THE IN-TRAY

5 brands with the most iconic packaging

WE SPOKE TO FIVE OF OUR BRANDS ABOUT THE STORIES AND INSPIRATION BEHIND SOME OF THEIR MOST ICONIC PACKAGING MOMENTS.

Diptyque

The story of the brand’s logo design

“The oval is Diptyque’s signature: the emblem of the Maison. It was the shape that featured on our first ever candle before it came a part of our perfume bottles.”

On the different coloured glass vessels

“The black-coloured edges on the eau de parfum express the difference of intensity from the eau de toilette bottles which are completely clear—it’s a quick and easy way for customers to tell the difference.”

What sets Diptyque packaging apart from others

“The bottle decor forms an integral part of the creative process at Diptyque. Each bottle tells a story that starts on the front and ends at the back. Desmond Knox-Leet, one of Diptyque’s three founders, designed the first illustrations—a tradition Diptyque holds dear to this day, as we still collaborate with artists to illustrate each new creation.”

A secret feature

“A detail is hidden on each fragrance illustration. If you look closely, you can see a little ladybug at the back of Eau Rose eau de toilette for instance.”

Westman Atelier

The inspiration behind the brand’s Eye Pod's

“I wanted to take a practical yet chic approach to the traditional eye palette,” says founder Gucci Westman. “Often when I have a palette, I end up using one shade and carrying this whole big tray around. I even find there’s just one or two shades that I always gravitate towards in a palette and then the rest go pretty much unused.”

The goal when creating the Eye Pod packaging

“I wanted them to be sleek and portable. I loved the idea of magnetic pods that can be snapped together or apart in an instant. It needed to be easy and light enough to throw in your bag for touch ups.”

On the look and feel of the packaging…

“The packaging colours of each Eye Pod are our brand’s colours. Stacked together, they really tie everything together visually,” says Westman. “The colours feel chic and timeless, like you’ll always want these little treasures displayed on your vanity. While I created them with the idea of each set containing a “core”, “accent” and “highlight” shade, it’s not set in stone. I want you to have fun and play! Makeup should always bring joy.”

Urban Decay

The inspiration behind the brand’s iconic Naked palettes according to the brand

“When we create a new product, we develop the packaging and the product in tandem. They really are co-dependent, and we try to make them work together to tell the whole story of the product. The packaging sets the framework for telling the story of what’s inside.”

On the balance between art and commerce

“Urban Decay always walks the fine line between art and commerce. We want the product to be coveted, but we also want to make sure it functions well. The narrow format of the packaging allows the customer an easy way to hold the palette and see both of your eyes in the huge mirror. Having the proper tools to apply is also important, so we added a brush with a long handle that provides dexterity, with cruelty-free fibres that pick up and deliver the desired amount of pigment.”

A fact about the palette design not many people know

“It takes 20 weeks to make one Naked palette from start to finish.”

Shiseido

On the creation of the brand’s iconic brushes, according to global artistry creative director, James Boehmer

"The highest standard of brush making, is performed by master artisans in Japan. Because Shiseido has always been known for iconic tools like our Eyelash Curler, I knew that there was an opportunity to subvert the category and come up with something incredibly unique and iconic. We looked at brushes of all types, but specifically looked at fude (fude or hake means “brush” in Japanese) which are the traditional brushes used in Japanese calligraphy. They are brushes with unrivalled precision, control and flexible versatility in calligraphy, so we adapted these tenants of “fude” to makeup application,” explains Boehmer.

The purpose behind the brushes

“First and foremost, I wanted these brushes to simplify makeup application so it felt more intuitive and easy to apply,” explains Boehmer. “A good tool makes your job easier and more effortless. I also knew that I wanted the brushes to be completely synthetic so they would be more hygienic, cruelty-free, and would work with all of the unusual and sensorial textures we created for Shiseido Makeup. This meant that the fibre works with creams, powders, gels and liquids for maximum versatility.

Little-known facts about Shiseido brushes

“Some of the brushes are touched by 20 different artisans in the brush making process and the Hanatsubaki Hake Polishing Face Brush has over 266,000 bristles.”

On creating something that resonates with artists globally

“Through collaboration with our incredible designers and packaging designers and by challenging and questioning “traditional” methods of production we have created something that doesn’t exist anywhere else. The fact that the brushes have resonated so much with the Global Artistry Community, and especially the MECCA Artistry Community, is something that I will never get over!”

Drunk Elephant

On the shelfie-friendly, clever packaging according to founder, Tiffany Masterson

“I remember getting frustrated with all the steps, all the numbers and every package looked the same. And I wanted something I could put in my hand and mix up. I have four kids, I have no time in the morning and I’m not reading anything at 11 o’clock at night. I grab a pink (T.L.C) at night, a yellow (Marula Oil) and a blue (B-Hydra). And they look cool on the counter, I don’t want to hide them; they look good out, it looks like a decorative situation. They’re fun to look at, they’re easy to grab.”

The purpose behind the brand’s packaging

“I wanted packaging that would protect the antioxidants and actives from light and air. Like me, the formulations work hard, but there’s also a not-as-serious side and that’s where the whimsy and bright, happy colors come in. I don’t take myself too seriously and neither does Drunk Elephant but we both get the job done. The packaging is reflective of me personally and how I approach life in general.”

On evolving the packaging for the future

“It has been a huge priority of mine to evolve our packaging to be all recyclable and sustainable. It’s such a challenge with airless packaging, because the materials that make pumps and reinforced materials are also harder to recycle. I’m very proud that we launched the first fully recyclable packaging in April 2020 with the hair and body collections.”

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