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Considerations For Design

A collection of design that has influenced my personal design practice analysing successful and unsuccessful design decisions in terms of: hierarchy, tiering, colour, illustration, texture and authenticity.


Chris Shuttleworth Level 06 Design Context

A collection of design, focussed on packaging, illustrating successful and unsuccessful design decisions in terms of: hierarchy, tiering, colour, illustration, texture and authenticity.


Considerations For Design


What’s in here then? A collection of design that has influenced my personal design practice analysing successful and unsuccessful design decisions in terms of: hierarchy, tiering, colour, illustration, texture and authenticity.

The Jolly Hog by brandme-uk Paracetamol Packet Scan

Contents 08 Hierarchy 30 Tiering 50 Colour 66 Illustration 90 Texture 100 Authenticity

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About

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Read this, then that, then this. Grabbing the customers attention and delivering information quickly is an art form.

The Jolly Hog by brandme-uk Paracetamol Packet Scan

Hierarchy The amount of time spent looking at products on a supermarket shelf is very short. Many products rely on the familiarity of the brand to stand out on shelf, but if you are designing for a lesser known, emergent brand your hierarchy needs to be clear and design hard hitting. The Jolly Hog 1 shows a good example of hierarchy, the unknown brand name is big and confident giving an instant impression of trust and familiarity and the flavour variants are a clear

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second stop for the viewers eye. Other products need clear and practical hierarchy to ensure safety rather than to entice and intrigue. If Pharmaceutical products 2 didn’t have a clear dominant title and more recessive descriptors then it may cause a problem for users with poorer vision, and also be less practical to find if the user is in a rushed or panicked state.

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Heinz Barbecue Sauce, MySupermarket Old El Paso Quesadilla Kit, MySupermarket

Old El Paso differentiate the word ‘Quesadillas’ from the logo to make it slightly more recessive so that the two don’t fight for attention. This allows the eye to quickly pass over the- less familiar- Old El Paso logo and onto Quesadillas.

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These two products have two main pieces of information. Although ‘Heinz’ and ‘Barbecue’ are similar sizes and weights the communication isn’t affected due to how familiar everyone is with Heinz the eye barely has to look at it.

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A good hierarchy should make ‘reading’ a product effortless, only needing to glance at it to instantly know what it is, what it tastes like and who it’s made by.

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When hierarchy is designed well it is effortless to read the information displayed, there is a clear title- that is to be read first and then secondary information.

Cat Lady Ipa Doublenaut Loose Fit Fundraiser Gabriel Jasmin

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eye to follow, there is also very little breathing space due to the large and detailed photography used as illustration. Something needs to be given dominance on the label,

whether this is the fact that these sauces are specific to slow cooking, the traditional flavours or even the brand name. At the moment ‘Crosse & Blackwell’, ‘Best of British’ and

‘Flavour’ are all fighting for attention. There is also very little differentiation between each product which will be looked further into in the ‘Tiering’ section of this book.

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This range of cooking sauces is visually hard to digest. There is too much similarity between the brand, tag line and product name. There is no clear direction for the

Crosse and Blackwell Cook in sauce, MySupermarket

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Brand name & product needs to be communicated instantly. Giving the eye a clear direction is one of the most important factors towards making a product stand out on shelf. The amount of time given to a product by a customer is very small and no time will be wasted on trying to decipher basic information about the product.

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For new and emergent product especially, to be able to grab someones attention over the familiar big brands requires quick and clean communication paired with exciting and enticing graphics.

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Conversely in design 7 the Reese’s logo is clearly the point of focus and secondary is the product: ‘miniatures’, which quickly tells the customer that this is the same

product you know and love in a slight different format.

Dairy Milk Pebbles Confectionery, Scan Reeses Miniatures Confectionery, Scan

closely reinforced with the familiar Dairy Milk brand which ensures you that it is a quality and trustworthy product despite the fact you haven’t heard of it before.

