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Brands face new challenges everyday as consumers become increasingly aware of the social and environmental consequences of the choices they make in the marketplace. One of the biggest shifts in consumer behavior has been with respect to eco-friendliness. Buyers today not only want to make sure that a product (packaging) was manufactured through a green process, but they also demand that the carbon footprint of the entire consumption cycle is minimised.

A 2019 survey of millennial shoppers in the US found that 64% of them are willing to pay more for eco-friendly products and 78% are influenced by a company’s commitment to reducing pollution. This trend is perhaps stronger in India as a report by leading management consultancy firm AT Kearney last year showed consumers in the country are willing to pay more for environmentally friendly or socially-minded brands across categories such as automobiles, apparel, personal care, fresh and packaged foods.

Sustainable Packaging

According to a UN report, we produce about 300 million tonnes of plastic waste every year — that’s nearly equivalent to the weight of the entire human population. More importantly, a lion’s share (almost 42%) of the plastics produced each year goes into packaging. As such, a good starting point for a brand to become eco-conscious is adopting green packaging practices.

Here Shreesh Shankar, founder of Sukkrish AADDS, lists sustainable packaging trends that your brand can choose from:

1. Corrugated Packaging

Packaging - Shreesh Shankar

Packaging Designs by Impprintz Design Studio

Corrugated packaging basically is the brown boxes with streamlined sides you receive from online retailers. They are recyclable since they are made of multiple sheets of paper. With the coronavirus pandemic not showing any signs of abating, e-commerce is set to pick up even in products that shoppers earlier preferred to buy from a brick and mortar store. Get ready to receive a lot of corrugated boxes this year and be prepared to dispatch many if you are brand.

2. Returnable Packaging

Packaging - Shreesh Shankar
Packaging - Shreesh Shankar

Source: Repack

There’s a new R-word in the block — returnability. Returnable packaging will be another consequence of the pandemic-online retail boom that’s happening now. It involves the use of sturdy and reusable material so that the package can be moved up and down the supply chain more than once — thus ensuring an eco-friendly way of returning goods from the consumer’s end.

3. Biodegradable Packaging

Packaging - Shreesh Shankar
Packaging - Shreesh Shankar

Packaging Design by Prompt Design

Styrofoam is one of the most common ways to package electronics and other fragile products. Also known as expanded polystyrene foam, this material is not biodegradable and often finds its way into water bodies where it kills aquatic life forms. Moreover, most Indian towns and cities don’t yet have efficient ways of waste segregation. Given these realities, a brand that uses biodegradable material like cornstarch for packaging could really win the hearts of environmentally conscious customers. Pro tip: Go an extra mile and make your packaging compostable to stay ahead of the curve!

4. Edible Packaging

Packaging - Shreesh Shankar

Source: Evoware

Nature, they say, is a great teacher. Most fruits and vegetables are dual-purpose — both the core and the peel can be consumed in different ways. Taking a cue from this, innovative packaging practices have surfaced to minimise waste. Both the food and the package it is wrapped into can now be eaten. For some motivation: An Indonesian start-up recently manufactured sandwich wrappers from edible seaweed.

5. Go Vegan!

Packaging - Shreesh Shankar

Packaging Design by Visibly Vegan

Yes, you read that right. Petroleum-based inks have been used for printing and packaging for the past fifty years because of their short drying time and cost-effectiveness. However, greener alternatives such as soy and vegetable inks have been around for a while but they may be costlier and slower to dry. But they also have huge upsides — many printers say soy ink is clearer and works better on recycled paper.

6. Smart Packaging

Packaging - Shreesh Shankar

The definition of packaging today has evolved — it’s no more just a container. The advancement of electronics and digital technology has meant that packaging can serve multiple purposes. Basically, smart packaging can help improve the shelf life of a product through moisture control, monitor temperature changes, and storage time.

