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rkuchinsky
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Here's another go, not retro, but clean and minimal. Standing out on the shelf is not always about bright colors and jazzy bursts of text. If everyone else looks the same, look different.

R

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TaylorWelden
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Here is my personal and professional opinion and critique, and its harsh.

Image

Yowch. That refresh isn't looking too refreshing. Looks like it just had 20-30 years added to its age, in a bad way. Like making a 50 year old woman look 80. Unflattering, a step backwards.

I would expect the design was directly influenced every step of the way through research, marketing, and management.

Drop shadows. Italic text for no real reason ("fast and safe"). Really bad 2d clip-art-looking alka seltzer tablets (which is the very product you're trying to advertise the value of - you don't want to make your product itself look like garbage). Ctrl + Copied 2d clip art bubbles, repeated over and over. Safe, boring, forgetful. Some really bad stuff here.

Fail.
Last edited by TaylorWelden on December 13th, 2009, 8:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Advice on a theoretical Alka-Seltzer refresh?

Postby yo » December 13th, 2009, 7:01 pm

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Not to mention the right justified text at the bottom right at what looks like an approx -30 degree angle for no apparent reason. It doesn't respond to anything, it just does it.

Richard's last take is pretty nice. I prefer packaging like this (of course)

Re: Advice on a theoretical Alka-Seltzer refresh?

Postby Mr-914 » December 14th, 2009, 7:49 am

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Richard is spot on. I would just add that it still looks like it is a product made for my grand parents. The greater contrast in text and color might make it stand out, but just in a generic way.

It is hard to judge the packaging alone without knowing what the overall strategy is. However, this packaging says, "we're staying the course and just tweaking a little". Was that the plan?

Re: Advice on a theoretical Alka-Seltzer refresh?

Postby mgnt8 » December 14th, 2009, 10:10 am


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Get rid of the yellow - it has too many negative connotations - jealousy, cowardice, hazardousness - that overpower any attention-getting attributes. Go here for more color direction: http://www.colorworks.clariant.com/

For fonts: http://www.thedieline.com/blog/2009/05/top-15-fonts-for-packaging-design.html

Maybe you should hire Richard.

Re: Advice on a theoretical Alka-Seltzer refresh?

Postby Greenman » December 14th, 2009, 10:34 am

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That's some tough criticism for you, and I agree with all the feedback, take this for what it's worth, your boss might, and very likely will not like what you've come up with, even though all the market research and numbers point toward your outcome. That being the case your boss may not be able to articulate why they don't like it, this is why you hire designers or ask for their input.

You could use neon purple and still have brand recognition, the key is to find the balance between different enough for attention while still being relevant and functional. Using blue because everyone else is, or because the market research shows that blue, specifically PMS 301 is the most popular color does not necessarily make it relevant to your product.
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Re: Advice on a theoretical Alka-Seltzer refresh?

Postby NURB » December 14th, 2009, 10:40 am

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Make sure you let us know how this goes over for your team in your MBA class. I'd like to hear the response. Because, honestly, I'm sure your instructor will love it because of the amount of marketing research you've done. Of course, that only perpetuates the problem here.
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Re: Advice on a theoretical Alka-Seltzer refresh?

Postby mgnt8 » December 14th, 2009, 3:48 pm


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this is kinda fun. how about a more clinical look to associate with real medicine and avoid the old timey conotations?

R


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rkuchinsky
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yikes, has this topic been killed? Maybe in need of a little plop plop, fizz, fizz?

Would love to hear back from the OP about the direction they went, more info behind the thought/design..... we may have been a bit harsh on the critique, but all constructive criticism.

Keep it up.

R
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I'd love to hear back from the OP.

when it comes to critiques, we've all developed quite a thick skin as professionals. we've all seen kids cry at project critiques in school as it was embarrassing. there is no judgment on the designer/creator of the image or project, just criticism to help give you suggestions to potentially make it more successful, and add a little bit more beauty out there in the world.
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No crying, just repeated all-nighters putting together our report. Trust me, we can handle the criticism (and appreciate it).

