Inspiration From Outside

Inspiration From Outside

By: Berlin Packaging Specialist
Date: October 28, 2019

As big as a consumer-goods category might seem, it’s really a pretty small universe if you take out the imitation and repetition. To relegate yourself to swimming in that pond is a surefire way to be contributor to the sameness. This is especially true in mature categories such as nutritional supplements and fabric care, where the category shape language rules have been static for years.

When designing new products and packages, it’s important to map the competitive set and understand the category vernacular, but it’s at least as important to come up for air and get fresh perspectives from other categories. For example, our recent work on the award-winning Permatex Fast Orange package leverages tangential category cues to bring aesthetic and functional attributes from the power and hand tool categories into play. The user opens the package by “rocking” it to one side and closes it by tapping it on a flat surface – interactions found in the world of power tools but not typically associated with soap and cleanser packages.

Another example is our design for the award-winning Patricks men’s grooming line. Patricks’ pricing strategy called for an experience above and beyond anything in the category. So rather than looking to other haircare products, we took inspiration from automobiles and personal electronics. This translated into the use of heavy aluminum plate and rubber gaskets to create a product that looks, feels, and sounds like nothing else in haircare.

At our Studio, we hire folks that have experience in realms far beyond fast-moving consumer goods. In their past experiences, our folks have designed everything from yacht interiors to headphones to aerial drones. That gives them a design agility that just isn’t present in people who’ve spent a career working on the next toothpaste tube. Think about the team you have designing for you. Are they looking everywhere for inspiration, or have they gone native?