7. Marie Kondo Your Packaging

Packaging - Shreesh Shankar

Packaging Design by otília erdélyi

Perhaps the biggest pop trend in design in the past couple of years has been the adoption of the Marie Kondo way — to tidy up. Elaborate packaging is wasteful and also time-consuming for the customer. Adopting a minimalistic packaging aesthetic is not only sustainable from the environment’s perspective, but it’s also more appealing to the end-user.

The sustainable packaging market was pegged at $237.74 billion in 2019 by a Mordor Intelligence report. It is expected to grow at a CAGR of 5.7% to 313.93 billion by 2025. This tells us that brands are reading the tea leaves right in adopting sustainable packaging practices. Greenwashing on social media channels isn’t going to cut it with environmentally aware consumers — they demand that brands walk the talk. If you are a business with your eye on the future, you would do well to adopt sustainable packaging today!

Conclusion

It’s important to tell your customer how many times the container can be recycled or how it should be disposed of. The Eco Trends survey quoted at the beginning of the article has a great motivation for communicating green practices to the customer — 76% of millennial shoppers feel positive towards companies who are educating consumers on ways to be eco-friendly.

The sustainable packaging market was pegged at $237.74 billion in 2019 by a Mordor Intelligence report. It is expected to grow at a CAGR of 5.7% to 313.93 billion by 2025. This tells us that brands are reading the tea leaves right in adopting sustainable packaging practices. Greenwashing on social media channels isn’t going to cut it with environmentally aware consumers — they demand that brands walk the talk. If you are a business with your eye on the future, you would do well to adopt sustainable packaging today!

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Fun. It’s what everyone wants. So why not give it to them? Incorporating this very insight in branding and packaging transforms a non-living object into a fun-filled experience, believes self-taught visual designer Sajid Wajid. More on how adding ‘fun’ can make for memorable and lasting designs.

Poster for CONTROL ALT DELETE 10
Branding for Poise
NH7 Weekender 2018
NH7 Weekender 2018
For Adidas Originals to launch the Pharrell Williams Pink Beach Collection

It’s all About Adding Value.

Things that look good are important for the environment; they define a particular space. Good packaging or branding can add a great deal of value to a product. It’s not just about improving the appearance but the overall product itself. Good packaging is easy to recall. That can be done by adding humour or a fun element to your design. Packaging and branding can also make a difference in the sale of the product. And that’s where the feel-good factor lies for packaging and branding designers!

Branding for The Cuckoo Club
Branding and Packaging
Album Cover for Eternal December
Branding and Packaging
Lala Hardoul, The Prince of Orchha
EAT IN HOME KITCHENS ACROSS THE WORLD.
Branding and Packaging
Knowmad Sounds, Gig Poster

The Trick is to be Practical and Impractical at the Same Time.

If you’re just going to play it safe, chances are you will become predictable and boring. Today, products should be fun rather than being somber. That’s what people expect. In today’s times, the audience is open to being surprised by being offered something different. Everyone wants to own something totally new. And the only way you can give them that smile on their face is by taking your designs beyond your comfort zone.

KURLA. Everyone remembers a good laugh don’t they?
Branding and Packaging
Popsplatter, Coverpage Illustration
Branding and Packaging

Branding for The Granfaloon
MUMBAI BHAI.
DELHI BELLY. Illustrations for adlabs imagicas ride wrath of God.

No One Wants a Car in a Car Company’s Logo.

Branding is a symbol that speaks for the company it’s made for. It’s a lot more than just a group of elements that relate to the brand. The concept of branding has evolved, where a logo is meaningful only after it’s used. Branding needs to have a story to it, an idea. It’s like problem-solving through design. Brand recall is imperative and many people miss out on that these days. It’s all about being different and standing out. How well you can tell the story and portray it in the most interesting manner makes all the difference. Absorb the brand’s personality and play a little game of Pictionary with yourself. Simply keep in mind, the person looking at the logo should be able to identify with it.

