Struggling with a design concept

Discussion in 'Et Cetera, Et Cetera' started by Lordpendragon, Oct 2, 2006.

  1. Lordpendragon

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    I need some feedback - not sure if this is allowed on the site - Mods please delete if appropriate.

    Can you let me know what colours, images and brand values you associate with environmentally friendly products for domestic use?
     
  2. joyboytoy79

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    Colours = usually green, but sometimes blue.

    images = leaves, trees, sky/clouds

    I'm not quite sure what you mean by "brand values."
     
  3. DC_DEEP

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    I am probably in the minority on this one, especially from a "marketing" standpoint, but I tend to associate plain (read: recyclable) packaging with being more environmentally friendly. Much of the glossy packaging, although it looks "better," is not very friendly or recyclable.

    If I saw a product advertised that claimed "our packaging is as earth-friendly as our product" it would get my attention, especially if the package was printed in plain black (soy ink, of course) on generic unbleached paper.

    Does that help? If you are considering marketing a product as "earth-friendly," then you have it printed in 4-color process offset on glazed stock, well, that sort of defeats the purpose.
     
  4. Lordpendragon

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    Thanks guys - this is very helpful.

    Brand values - eg what do you associate Mercedes Benz with - quality, luxury, innovation - these would be their brand values and you would expect them to carry these values through everything that they do - people advertising literature design etc etc.
     
  5. BlackCock85

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    Ha Mercedes benz = quality? hehehhe ........ I agree with JBT's answers.
     
  6. Lordpendragon

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    You are right, that's what happens when you loose sight of your brand values, even if for some of the cheaper models. It confuses the message.

    I suggest you go for a Bentley then BC85. The Continental GT perhaps.
     
  7. headbang8

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    You can make a case for any colour, as long as it's not black. That goes for grey, too. Grey in nature is always associated with something unpleasant. Storms, rocks...

    Heavy hue and colour saturation suggests artificial help, so even though colours like turquoise and mulberry appear in nature they seem artificial.

    The classic symbolic areas: sky=blue, sunshine=yellow, plants/trees=green. Sunshine, of course, is a double-edged sword when talking about the environment in 2006.

    Many choose beiges and browns for environmentally-friendly products, but that can just make them look tacky and unfinished. Still, heavy consumers of these products prefer rough finish, because it sugests less processing.

    One colour scheme I have always thought unexploited for such products is a very red-saturated brown base. With a little bright-ish red for urgency and a creamy beige, it looks very folk-wisdomy.

    Shades of white and off-white will say cleanliness and purity. You could play with those, especially if it's a box that can be embossed.

    If it's just a logo, then the rules are a little more relaxed.

    Brand values are (usually) very warm and human for environmental products. But that can lack energy, and lots of enviro-products have failed by sporting too gentle or refined a personality. Be active, heroic, not necessarily gentle.

    Think about the public figures whom you'd call environmental heroes--they're all muscular and energetic environmentalists, whichever gender they happen to be. Wussy tree-hugging products tend to be marginalised to the truly radicalised consumer. If you want to reach the mainstream, your product needs to be more dynamic. Why do you think vinegar (perceived to be potent) is more popular than eucalyptus or tea tree oil as an environmentally friendly cleaner, when the oils are actually better at cutting through gunk?

    Remember, warm and human also means sense of humour. Many environmentalists put people off by being humourless. (Animal protection activists can be even worse!)

    Where do I send my bill, Lord P.?
     
  8. DC_DEEP

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    Ah, headbang8, you have to be careful there. Although often advertised as "natural", which they are, the tree oils such as eucalyptus and tea tree are not necessarily as harmless and earth-friendly as you might think. Tea tree oil, eucalyptus oil, and even the citrus oils all contain terpenoids, some of the same components found in turpentine. In tiny amounts, yes, they are effective disinfectant cleaners and grease cutters, but they are still not a good thing in excess. Vinegar, on the other hand, is much more environmentally friendly, and breaks down easily in nature to very simple, benign compounds.