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These two designs place different values on the information in their hierarchy. In design 6 the dominant word is ‘Pebbles’ which is confident and loud across the pack this is then

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Shakespeare in the Park Pentagram

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The design here 8 has been over complicated it is difficult to understand what the product is and what it is called. The typeface is too similar throughout which makes everything but the word ‘fuel’ fight with each other and get lost in the design. The imagery chosen for the centre is unspecific to the product and clutters the communication. Although the pack features a window which suggest quality and ‘nothing

to hide’, unspecific language such as ‘real fruit chunks’ makes you question how honest the product is and how much care has gone into it’s production. Although they are trying to put emphasis on energy over flavour and enjoyment, the hierarchy doesn’t communicate the product clearly enough and the ‘Fuel’ logo isn’t recognisable enough for an uninformed customer to know what product it is.

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Fuel Breakfast Cereal, MySupermarket Fuel Porridge

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The speed at which the hierarchy of information needs to be delivered can vary depending upon product. Where stir in sauces and general necessities will be chosen quickly, more luxurious items such as alcohol and chocolate will be given more time. In cases like this what stands out on shelf is a bigger factor, what design appeals to the right audience.

The beer designs on this page don’t necessarily show a clear and obvious hierarchy, but the information isn’t necessarily important as the buyer already knows what the product is and visual attraction and ‘eye candy’ is more important.

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Beercelona Alex Trochut Bohemian Pilsner Quaker City Mercantile 3 (overleaf) Devil’s Peak Beer Rudi De Wet

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How long will someone look at your design? How efficient and practical the hierarchy needs to be depends upon the amount of time a customer will be willing to spend on that product. If it is a mundane product then it needs to grab attention and deliver information before something else does, if the product is more of a luxury then the customer will be more willing to look at what they are buying and find out more about

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the experience and care that has gone into the product. This doesn’t mean, however, that hierarchy can be neglected, it should still be present but there is more opportunity to surround it with decoration and embellishments.

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Tiering

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Do you want these or this or this or this? How the range could extend should be considered before creating a restrictive design that only works for a few variations.

Covent Garden Soup Brand Opus

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To accommodate all the possibilities a product could extend into the design needs to be versatile. A good range should make each variation appear unique whilst also making it clear that it belongs to the same family. This can be done in many ways: using a specific colour palette; maintaining a consistent layout; essentially keeping one variable constant whilst the others

differentiate one product from the rest. Each product represents a different challenge and how the range is split up depends entirely on the nature of the product: is it a light version? Is it a different flavour? Is is a different set of flavours(spicy versions etc.)? Is it a different product with same flavours (crackers instead of crisps etc.)?

The Covent Garden 1 redesign by Brand Opus shows a very simple but effective method of making two different ranges instantly recognisable as the same brand.

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Dolmio Sauces MySupermarket

Bigger challenges come when there is one main product that has many slight variations, as seen here. At a glance all of these pasta sauces could be the same product, and in fairness the product itself probably doesn’t differ very much. It could be argued that each of these look too similar and are unidentifiable when seen on a shelf. On the other hand when if the design was to change too drastically to illustrate the variations then the Dolmio range as a whole would be very confusing and the customer would be overwhelmed with choices.

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adding in photographic flavour illustrations. This allows the customer to instantly understand the flavour variations without having to read any typographic descriptors.

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Etiquetas Hatsu Creamos NibMor Pearlfisher

Bold colour is a common way of tiering products. Instantly both of these sets are obviously different flavour variants of the same product. Hatsu 3 uses only colour to identify each flavour, which is effective from a distance but may not tell the consumer very much information about the physical flavour of the product. NibMor builds upon a solely colour tiering system by

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Ricky’s Lucky Nuts LRXD

The design also incorporates some hand drawn illustrations which are submissive on the pack and don’t clutter it too much, this gives the customer further indication of what to expect from the product.

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Ricky’s Lucky Nuts 5 have been designed in a more adventurous fashion than the previous two, by using bold and contrasting colours to illustrate the odd and exciting flavours. The contrasting colour works well at separating the flavours from what you would commonly associate with that colour, e.g. Green = cheese and onion, yellow = chicken.