THE CASTLE OF FEAR.
Branding and Packaging
antiSOCIAL, Gig Calendar for May 2017
DELHI BELLY. Humor and fun is the best way to ensure branding will relate to the target audience as demonstrated here.
MERA DIL LE GAI OYE. For all those who own a Royal Enfield would know that their heart beat lies in this bike.
Branding for Turning Heads Production

No Matter What, There is Always a Limit.

Unfortunately, when it comes to design, a line needs to be drawn at some point. You cannot ignore the client or work without understanding the target audience. Imagine a Venn diagram, where one circle is you, the other is the client and the third circle is that of the target audience. The region of overlap between all three, that little area is where you work. That’s how much room you have to show your skills and creativity. That’s the challenge, but that’s the fun too.

CHEF CUPI D. This mascot for Kitchen Treasures tells the story of falling in love with your food.
THE SPIRIT OF COMPETITION.
Branding and Packaging
Sofar Bombay, Gig Poster
LEO (SUNSIGN). These eye-catchy hand drawn zodiac characters definitely work for merchandising.
GET CARRIED AWAY. Ratability can’t get better than using symbols of what people use every day in their life - public transport in Mumbai.

Published in Issue 21

They say not to judge a book by its cover. But they also say that exceptions are always there. There’s no doubt, branding and packaging are the faces of any business and product. They decide the way people will receive the brand; whether they will accept it or reject it. To understand and gain more perspective on this much-unsolved mystery, we invited many branding and packaging experts who throw light on the topic.

 

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We go through many interesting design projects each day and find them inspiring enough to be shared further. Projects which have the potential to inspire and spark multiple ideas. So, here are few selected one for this week’s design inspiration, enjoy!

Sasken Annual report illustrations by Danny Jose

Packaging & Branding of Mochila by Swt & Co

Contours by Katt Phatt™

Kenjo Fonts by Anthony James

“A Nose For Fun” – Sticker Pack for Facebook by Chaaya Prabhat & Sandhya Prabhat

Packaging & Branding for GoodHair – Hair Care Range by Meroo Seth

Pleinair Illlustrations by Jithin Puthenpurakkal

Branding for Vortex events® by Mohamed Samir

Designit Rebrand Visuals by Shaivalini Kumar

 

If you have any of your design project or someone else’s, which is equaliy inspiring for fellow creatives, then share it with us on Contribute@CreativeGaga.com

Frolic brand has become one of the experts in the making of Italian cheese in many different flavors. Since 1993, they are the leading supplier of various kinds of cheese in India. For their new variant of Italian cheese flavour, they approached the team of ‘DesignerPeople’ to come up with a unique packaging for it.

Italian Cheese

• Brief: Italian Cheese is the way forward

A large quantity of milk got wasted on daily basis in North India due to lack of dairy infrastructure. To make the use of that milk, Mr. Girish Juneja, the founder of Frolic, has decided to launch the cheese products in the Italian flavor as it has become trendy these days in India.

Italian Cheese

Challenges: Mindsets need to be changed

The first challenge was to understand the Italian food culture to give a native touch on product packaging in order to get an international look & feel.

But the real challenge was to convince the Indian buyers with an idea of unique cheese and butter, as fresh bocconcini and mozzarella salad cheese are relatively new to Indian market.

Italian Cheese

Solution: The Italian Cheese Flavours for India

With the help of customer insights, Designer People team proposed an eye-catchy and attractive ‘Hexagon’ shaped packaging for the butter.

The shape helped with the natural flexibility and also is convenient for the storage and transport.

As the brand wanted to highlight the ‘process of making Cheese’ being imported from Italy, Designer People included an Italian flag on the pack with the tagline “taste the real Italian flavour” to make it more evident.

Italian Cheese

The wooden texture background has been used to get the feel of a dairy farm, which overall convinces the Indian buyers to buy Folic’s product over the competitor products.

