Inspiration Lab

October 7, 2009, 5:08 pm
Filed under: Graphic Design, Packaging, This and That

I’ve been a busy bee the last few days, and now I’m coming to you from the Big Apple. That’s right! I’m back in New York for a while.

So, I’ve been fuming about this one for a while but I think I am now calm enough to share it with you without writing myself into a fit.
I guess it all began way back in the 80’s when Swatch started their Pop Swatch collections. You could get all kinds of wacky patterns and colours and when you got sick of it you could change the strap.


But towards the change of the millennium the customization trend really got going with companies like Nike launching their custom shoe concept NikeiD in 2001. Then loads of other big brands caught on to the branding success and started their own customization initiatives. Be it products that the customer could customize online in the comfort of their own home or products that hand selected designers or illustrators had designed to be a special limited edition like Kid Robot’s Dunny and Munny. Whether it was one or the other, customization became all the rage.


And now it has finally come round to our end of the world up here in the cold north. Raun sofa does it, no wait, they really don’t they just advertise that you can customize but what they really mean is that you can choose between completely generic fabrics.


And the newest edition is ye old liquorice brand Gajol (similar to Läkerol). This is actually customization, but oh, how my eyes bleed. Is this the best we can come up with? I don’t know where this all went wrong as it’s a brilliant assignment. But either the brief was all wrong or these people did it in their sleep. I have all the respect in the world for people like Malene Birger, she designs beautiful clothes but why did her contribution end up being blatant advertising for her own company and not really a customization of the iconic Gajol packaging?


Why not do something illustrative from her own perspective. Like a great crop of her work sketches or something like that. I think the big problem with this case is that the client has not been clear enough. In my opinion they should have set up a set of ground rules for the brief. Like the band running along the bottom and the logo and its position can not be tangled with. That way the series would have had some sort of coherence while each box would still be able to be completely different in its’ own right. In stead you get a result where it does not make any sense as a series. It seams like Gajol has not decided what the point of this project is, it’s more a case of “doing it because we can”.


On some of them the logo is present, on some not. Some are narrative and some are purely decorative. It sure is a different result when companies like Evian and Coca Cola do their own custom editions. Making the brand attractive and fresh, and perhaps most important of all, deliciously drinkable! So come on Denmark, prove me wrong, shape up and show me something better!


1 Comment so far
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I HATE CUSTOMIZATION or at least how it works today with Coke, Gajol etc.

Btw you’re missing where Hornsleth did a cracking customization, like he did on Gajol, Zoo Bar and oh yeah, like he is going to do on some furniture in ILVA or something. I just can’t get enough of him :-)

Fed blog Julie, håber du har det godt.

Comment by Michael

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