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Each variation must stand out and blend in at the same time. This is sometimes difficult to do, especially when there is small variations within one product in a range. As can be seen on the next spread Sharwood’s range spans a very large scale, covering Indian, Thai and Chinese. Within these ranges colour is used to indicate flavour/ spice. As colour is already used as a variant, problems arise when one flavour has a second layer of variants (See Tikka Massala)

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Sharwoods tries to tackle this by using illustrations that indicate provenance as well as colour which can be changed to identify different products. Most importantly the Sharwood’s brand is consistent across the entire range which makes each product trustworthy, although some customers may struggle to find specific products within the current tiering structure.

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Sharwood’s Sauces MySupermarket


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Little Red Dot BRIGADE

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Maintaining a strong brand as the focal point of the packaging instantly ties the range together as well as making it recognisable. This design alters the colour of the product brand on each product, this gives each product a unique personality whilst also keeping the range consistent.

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Nature’s Diet Dingonatura Zoo Studio

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because there is not an identifiable and recognisable brand. Also it is unclear what the name of the product is which would hinder customers talking about the product or identifying it in a supermarket.

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This range doesn’t adopt a brand mark as a consistent feature across pack and instead puts colour and flavour as the first thing you see. Although this range uses colour to differentiate flavour well I don’t think the ingredient illustrations give much information away and clutter the pack too much. Also it is questionable how much a customer would trust this product

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Prodjuice Folke Army


I’m tiering up. Using colour can be a very effective and simple way of organising a range of products. Maintaining a strong brand identity whilst changing pack colour is a tried and tested method of designing a range. However, new identifiable marks need to be added when the range extends into more complex territory. What twill he product will sit next to? Why will the customer would want this

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specific product? How is this product different from the standard version? Are all questions that can be asked to understand what will be the best method of labelling the products. As always is the case it is better to keep it simple, but this is sometimes easier said than done.

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Colour Like moths to a flame. Colour is the most effective way of grabbing attention and communicating the basics.

Although it seems like an obvious and important element of design there is a lot of ways that colour can be used and is used for.

and a neutral grey to add emphasis on specific parts and create a simple but memorable identity.

Within branding a single bright colour can be used alongside black

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GDFB Rob van Hoesel Pharos Notebook Daniel Ting Chong

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OXO Cube Scan

As was mentioned in the Tiering section, colour is one of the most useful tools to use within commercial design for product and packaging. OXO cubes are a good example of how solid blocks of colour can be used to identify different flavour.

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Sugar High Bob Studio Manifesto Holstee Kings Biltong Robot Food 3

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Kings Biltong 3 uses a consistent red to identify the brand name. This stays consistent across pack whilst the top and bottom of the pack

changes to indicate flavour. This results in a more recognisable and trustworthy brand, whereas Sugar High 1 changes brand colour as it changes flavour which gives the impression of a more small name, independent product as they are less strict with how they are seen.

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I think using only 1 colour and black is all that is necessary when designing almost anything. When too much colour is added it results in over complicating the design and also lessening the impact of it.

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Gig Poster Menomena


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Your Some Horse is a studio/ freelancer who specialises in gig posters. This style of working has had a lot of influence on my illustration and design practice. I appreciate the way that they make very detailed work from using only 2 or 3 colours, or sometimes

just black, white, 1 colour and 1 tint of that colour. Making the colour of the stock act as a colour gives a nice added level to the poster. Where these posters are very detailed I like to start of busy and see how much can be taken away from the illustration and it still be clear what it is of.

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Mogwai Poster Horse Tallest Man on Earth Poster Horse

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The fewer colours the better. Restricting a colour palette not only makes for more impact and interesting design it is also more cost effective. If you can make a design work by using two colours

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and utilising the colour of the stock then you would only need to pay for 2 colour rollers to be made if printing at a large commercial scale - as opposed to the traditional 4 (CMYK).

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Black Lips Poster Furturtle Show Prints JD McPherson Poster Furturtle Show Prints

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Hip Hop Visual Graphc Only God Forgives Movie Poster

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Illustration

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Different styles of illustration and when they are best used.