Result:

Successfully launched Folic products into the B2C market, communicating an effective value proposition. Customers well appreciated the packaging through positive feedbacks. Also, there was a gradual increase in B2C market sales along with existing B2B market.

Studio Role:

Package designing, Test Marketing, Positioning, NPD and Innovation, International insights.

Italian Cheese

The brand name, list of ingredients and description as well. How do you fit all this into a limited space and still make it all look organised and appealing? Well, that’s why we have packaging designers. Akim Melnik, a Packaging Designer from Belarus believes it’s important to keep certain key things in mind to help fulfil the purpose. In a conversation with Creative Gaga, he tells us about his design dogma.

Packaging
NOORBEST HIBISCUS DRINKS
Packaging
NOORBEST HIBISCUS DRINKS

CG: Your designs are mostly focused on branding and packaging. What is your design philosophy that makes you as a brand, stand out?

Akin. To describe the philosophy in words is difficult. It’s like a dream that you’ve had, you remember it, but just cannot describe it. However, there are some things that are always important to be aware of when designing for a product or brand. First is to meet the expectations and preferences of the target audience. Secondly, ergonomics and making sure information on a pack is correctly presented is crucial too. And lastly, you cannot create without knowing what’s already out there. Hence, competent analysis and research of competitive product packaging is a necessary step. Remember, that a good design can sell a bad product, just like a bad design can worsen the selling a good product.

Packaging
Silver Probe Vodka Decor Design
Packaging
Silver Probe Vodka Decor Design

CG: You have designed across a range of products, providing packaging in a variety of shapes. How do put yourself in the brand’s shoes? How do you know a juice bottle should look like a juice bottle and not like an oil bottle?

Akin. Sometimes you have to comply with existing stereotypes, and sometimes deliberately go against them. Much depends on the marketing objectives of our client. The client, brand and brief determine where you must draw the line.

Tea Package Design
Tea Package Design
Helsy Granulated Coffee

CG: Packaging and logo design have to be practical because they serve a purpose that has to be truthful and genuine. How do you balance practicality with creativity?

Akin. The primary function of packaging design is to appeal emotionally. Practicality comes second. Any task can be perceived either as a routine or as an opportunity to show their creativity. Good packaging design is a harmony of creativity and practicality, all done in a contained manner.

Packaging
Indian Instant Coffee Package Design
Packaging
Indian Instant Coffee Package Design

CG: When you started as a design studio, what was the most difficult part? How did you overcome challenges to become so successful? How do you reach out to the world?

Akin. The most difficult part when you’re just beginning is the inexperience and lack of knowledge about principles and techniques of creating high-quality packaging. Like in any other part of life, all these difficulties are overcome by everyday work done with full dedication. Experience is the best teacher and this process of improvement is endless and amazing.

ABC Juices Package Design
Gotovim Vmeste Spices Package Design
ABC Berry Jam Design
Olivia Mix Sunflover And Olive Oil

Published in Issue 22

This issue is dedicated to the talented design graduates who are not just looking to work but seeking experience in order to realise the greater goal of life. The issue features various designers from India and abroad. Kevin Roodhorst from The Netherlands realised his goal so early in life that propelled him to start his career as a designer as young as 13. Ashish Subhash Boyne, a student of Sir JJ Institute of Applied Art realised his dream while studying when he started doing freelance projects, which allow him to express his free thoughts. To name a few talents we have Vivek Nag from Fine Arts from Rachna Sansad Mumbai, Simran Nanda from Pearl Academy New Delhi, Anisha Raj from MAEER MIT Institute of Design Pune, Giby Joseph from Animation and Art School Goa and many more. This issue gives a fresh perspective of talented graduates and their unique approach to design.

 

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There are so many ways to tackle a design problem. And there are so many lessons to learn from well done designs. Shift is a bi-annual journal by Landor Mumbai, a full service consulting and design agency. In this journal we see some of Landor’s best packaging designs, accompanied with thought provoking questions and pithy words of wisdom. What is interesting though is the illustration series by Locopoco, where the brand packaging on each page is seamlessly woven into an illustrative story.

