I chose #24 as my creative engagement assignment from, Creative Workshop by David Sherwin. This challenge was titled, “He Shaves, She Shaves” and the challenge was to, “design packaging for a single type of shaving cream three ways: for women, for men and in a gender neutral fashion. All three packaging ideas must be systematic, conveying via your design choices that they are a cohesive line of products.” The time limit for this was 30 minutes and I would say I ended up taking about an hour, because I got a little carried away with coming up with long term plans for this kind of product rather than just designing the labels which took me very little time. What I came up with for the labels can be seen below. (Please ignore the checked pattern on North and South America. I would have had to pay for the image to remove the watermark, which I did not want to do. All in all, please don’t judge the exact placement or shape of the continents, because they are by no means perfect haha.)
As you can now see, I chose to take an environmentalist approach to this product. I’ve been watching a lot of videos about plastic in the oceans recently, so that is probably to blame for this.
As for my process, the first thing I did was take out my notebook to think of some sort of gimmick for the brand and the first sentence that came to mind was “Save the Earth one shave at a time,” definitely a little dramatic. The prompt also mentioned to not be afraid to think beyond the typical aerosol containers shaving cream usually comes in, so when the environmental idea didn’t take me any further I decided to take on that part of the challenge. First, I drew a screw-top salve-like container and then decided that, that seemed boring. Then I thought of a shaving cream I bought a while ago, which was shaped like a typical shaving cream can but used a pump dispenser instead of being an aerosol. So, I drew a circular soap dispenser-like bottle and immediately related that to a globe. From there I came up with, “Clean Shave Clean Earth” and ran with it. You can see my (ugly) thought process below in the picture of the page I was working on in my notebook.
Once I developed a general concept of what I wanted the product to look like I moved on to how to make the designs consistent, but specifically geared toward men, women, and one that fit both men and women. The simplest and most effective way I thought to do this would be to keep the design consistent and simply change the colors. At this point I decided my paper and pencil were insufficient and switched to Canva (canva.com), which is an easy to use design website. I started using this website this semester for English 309 where we are practicing designing and redesigning, so I knew that it would work well for what I planned to do and decided as there was a time crunch not to look into any other means of designing the label. I know that Indesign is the most professional design program I could have used for this, but I am not nearly experienced enough in it to have accomplished what I did in Canva in just a few minutes.
As you can see from my first sketch, what I imaged to be effective colors for the different designs were not exactly what I ended up using. Part of this is because in my sketch I was imaging having shiny gold lettering, which seems to be popular right now in a lot of designs that are geared towards young people. The problem with this is that on Canva my only option was a color pallet, and the color gold and shiny gold lettering are two very different things. So, I had to change my original thought and experiment with colors until I found ones that I liked. I narrowed my options by applying what I know of color theory, which is that lighter hues of colors are typically more feminine and darker tones are typically more masculine. This also meant that my gender neutral label should fall somewhere in between those two scales.
I found the feminine label the easiest to accomplish, because well I’m feminine. My biggest struggle was with the masculine label. In order to guide my color choices I decided to do some light research. I googled images of shaving cream, masculine products, products for men and found that nearly all of them used either a black, brown, or dark grey as their primary color. These were the colors I had initially been trying but in the wrong way. Looking at common products designed for men helped me to refine what I was trying to do immensely. For the gender neutral label I originally tried to match the colors of an actual globe, but that ended up looking masculine so I decided to go with a of combination of the colors I used in the masculine and feminine designs.
Overall I learned that I love the process of coming up with a branding scheme, and designing for different audiences. I got really caught up in the idea of actually trying to sell this product and how to make the label as true as possible, like donating $1 of each product sold to ocean conservation efforts and/or the carton refills. Basically this lead me down a very long rabbit hole which is where all the time started to get eaten up. From this I learned (relearned) that time management is extremely important when working on any project.