Product Design

Owner

Field & Country of Origin: writing instruments, office supplies, South Korea, China and Taiwan
Target market:
 Southwest Asia
Task: Identity overhaul, package design, typography design
Year:
2005 — 2014

Before the overhaul in 2005, the brand consisted of 6 products. Five years into the process, sales increased 2.5 times and product portfolio expanded to more than 100 items. Also, the brand secured the number one place in mechanical pencil lead sales in the region.

The brand and packaging before overhaul
The brand and packaging before overhaul

Right: A typical cardboard package, old design. Left: Similar form factor, new design
Right: A typical cardboard package, old design.
Left: Similar form factor, new design

Research and defining brand essence:

I started by collecting competition products and made a model shopfront. This helped gain an understanding of how brand competes on shelves. Also, by studying competitors I learned about their positions in the market.

To find a distinctive place that brand can occupy, I made a map of the competitors’ position in the market. It became clear that the strongest advantage that the brand had was good value. The existing branding failed to communicate it.

Brand positioning
Brand positioning

Good value” is a challenging message to communicate. The consumer can misinterpret it as inexpensive. Being inexpensive in itself is not a value. What “good value” does for the consumer is, it enables them to achieve their goals. This, in turn, can mean consumer friendliness, be inspiring and accessible. Consider the price of a typical premium 120 pencil wood box colouring pencil set. It can be as much as $300 (as of 2017), comparable to the price of a mid-level compact digital camera. And unlike the camera, the artist/enthusiast have to repurchase it. If the brand could assure the consumer the same quality in a no-frills package and deliver on that promise, it would help them to archive their goals.

At the early stages, the product portfolio was too small. During the design process, I suggested any sub-brand in use dropped. This helped to avoid over-stretching the brand.

Package design:

Label design
Label design

Honest, transparent-looking design represented the products like they are. This communicates the connection between the packaging to brand values and creates an easy-to-understand and uniform packaging system for retailers and consumers.

Logo Redesign:

There are many technical challenges for logo design due to manufacturing limitations. The logo must be very easy to engrave by stamping or laser engraving. It should be hot-stampable and printable in one colour. Also, manufacturers should be able to engrave it on small surfaces like a pen clip.

Pencil body design
Pencil body design

Brand consistency & techniques for reducing time to market:

Keeping the message consistent across all mediums and more than 20 OEMs has been a challenge. Products made and packaged by various manufacturers. Country of origins included South Korea, India, Hong Kong, Taiwan and China.

Uniform Product Branding
Uniform Product Branding

Reproducing consistent colour and packaging standards has been a difficult challenge in the past.

To reach consistency, a brand identity guidelines made and distributed among OEMs. PDF used for throughout the entire approvals and production process. 3D models used in catalogues for pre-ordering around 6 months before the actual production begins.

Reproducing consistent colour and packaging standards has been a difficult challenge in the past.

To reach consistency, a brand identity guidelines made and distributed among OEMs. PDF used for throughout the entire approvals and production process. 3D models used in catalogues for pre-ordering around 6 months before the actual production begins.

Kasra Yousefi

My name is Kasra Yousefi. I’m a graphic designer, teacher and photographer, living in Canberra, ACT.

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