious blackberry juice and jam. These products feature surreal line-work illustrations that bring a funky and contemporary feel. 


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“This is the packaging design for organic blackberry products that are harvested in the highest altitude of the natural agriculture in Greece. Highlighting on the brand’s values, we avoided color by just using white. The product itself can also serve as a background to the illustrated storytelling that stems from omnipotence daydreaming.”

 


Designed by: Luminous Design Group

Location: Athens, Greece

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Infusium Gets a Sophisticated Look

Beardwood&Co created the sophisticated new look for Infusium hair care products. The design features unique shaped bottles and modern typography that make these hair products stand out amongst the shelves.

“Hair care brand Infusium’s core consumers are die-hard fans and hair-obsessed. But they’re also realists and need products to help them style their hair for everyday life-on-the-go.” 

“Infusium was the originator of the 3-step regimen ‘leave in treatment.’ However, to breathe new life into the salon-inspired brand experience, the Transformative Pro Series, underscore its i-23 Complex (proprietary performance ingredient) and elevate the sophistication and performance feel of the brand overall, Infusium turned to NYC-based branding agency Beardwood&Co to reinvent the brand from top to bottom.” 

“Beardwood created a brand voice and designed a new visual identity and logo that lives across advertising, in-store materials and photography, as well as designed a series of iconic, faceted bottle structures inspired by gemstones and the brand color “garnet” to breakthrough at the shelf level. They also created a new responsive web design for a seamless experience across desktop, mobile and tablet.”

 


Agency: Beardwood&Co
Creative Director: Sarah Williams
Design Director: Loren Clapp
Design Lead: Andrew Tillotson
Design: Michael Tyznik, Samantha Allen
Managing Partner: Ryan Lynch
Strategy: Trey Armstrong
Location: New York, NY

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Get More Done With Batiste 2-in-1

If you find yourself on the go and want to look your best, you might benefit from the wonders of dry shampoo, a product that keeps your hair feeling fresh. bluemarlin Brand Design Agency has designed the fun and eye-catching packaging for Batiste 2-in-1, a new line of dry shampoos that also serve as conditioners at the same time. 

“The UK’s No.1 dry shampoo brand, Batiste introduces their latest innovation with a smashing design by strategic creative house, bluemarlin UK. Batiste 2-in-1 is an invisible dry shampoo with conditioner that refreshes and conditions for touchably soft hair. This new product recently launched in retail stores across the UK.” 

“The key challenge with Batiste 2-in-1 was to effectively communicate the product’s proposition with compelling clarity. The design also needed to fit within Batiste’s portfolio, matching its eclectic personality.” 

“’It was important to us that the new identity was instantly recognisable as Batiste, whilst also reflecting a more premium offering with added value,’ says Hamish Shand, Creative Director at bluemarlin London. ‘We wanted the design to attract a new audience of sophisticated consumers on the search for convenient style, whilst also appealing to Batiste loyalists.'”

“The design features two bold colours coming together, creating a fragrant burst in true batiste style. This graphic device creates a distinct holding shape, clearly communicating the 2 in 1 technology. Within the patterns discoverable elements can be seen such as pomegranates, passionflowers and feathers helping to reinforce the different variants.” 

“Joanne Marshall, Group Marketing Manager, Beauty at Church & Dwight says, ‘The design created by bluemarlin encapsulates everything we wanted to communicate with our latest Batiste innovation; sophistication, style, and self-confidence. As Batiste continues to expand its portfolio with exciting new products, bluemarlin continues to support us by creating incredible designs that reflect our status as the world’s leading dry shampoo brand.’” 

 


Agency: bluemarlin 
Client: Church & Dwight
Location: London, UK

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Wheelhouse Makes Canned Cocktails Look So Elegant

Who knew canned cocktails could look so elegant? Watermark Design created the delightfully detailed packaging for Wheelhouse Canning Co. These cans feature gorgeous lettering and customized illustrations that bring a traditional yet modern feel and make for a perfect companion to be sipping poolside on a nice sunny day.

“Based in Denver, Colorado, WheelHouse Canning Co. prides itself on balancing delicate flavors in a canned cocktail. Approachable, but nuanced and small batch, WheelHouse provides artisanal-crafted cocktails that use refreshing ingredients. With over 15 years experience, the anthem of WheelHouse is to create a balanced cocktail. It should never taste artificial or sugary, and is bartender-crafted in the convenience of an aluminum can.” 

“The packaging embraces the artisan, carefully-crafted nature of the cocktails through hand-lettering, and illustrations that feature the ingredients unique to each cocktail.”

 


Designed by: Watermark Design

Location: Charlottesville VA/USA

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Cherry Republic Gets a New Look

Who doesn’t love a chocolate covered cherry? Miller designed the updated packaging and branding for Cherry Republic, a Michigan based food company that specializes in cherry products. 

“We updated Cherry Republic’s brand identity to more prominently feature their iconic “black bear” mascot within the logo shield, as well as an updated wordmark. Working with the client, an artist was commissioned to render the bear especially for this purpose.”

“We were also tasked with evaluating and updating packaging assets for their primary product lines so they would be more consistent and reflective of their brand’s heritage. The current packaging retains some of the best details they had in the past—such as the colorful hand-painted illustrations—while reinforcing what the brand stands for.”

 


Designed By: Miller

Client: Cherry Republic

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