Don’t Believe the Pipe Patswerk

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Illustration has always been a large part of my practice it is necessary in almost every brief, whether this be as small vector icons, elaborate character designs or simple vector shapes to be used as callouts etc. I think that illustration has the ability to add character and personality to design more than type alone can do. This section will look at illustration for it’s own

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purpose as well as how illustration is best used for commercial applications. The illustrative type on the opposite page instantly gives a lighthearted and approachable aesthetic to the work, this works as a much more effective vehivle for humour and personality than type alone.

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illustration finds a balance between the two and creates something that still has personality and character whilst also being refined and logical.

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Vector art pairs well with polished digital work. Often a hand drawn style doesn’t sit well with digital type whereas using vector

Karma Sutra Illustrations Malika Favre Pool Malika Favre Coffee Making Dan Jazzia

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The Never Do Wells Kevin Stanley Harris Pets Rock Grain Edit 1 2

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The Incredibles Eric Tan Crusaders Eric Tan

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Style of illustration says a lot about a product or a company. There are a lot of assumptions a viewer will make without realising based on an illustration style an advert/ package uses. A vector style can make something look digital and modern but also cold and robotic, and a hand drawn style can give something personality and warmth but could also make it appear unreliable or dated.

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When choosing to use illustration in design the company/ product’s brand personality should be assessed and a style that compliments this will be the most effective.

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A hand drawn illustration style can give a warm and humanistic feel to work. Returning to traditional and often childish methods of illustration results in work that stands out amongst the mass amount of illustration that is done solely on a computer.

Illustration like this applies itself particularly well to promotion for the arts - gig posters, exhibitions etc. It also suits packaging for independent companies who pride themselves in giving their products the care and attention that big companies can not.

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Leaf Me Alone Bosque Velosm Manu in Glasses

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Numero 2 Amelie Fontaine Mermaid Inn Louise Filli 3 Boating Matthew The Horse

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Often the simplest illustrations are the most effective, simple outlines and bold colour with interesting imagery is more memorable than a detailed drawing of something familiar.

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Nuts.com is a good example of this, Pentagram completely redesigned the Nuts identity to create a range of products unlike any other brand of nuts. The use of illustration and hand drawn type gives the company a friendly, trustworthy and familiar feel that wouldn’t be achievable by using big brand tactics.

Nuts.com Pentagram

Lately there has been a resurgence in the use of illustration for commercial purposes. Particularly in food and drink branding and packaging illustration is used to give a company a small and friendly feel in contrast to the traditional big brands.

Before and After

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Illustration is used across a wide range of product and purposes. The style of illustration says a lot about a product or a service. The beer label on the left communicates

tradition, authenticity and folklore whereas the more refined vector illustration on the right communicates reliability, order and accuracy.

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Hellwoods Doublenaut Jet Blue Lab Partners

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identities simply by changing illustration style and colour restrictions.

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Illustration also has a lot to offer within beverage design. These two bottles of wine show how 2 similar products can be given different

White Christmas Allison Newhouse La Vinya Del Vuit Joan Josep Bertran

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Tone of Voice is something, that isn’t specific to illustration, but is a very useful tool when it comes to giving a product personality.

of colloquialism can give a product or service bags of personality and make it feel more familiar and less intimidating or ’ big corporate giantey’.

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Often, the copy doesn’t need to be as drastic as what is displayed on these pages, simply an indication

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Gnome Tim Parker Lumberjerk Tim Parker Jellyfish Tim Parker

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the making of the product and it hasn’t just been brewed in a giant vat by a man in a white coat. This personality is emphasised with the loose hand rendered typography.

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Crafty Beggars Curious Design

Crafty Beggars beer is a great example of how a simple addition of tone of voice can give personality to a product. Simple name tweaks such as, ‘good as gold’ and ‘pale and interesting’ instantly give the impression that real people have been involved in

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Texture Oooh texture. Adding texture is a simple treatment but it says a lot about the thing it is promoting.

