Gift shops and garden centres seem to be a place where both ends of the packaging design spectrum can easily be found. From the badly designed labels, wraps and cartons of the small cottage industry working to a virtually non-existent design budget, to the beautiful, original and unique packaging of the more design savvy brands. The idea for the latest experiment was discovered whilst browsing one of these gift shops at Poole’s Cavern in Buxton, Derbyshire.
The Bakewell Soap Company
A range of soaps and balms nicely displayed in little wicker baskets caught my eye as a range with a lot of design potential. The Bakewell Soap Company make handmade soaps in an old Victorian mill near Bakewell, Derbyshire where they are supplied to gift shops, for guest houses or sold in wholesale.
The products, beautifully coloured blocks of soap specially blended for different skin types, have a luxury gift or personal treat feel to them which should show in their packaging. Sadly the packaging I found didn’t really live up to this. Although the design was adequate, with a consistent approach across the range, it had a very homemade feel in its finish, especially the bad printing of the wrap around label which looked like it had been done on an inkjet at home.
The balance of information on the existing packs didn’t feel right to me. Too much emphasis is put on the old mill logo, leaving little space for the variant type. For the DZINE MAFIA packaging I changed this by designing a new, simpler and more classic logo leaving lots of room for a prominent product title. A slab-serif font works with a handprinted look in two colours and is complimented by bespoke illustrations to create an overall artisan and individual feel, much more inline with the product.