 

Locopopo is a Mumbai-based independent illustration design studio. Their work has been featured, appreciated and awarded by renowned publications, magazines and awards like Cannes Lions and Kyoorius design award.

 

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Packaging has universal standards and appeal. No matter where you are, the structure, concept and technology remain the same. Brandiziac, a branding agency owned by Artem Shutov in Russia, believes that being different can make all the difference. Here, they unfold some mysteries to help us better understand branding and packaging design and its relevance in today’s world.

Brandiziac - Packaging
Frontal sides of Mask Spirit Wines Collection
Brandiziac - Packaging
Frontal sides of 4 SKU of milk cocktails named “Three cows, two cats” brand

Design packaging using your head over your heart.

Creativity can be of various forms, but in packaging design, and other forms as well, it needs to be channelised and questioned. While designing, there are a few boxes that need to be ticked in order to make a successful artwork. First is individuality, where memorability and uniqueness need to be strived for. Purity and clarity is another key factor. This is where communication needs to be clear and concise so that the consumer understands from the first sight what the product is and what it stands for. Stand out factor is crucial also.

Brandiziac - Packaging
Front side of 3 SKU of the series of fruit & berry punches concept
Brandiziac - Packaging
Cover of the gift package, greeting card
Brandiziac - Packaging
Frontal side of Real Chocolate Package

One of the key roles of packaging is to grab attention. During the course of a project, designers often go to a store and test their designs on the shelves. Lastly, adaptability and practicality need to be incorporated as well. There should always be a sense of continuity for future products for the brand and a user-centric focus.

Brandiziac - Packaging
Light Flight. Marshmallow and Cookies
Brandiziac - Packaging
Light Flight. Marshmallow and Cookies

From sketch to finish.

Every project is new and fresh and like a child needs special and personalised attention. From 20/20, brainstorming and other such creative methodologies, a lot of attention is given to the analysis of works of competitors and peers. Some things are standard though, like a briefing, followed by sketching and then revision of projects etc. Once the client waves the green flag, other resources like photographers, illustrators and artists might be involved.

Cheese in the faces
Brandiziac - Packaging
New Year gift set - Thermo mug, French cocoa and a recipe book
Brandiziac - Packaging
Slavyana Cookware

People go for the colours.

Packaging isn’t solely based on colour- everything is important, like fonts, graphics techniques, and composition. Colour is part of the team, but it’s perhaps one of the characters that people love to look at. It can be noted that it often helps create differentiation and allows for people to choose one product over another.

Redesign of meat products' labels
Redesign of meat products' labels

Used once. Used twice.

Packaging no longer is simply a square box. The shapes have changed and so have the ideologies, post-printing processes, and technologies behind it. New and unusual types of paper and cardboard have emerged bringing about the concept of reuse and recycle. Environmentally friendly packaging is important in today’s world and designers must design around the possibility of reuse.

DOBR BOBR. REDESIGN OF A FAMILY TOY
DOBR BOBR. REDESIGN OF A FAMILY TOY

Published in Issue 26

Packaging is the first vital step towards enchanting the audience. Who doesn’t like a cute box or a trendy bottle? With this issue, Creative Gaga lets the cat out of the box to reveal the world of packaging design. Featuring various local and international designers like Petar Pavlov from Macedonia and Brandziac from Russia, Elephant Design and Impprintz from Pune, the issue promises to be a keepsake for many.

 

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Headed by Lulu Raghavan, one of India’s most influential 50 women, Landor Mumbai is a leader in strategic brand and design consultancy. The team talks to Creative Gaga on how their approach is unique in handling branding and rebranding for some of the well-known clients.

Conversation Starter! An obvious logo for Café Coffee Day inspiring coffee-fueled fun and conversation in India.

