6 Differentiating Luxury Design Global Cosmetic Industry
language of luxury with sans-serif typefaces and simplified
compositions. Brands such as
La Prairie, Prismologie and
Herbivore Botanicals are using
sans serif typefaces similarly—as
all caps with generous tracking
and abundant space, yielding an
airy, sophisticated look.
Whitespace: In order to
achieve this, it is vital to
simplify your copy to the
absolute essentials across all
applications. This starts on your
packaging, with simple product
names and benefits. Don’t overexplain. Instead, be provocative
and create intrigue with smart
naming and copy writing.
Remember, in most cases, the
only elements on your primary
package are the logo, product
name and required information.
Your typography is doing all the
work, so it must be on point.
Imagery plays a big role in
creating the luxury experience
online, in-store and in print
collateral. The canon is to use
highly stylized, surrealistic
and dramatic photographic
techniques, offering consumers
an escapist experience. These
images are the result of highly
produced photo shoots, used in
seasonal campaigns, advertising
and core website pages.
Consistent image treatments:
In this age of Instagram and
Snapchat, luxury brands must
be generating new content daily
in order to engage with their
followers. For this everyday
social imagery, we are seeing
brands develop unique photo
treatments using consistent
filters, background colors or
lighting techniques to create a
unified feel. These treatments
not only allow companies to
assert a distinct point of view,
but also to establish easy brand
recall among their followers.
Finding the Opportunity
To a certain extent, brands
must be aware and adhere to
DIFFERENTIATING LUXURY DESIGN
Whitespace: Brands like Herbivore Botanicals are using sans serif all
caps with generous tracking and abundant space, yielding an airy,
Transparency: There is a movement of
using transparent bottles and placing a
raw hero ingredient inside, as seen in
Nars’ Monoï Body Glow II Beauty Oil.
the canons of luxury branding
in order to compete and cater
to customer expectations.
However, companies that are
truly innovating are redefining
what luxury means by starting
new trends that go against
the grain. There is still plenty
of opportunity and untapped
potential in the market. Find
and seize the relevant visual
opportunities in your product
category, and your brand will
be poised for success. n
SHERI L. KOETTING
is the founder and chief
strategist of MSLK (http://
a marketing and design
agency based in New York.
MSLK specializes in helping beauty brands find
their voice in today’s crowded marketplace
through 360° brand positioning—from overall
brand strategy to brand identity, packaging,
retail experience, websites and social media
campaigns; contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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