Feb 09

THE RIGHT LAYOUT

Posted by Packaging Sense in Design | Uncategorized

It’s the brand/product idea that decides the layout, not the guideline!

When designing a pack, most marketing people follow what they think is the most logical layout, i.e. NEW in the upper right corner, corporate brand upper left, product brand on top with product denomination below, etc. (see ill.).

Why is this? Most likely because many design manuals say so! That is why I always suggest that a design manual should not give fixed layouts, but only key visual properties!

This means that a design manual will have about 4 pages at most which include directions to follow rather than fixed elements to respect. I therefore promote verbs such as maximize, optimize, emphasize, simplify or prioritize. These words help to constantly improve an identity which is the main function of a manual in today’s ever-changing world.

When you design a pack, an advertisement, POS material, etc. it’s the brand/product idea that dictates the layout. As an example, if the pack is round and the product idea is a clock, it is most logical to work from the center outwards, placing the logo in the middle. Thus the brand becomes the focal point! Strong branding does not always mean a big logotype! (ill.).

Should your main message be the knitting of small hats as “innocent” has done for some years, this information must obviously come on top, thus relegating the brand to the lower part (ill.).

For a special Christmas edition of biscuits, Migros’ Créa d’Or shows the biscuits hanging like in the Christmas tree which gives an interesting layout. Imagine if there were a manual stipulating what is said in the beginning of this article.

What did we learn?

a)     manuals must be short and avoid giving fixed layouts;

b)     it is the product/brand idea that dictates the layout.

LW/January 2016

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