Yes, we agree that the package we went with isn't the greatest design; but, consider that a) we're not anything close to professional designers, b) we're required to use primary research to base our recommendations, and c) our "recommendation" isn't necessarily to go with that one design but more to consider use of packaging to differentiate the product on the shelf. If we had gone with, for example, one of your designs (which we really liked) and ignored the results of our survey, focus groups, and class materials, our professors would have fried us for it. Like it or not, we showed your designs (and elements from them) to our focus groups and they preferred the elements we went with -- are they perfectly matched/put together? No, but that's what our primary data indicated and what our photoshop skills were capable of putting together. Actually, what we're going to do during our final presentation Friday is include some appendix slides with some of our other designs as well as elements from yours to show the process we went through in developing the final package. Once I wake up from the 72-hour bender I've got planned once I step off the podium, I'll be happy to let you know how it went.

Thanks everyone for your input -- even though it may look like we didn't take your advice, I assure you it was a big help. It's actually been pretty cool to follow this thread and pick up input from a group of strangers. It's awfully cool of you to help us out. Thanks!

Re: Advice on a theoretical Alka-Seltzer refresh?

Postby PackageID » December 16th, 2009, 10:57 pm

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dsinger,

We are always here to help. I can't wait to see what all of you presented. Would you be able to post aPDF so we could see it once you are done? I agree with the other comments above that the refresh you did was more than a little off tract, but like you mention you are not a designer. I have to say if I were to go to our marketing group and tell them to redesign the M&M's graphics and not allow them to use a design resources, it would probably come out about the same. If we strip away the actual design and think about the theory of what you produced I think you might see that you did get a bit right. You added some contrast, you brought out what would communicate the tag lines and you made the pack a bit more simple. Also if you put it on shelf it will stand out a bit more.

Now what I think you coud learn from the exercise aside from the great feedback you got from this forum and the great research you put together, is that when you get out there in the working world and start working with designers we do know a bit about these things. :) Too many times we deal with marketing teams that think they can design a product or pack better than us, but you don't seem to be one of those.

I can't wait to read more about your work and I hope that you will post a PDF or some of the work up here on the thread.
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Re: Advice on a theoretical Alka-Seltzer refresh?

Postby NURB » December 17th, 2009, 8:10 am

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dsinger115 wrote:If we had gone with, for example, one of your designs (which we really liked) and ignored the results of our survey, focus groups, and class materials, our professors would have fried us for it. Like it or not, we showed your designs (and elements from them) to our focus groups and they preferred the elements we went with -- are they perfectly matched/put together? No, but that's what our primary data indicated and what our photoshop skills were capable of putting together.


Ouch that's a bummer, and pretty much exactly what I expected. Sitting on the design side of the fence, I think there is a problem with schools teaching their marketing students to only focus on what focus groups want to see, and not what's best for the brand. Never the less, it looks like you and your team put a considerable amount of effort into your research, and I look forward to hearing how things turned out for you guys. Good luck with your presentation.
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Re: Advice on a theoretical Alka-Seltzer refresh?

Postby iab » December 17th, 2009, 5:35 pm


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NURB wrote: Ouch that's a bummer, and pretty much exactly what I expected. Sitting on the design side of the fence, I think there is a problem with schools teaching their marketing students to only focus on what focus groups want to see, and not what's best for the brand. Never the less, it looks like you and your team put a considerable amount of effort into your research, and I look forward to hearing how things turned out for you guys. Good luck with your presentation.


Hold on there Hoss. You could just as easily wrote, "I think there is a problem with schools teaching their design students to only focus on what is cool, hip, etc., and not what's best for the brand."

The customer is king and if the only information they got from/about their customer was from focus groups, I would prize that data over a designer's "vision" of a brand at any time. A product's brand and positioning strategy do not and should not always be Apple-esque, which is the direction most designers will gravitate.

And as dsinger alluded, his group has no designers in it. Their implementation of what their customer wants is terrible, but he/she admits to that. What is important is that the elements that their customer associates with the brand are present. Without being privy to their data, I would not second guess what dsinger says is best for their brand. For as much as I like RK's concepts, I have no clue if they are appropriate and fit the strategy developed from the customer feedback.

For my own $0.02, in addition to the other critiques, I find your communication strategy to lack focus. The visual elements do not complement your words and neither the visual elements or words have much structure. Don't forget AIDA (Awareness, Interest, Desire, Action) and on a more tactical level, try using AOIC (Attact, Orient, Inform, Confirm).

Good luck with the presentation.

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