The goal was to create a promotional box for a fictional retail company that includes different items associated with the topic. Along with creating the company, we were to design its branding, wrap its promotional box, and package three products to go inside.
Time: Spring 2019
Duration: 4 weeks
Skills: Brand Identity, Packaging
Tools: Photoshop, Illustrator
When thinking about the audience I wanted to design for, I was incredibly inspired by my home country, Vietnam. I wanted to focus on creating products to bring attention a specific cause that everyday people might not already be aware of, and use this opportunity to design for social good. Thus sparked Give, a box that gives back to people in need. While I focused my research for this project on Vietnam, I imagine Give to be applicable to all countries.
I recognized two common problems that exist in current service oriented subscription packages when conducting my research.
1) Lack of consideration of eco-friendly products for boxes being sent to underdeveloped countries
2) Lack of language diversity in packaged products
When establishing a brand for Give, I wanted to solve these problems by providing a program in which those receiving the boxes are able to live sustainably and understand how to use the products that they’re given. In developing countries like Vietnam, there is no legal system that regulates recycling or separation of garbage, leading to a majority (about 75%) of trash ending in landfills. The country also primarily speaks Vietnamese, with approximately 81% of its residents stating it as their dominant language. While some ways of using products (like a toothbrush) could be implied without language, it was important to consider how other details, such as product ingredients, could not be implied when written in a foreign language. How might Give help solve for those in need?
I created a visual system that felt natural, diverse, and easy to help establish Give's brand. I was drawn to the juxtaposition of both earth-y and vibrant tones, and created a mixture of styles that felt fun yet sophisticated. While choosing typefaces, it was important to find ones that worked across both the Vietnamese and English language well. Additionally, I freely hand painted various swatch styles and digitally layered them in Photoshop to capture the physical feel of the box and overall serenity of the products inside of it.
Overall, Give was a fun project that challenged me to think about design in ways I have
never thought about it before. It challenged me to address real problems occurring in Vietnam and design a solution that could be applicable.
It was interesting to design packaging for both the English and Vietnamese language. At
the beginning of my process, I quickly ran into an issue that I hadn't come across in my academic career yet: picking out a typeface that worked for two languages. After hours of searching, I landed on two that ended up working: Nexus Pro Mix and Montserrat. Although these typefaces paired well together and seemed to be applicable across both languages, it was still necessary to tweak the Vietnamese accents and punctuation to make them feel a part of the overall packaging design.
When I began applying these typefaces in English and Vietnamese to the products, it was important to consider the translation differences in each word or phrase. This posed another challenge I hadn’t come across before, and it forced me to adjust the shape and size of the physical packages to fit both languages. For example, in English, “toothbrush” is one word, while in Vietnamese, it is said in a phrase of four separate words. This challenged me to set the type in a visually cohesive way across both translations.
The process of finding the balance of the perfect font and applying the language in a cohesive and digestible manner led me to think about the future of type in packaging. Will global brands begin to translate their products for all countries? Will they begin to adjust their brands to fit the needs of a wide range of consumers? What is the cost of this and what are the benefits?
Give is a brand that I envision to be applicable to all languages. I’m interested in doing more research on how companies cater to universal audiences during their design process and I want to use that research to consider other language applications moving forward in my design career.