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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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Another recent trend, particularly in men’s products, is using strong industrial influences as the packaging identity. These packages can allude to industrial elements and objects in form, material or embellishments, and can also have a novelty effect. The overall feeling of brands within this packaging trend is cold, masculine, and often mechanical, with many of these packages produced in a silver color and stainless steel finish.

Some of the packages in this trend have a functional element inspired by industrial elements. For example, Prada’s Infusion d’Iris fragrance has a stainless steel spray component with a chain link embellishment and hook reminiscent of an industrial chain that can be clipped to the inside of a purse or key ring.

The John Varvatos Fragrance for Men 10th Anniversary Edition package has an all-metal, silver bottle with a matching silver dog tag embellishment hanging around the neck as a keepsake.

While some of the products within this trend take inspiration from industrial elements, some take actual industrial objects out of context to create a unique package. Cartier’s Roadster eau de toilette is literally modeled after an auto part of its namesake, with stainless steel hardware and an overall retro styling. Jean Paul Gaultier’s Le Male eau de toilette fragrance comes in a package that actually looks like a tin can, a common American industrial form.

Although many of these packages are more tough and masculine in feel, the industrial trend can also take on more of an elegant form. For example, La Prairie’s Silver Rain fragrance has a unique, pointed, asymmetrical design with a stainless steel finish to mimic a droplet shape.