Texture, even when only used subtly, can add a lot to a design if it is appropriate. A small amount of texture can make a very digital and vectorised illustration or design look very hand crafted and manually processed. Used correctly artwork can be

given tactile and crafted qualities by having a Photoshop texture applied to it. Texture is automatically associated with tradition and hand crafted work.

“We print all artwork in house on our Vandercook SP-15 proof press. Every piece is carefully hand cranked through the press, often multiple times for each freshly mixed colour, The real beauty is in the details� -Studio SloMo

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Popsicle Studio SloMo Florida Two Arms

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for commercial purposes. The typographic and textural style can be used by brands to communicate a sense of tradition, authenticity and quality.

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Letterpress is a dying method of print production due to it being costly and time consuming. However the aesathetic qualities of letterpress are often adopted

Sh*t Could Be Worse Ashley Wong Martin Luther Telegramme

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Simple using 2 or 3 colours and adding in some overprint/ misalignment adds a lot of perceived manual process.

Hatch Show Print (overleaf) design exclusively with letterpress, designing bold and effective typographic posters that have timeless qualities.

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Old Crow Medicine Show Status Serigraph Coaster Unknown

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The White Stripes Hatch Show Print Elvis Poster Hatch Show Print 1 2


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Subtle texture can suggest provenance, authenticity and homegrown quality. It does not need to be much, just enough to move it away from pristine, vector

artwork that looks too digital. Adding too much texture will make the product look dirty and a little bit too unreliable.

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Nike MLB Retail Event HUB Bombay Sticks Robot Food

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Authenticity 100% Authentic. Genuine. Legit. Building on traditional design to create exciting and authentic new packaging.

because it hasn’t been redesigned for decades. This retro look reminds customers of traditional family values and simpler times. Designing for authenticity requires the designer to research the roots of the product and not include any typefaces/ imagery that aren’t relevant to the history of the product.

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Comptons Gravy Salt Scan

As opposed to giving products a fresh personality by using illustration style and a quirky tone of voice, designing for authenticity is an equally effective strategyespecially when designing for premium and luxury products. However authentic design isn’t restricted to luxury products, Compton’s gravy has an authenticno frills attached look essentially

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As olive oil is quite an expensive, premium product the design is strongly aimed towards creating a sense of heritage, tradition and authenticity.

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There is a certain style of technical illustration that is often used alongside engraved style typography and gold foiling to give a sense of authenticity.

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Rose’s Lime Marmalade MySupermarket Filippo Berrio Olive Oil MySupermarket

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traditional typography, stamping and embossing create a very well made product and the product inside should be of exceptional quality to fit the design.

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Stranger and Stranger create some of the best design for alcohol packaging there is. The typography and decoration is flawless, however this kind of design is only suitable for premium products. The use of

Hansons Vodka Stranger and Stranger

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Absinthe Stranger and Stranger

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Straight Rye Whiskey Stranger and Stranger

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“Le Rustique exudes authenticity, right down to its distinctive wood and gingham packaging. Le Rustique Brie and Camembert are inspired from artisanal techniques and are the result of the passion and skill of our master cheesemaker. For a premium and authentic experience, choose Le Rustique.�

The unpacking of the product adds to the experience and makes the consumer consider the quality of the product rather than just eating it as you may do with a cheaper and more generically packaged piece of cheese.

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Le Rustique Camembert Scan

Le Rustique Camembert really stands out in the supermarket because it is packaged in thin cardboard with gingham cloth hanging out from the sides. It is automatically assumed to be authentic and high quality. The typography on the top is burned into the wood which gives the product further tactile and hand crafted qualities.

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The design of a product tells the consumer about it instantly. Design is essentially about telling people about things without them realizing. If you design something with authenticity you are telling the customer that ‘this is quality, many years of experience has made this possible’, if you brand something in a hand drawn style then it is suggesting that it is an artisan brand with people who care at the core, if a

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product is designed in a similar way to Everyday Value products then you are telling the customer that ‘this isn’t quality but it’s cheap’. It’s a designers job to understand the products/ brands they are designing for, if the perception of a product/ brand doesn’t match up to the reality then it will not be successful.

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