The health and beauty sector displays packaging from the luxury, pristine, considered and beautiful to the bad, overworked, plagiaristic and ugly. To me, it’s an area where style and personality are key to a good product. It needs to show confidence, exude trust and tell it’s story with a focussed approach. Something I feel the packaging for Bio Oil lacks.
I’d heard of Bio Oil before, and knew it was a trusted product that worked well. It’s one of those discoveries that people tell their friends about and gets a lot of word of mouth attention. But it wasn’t until I saw an advert for it on TV that I was astonished by its packaging. There’s no doubt it’s built up a loyal customer base, but for its price point and quality, I felt it deserved a much better packaging design. The current pack feels cheap, unsophisticated and uses two horrible typefaces and just didn’t fill my expectations.
For this experiment, I wanted to push the design. To give the Bio Oil packaging a more professional, styled feel, with a good helping of personality. I started by working on graphical reinterpretations of the existing pack, but these were lacking a human touch. So, to give the design the push I wanted, I tried using the body. This is where the product is used, so why not show that. It immediately tells a story with no need for words and gives the pack a unique look and a strong personality.
The issue with using any person on packaging is the fear of alienating customers because of the skin colour, sex, or age depicted in the image. It’s a very tricky subject, and maybe one that has been given too much power by the worry of not being politically correct or offending someone. Although, when I have tried to use imagery that is more multi-cultural or even shows sexual orientation on some of my other packaging, it always ends up being amended to conform with the industry expectations. But if we’re all grown up about it, does it really matter about skin colour, age or sexual preference? It shouldn’t, should it?
This is no doubt a massive subject, of which packaging design is just a small part. And this is not the forum to discuss it. But luckily for me, a design concept, like this one, can power through that issue.
The final design has retained some elements from the current packaging – the product title is in a hand written font, it has a bold use of orange and limited text. But now has a design that fits the products quality and price point a lot better. The pack has a human, contemporary feel with nice punch of personality. I’m pleased with the result, even if the choice of body image will cause issues.