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2011 Beauty Packaging Identity Trends

By: Aniko Hill
Posted: April 7, 2011, from the April 2011 issue of GCI Magazine.

A prime example of the trend for geometric/desconstructed shapes, the bottle for Bang by Marc Jacobs actually looks like a smashed piece of industrial metal, which is a clever reference to the product name.

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In addition to portraying tropical flowers and fruits, these identities also portray the beach both graphically and photographically. Beach Sexy, a Victoria’s Secret line, references the beach in an abstract manner, with a hot pink primary color, a blue band at the bottom representing the ocean and a golden gradation that resembles a sunset. The Michael Kors Palm Beach fragrance packaging is a fairly literal representation of beach culture, with a vintage illustration of a beach and palm trees and a nod to fashion resort wear.

Trend #7: ’60s Era

Earlier decades are constantly coming in and out of style when it comes to fashion, and beauty is no stranger to this principle. The look of the 1960s seems to be widespread across many packaging identities in the beauty industry. These packaging identities can include organic forms, funky and offbeat colors, rounded shapes, psychedelic patterns and ’60s era typography.

This connection between beauty and fashion is perhaps best demonstrated with the Emilio Pucci brand, whose funky, loud patterns are synonymous with ’60s style. The iconic patterns and colors are carried over to the identity of the fragrance collection in the signature graphics and the organic, funky, flowing component shapes. Prada’s fragrance also utilizes a ’60s-meets-art nouveau technique in the rendering of the botanical illustration in the background, with funky colors reminiscent of a Woodstock era music poster. Jean Paul Gaultier’s Limited-Edition Classique Summer Natural spray combines ’60s era font and handmade-looking decoration on the signature figure form to create a funky, retro feel. A much more subtle reference to the ’60s can be seen in Clinique’s Happy gift set, which utilizes geometric graphic comprised of concentric circles similar to patterns seen in the ’60s era.

Trend #8: Logo Pattern

The logo pattern is another fashion trend that has been seen in premium luxury fashion brands for decades, but is more recently being used as the primary identity for beauty packaging. Not surprisingly, many of the brands within this identity have roots in fashion.

Coach and Gucci fragrances both feature the signature logo patterns seen in their clothing prints as their primary and secondary packaging identities. Carolina Herrara’s fragrance has a stylistic pattern of the “CH” letterforms originally found in the logo mark as part of its primary and secondary packaging. Although most of the packages in this trend are based on typographic patterns, signature branding can be done with more subtlety. For example, Burberry’s fragrance packaging doesn’t even have the brand name on the bottle graphics—the signature plaid pattern alone identifies the package to the brand instantaneously.

Trend #9: Industrial