    Once again, effective marketing has worked!
     
  9. Lordpendragon

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    I don't know - but I have paid good money for a lot less - if it helps save the planet - then there is no greater reward - hoho hoho - great brand value - to be heroic - that rings very true - thanks, I wanted to get away from the tree huggy beige - time to be brave and challenging.

    This is all very helpful everyone - Thanks.
     
  10. headbang8

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    Ok, just remember that the warm inner glow you get from saving the planet is sometimes hunger. Excuse me while I go and pour Clorox on some wetland habitat and shoot a spotted owl for lunch...
     
  11. Lordpendragon

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    You sure will go hungry if you hunt nocturnal animals at lunchtime. :biggrin1:
     
  12. dolf250

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    You may have to expand on what you want to package. If it is a chemical, I do not know what you would do. If it is food I always find packaging that looks like it was from the early 1900's appealing. It reminds me of a (supposedly) simpler time when corporations were just small caring families who would never intentionally destroy the environment. Fine, I know better than that, but I still don't think environmental harm...
    If it is a mop, or sneakers or soap things might be different.
    For colours I guess light blues, white/grey , and beiges, and for images I am still a fan of prairie landscapes, mountain streams and glaciers. I will second DC's opinion on the packaging. When a product is wrapped in a plastic wrapper placed in a plastic blister pack and then placed inside a cardboard box with a “window” I would probably laugh at any attempt at calling it environmentally friendly.
     
  13. Doc

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    Well LP, I do this for a living. And I have to say, that even though I agree with headbangs info, it's not always about what color you use, but more about what product you are selling, and to what market it is going to.

    I assume you are selling some kind of household item that is targeting a household clientele. Is that clientele mostly women, or is it mixed, what is their ethnic make up, are they wealthy or not. Clearly most people that buy environmnetaly friendly items usually have more money, because the cheap stuff usually doesn't care a rats as about the environment. Anyway you get my drift. Once that niche is isolated and the competitor products in that range are looked at visualy you will clearly find a visual niche that hasn't been filled in order to appear different. However lets say you were trying to appeal to women in their late 20's of a middle to upper class spectrum of western orientation with a good degree of education, would you try to sell them a hand made environmental soap in an opaque wrapping. No of course not, the trend for that market is to see the soap and it's texture, but that doesn't say you can't have a transparent wrapping that has an interesting texture, that might have a pattern on one end or all over that somehow works with the soap. Or the other way around, if their is something particular about the soap you like, keep half of the soap hidden by opaque material and the other half revealed. This way you emphasize the material aspect, and you can use the opaque side for solid info to sell the soap.


    Then come the colors. As headbang said, there are plenty of earthy colors today that can be used to emphasize ones closness to nature, and if they are tinted they create an aura of cleanliness. But I would think it is really the layout of text on the package design that would matter most after your color selection, because if it is too dense or in a font that doesnt match, the solid area of color that you are trying to emphasize will diminish in strength. Design it well, keep it minimal and it should feel fresh and clean. Don't overdue it, cause then it might feel futuristic and that indicated technology usually the nemisis of true crunchies. You want that correct balance between simplicity which relates to the earth, and freshness which is always attractive and relates to cleanliness. Stay away from 3D elements or rendering. Keep it all 2D and in simple shapes. This way you can invest in the materials and the designs and that should pay off with good package design.

    Good luck, it is a definitely a process.
     
  14. Lordpendragon

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    Thank you so much guys - I really value your time and knowledge.

    The product employs a technology that I use in my normal area but is to be applied to a whole different market.

    It's a pet project because of my interest in things environmental - we hope to do the designs next week - I will try to sneak in a reference to the site somehow - I have done similar things with other products that I have developed. - Can't resist it. :smile:
     
  15. B_dxjnorto

    B_dxjnorto New Member

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