CG. How do you start the process of design? What role does colour, typography, scale and other visual tools play to create successful brands the final output?
LM. The process of design exploration always begins with defining the brand and what it stands for. We use Landor’s proprietary tool, the Brand Driver Platform, to briefly capture the desired meaning of the brand. This brand meaning is then reflected in design through different manifestations. To start the design process, we undertake exhaustive colour, typography and photography studies to arrive at all possible considerations for the brand’s visual expression.

Transforming Airport. Giving travelers a glimpse of India’s warmth and welcoming nature, Landor humanised Delhi’s T3 International Airport.

CG. What are the key points you consider along with the client’s brief before you start working on branding or rebranding?
LM. Before we start, it is important to evaluate the necessity of the change. The degree of change needed should also be paid attention to. Some questions which need to be answered before taking a call are:

 

• Does your brand need tweaking or a complete overhaul?
• What does the future of the company look like?
• To what extent is the organization changing?

 

These questions determine whether the new path for the brand is evolutionary or revolutionary. We also undertake extensive research to better understand the client, their competitors, and their industry and market reports. Thinking long-term is the key to a successful branding/rebranding exercise.

Brand New Classic. A redesigning exercise of the cover of a classic novel to make the book and its theme appeal to the younger audience.

CG. What are the major considerations while working on re-branding a well-known brand?
LM. It is important to evaluate its existing visual equities and the degree of customer connect to the existing brand identity and the colours.


• What is the degree of change appropriate to signal freshness without losing relevance?
• What are all the touch points that brand will appear on?
• What is the extent to which we want to co-create with either a small or large subset of customers?

 

These are some important questions that one must consider before carrying out rebranding for the well-known brands. The brand’s vision, as well as its plan for the long-term future, is the key to driving the rebranding process.

Transforming Airport. Giving travelers a glimpse of India’s warmth and welcoming nature, Landor humanised Delhi’s T3 International Airport.

CG. In your opinion, how important is it to find the right harmony between forgetting the current branding and focusing the audience on a new image? How do you achieve the same in the case of rebranding?
LM. In the case of rebranding, it is important to determine how far off or how close the current branding is, to its new meaning. To ensure that there is harmony between the current and the new branding we are designing, we take visual equities that work and give it layers depending on the degree of change the brand is seeking.

For instance, in the case of Café Coffee Day, we retained the colours and tagline and changed everything else. Similarly, for Barista, we built the new brand on the existing colour palette of orange and brown yet the new brand now looks inspired, modern and youthful.

Extraordinary Experiences. The Park is a hotel where unusual experiences are possible. For this, we evolved the brand identity and conducted internal engagement programs with the park team.

CG. What makes your USP and how you make sure it always reflected in your work?
LM. We imagine brands to be flexible and adaptive, not one-dimensional and static and this reflects clearly in our work. Using our proprietary tool, Brand Driver Platform, we ensure that we spend the right amount of time defining the brand based on a strong insight. The brand platform becomes the foundation for all subsequent thinking on the brand including employee activation and a 360˚ brand experience for customers

Re-branding Luxury. Landor undertook for the Cinnamon group to achieve a brand-led business growth by a complete rebrand, positioning and experience exercise for hotels.

CG. How do you know when an existing company or product needs re-branding? Or when exactly the brand needs a complete makeover?
LM. An existing company/product should consider re-branding if the current brand meaning has lost relevance in the market. Rebranding should also be considered if new meaning needs to be added to the core brand; to bring in a freshness of perspective that appeals to a new segment of target audiences.

If the promise being delivered by the company has changed or the vision or the business strategy has altered, then a rebranding exercise is useful in setting the path for future success of the company in question.

Published in Issue 34

This is a rebranding special issue focused on finding the answers to some of the basic questions like what is the right time for re-branding? or what all needs changing and how exactly? We interviewed some of the best branding studios like Landor Mumbai, Elephant, VGC, Inchwork, and many more. If you are considering rebranding or want to learn more about the art of doing it then this issue is a must read. So, go ahead

 

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