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2010 Beauty Packaging Identity Trends

By: Aniko Hill
Posted: April 6, 2010, from the April 2010 issue of GCI Magazine.

Designs that are inspired by collage or scrapbooks is a recent packaging identity trend popping up in multiple beauty categories. Many of the packages that fall within this trend also utilize illustration, such as Urban Decay’s Show Pony Shadow Box—featuring the work of LA artist Kime Buzzelli.

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With the still relatively wide open market for men’s personal care, it seems that every brand is coming out with a new men’s line these days. Since this is still a relatively new category, brands seem to be playing it safe when marketing products previously thought of as “feminine” to men, which has created a sea of sameness in the packaging identity. Most of the identities are either black are dark brown, with bold type and basic design. It seems that marketers are afraid to step outside the box with men’s personal care in fear of it seeming like a “girly” product.

American Crew was one of the first brands to utilize a masculine dark brown bottle, with other companies such as Woody’s following suit. In hair care, Redken for Men and BedHead for Men both have solid black packaging with mostly white, simple typography. This packaging identity look is also the same in skin care, with Clinique for Men and Neutrogena Men both having this same exact look.

Even with the sea of sameness, there are some brands that are bucking the trend. Dove Men was recently launched with the support of recent Super Bowl campaigns. Its overall brand approach is more lifestyle-oriented, and the packaging identity strays from the typical black or dark grey look with a clean, sophisticated blue with bright accents. The packaging identity remains approachable to men without having to have the cliché look of its competitors.

Aniko Hill is the founder and creative director of The Kitchen Collaborative, a boutique branding agency that works to create premium lifestyle brands. She has worked on branding projects for Boeing, Disney, Master Foods, Sony, Ketel One Vodka and Red Bull, and has taught advanced courses on branding and packaging design at The Art Institute of California. In 2008, Graphic Design USA recognized Hill as one of its People to Watch.