- Published on Wednesday, 23 December 2009 01:00
JAPAN – To communicate how its skincare product works, Japanese cosmetics company Nippon Menard Cosmetics Co Ltd designed a luxurious-looking package that tells the story of skin cell renewal.
Menard’s Authent Cream, the result of 50 years of cumulative research and development, and six years of state-of-the-art stem cell research, is a skin care product that claims to rejuvenate the skin through a technology that focuses on stem cells, whose numbers decrease with age. To communicate the brand product’s image, the design agency needed to create a package that exemplifies both “The Origin of Beauty” and “The Future of Beauty”.
The result is a package that effectively explains how the product itself works: The surface at the base of the rectangular PMMA (polymethymethacrylate) container is a little raised, signifying the remains of the previous dying skin cell. The circular PP container for the cream resting on the rectangular base depicts a new skin cell emerging as a perfect gold sphere, separated from the past. The gold outer cap and inner purple cap are made from aluminium and ABS (Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene) respectively.
In addition, the mirrored surface reflection symbolises the environment, drawing one into the illusion of endless space and unfathomable depth. The innovative packaging design - created by the brand owner’s product designer Shohei Yagi and assistant designer Akira Okamoto - captures the ‘moment of renewal’, expressing the product concept: “Moment… unlimited possibilities”.
The production of the package was a technical feat in itself. The rectangular base container was manufactured using a three-stage injection molding process; because of the thickness of the container, the plastic resin could not flow completely in the mold and hence had to be injection molded three times. The bottom of the rectangular base is gold in color, while the rest of the container is transparent.
The circular container that rests on the rectangular base consists of two color shades: gold on the surface and purple on the interior.
Menard’s Authent was recognized for its beauty and innovation at this year’s Pentawards where the company was awarded the Gold award for the Luxury category (Cosmetics) at the Pentawards award ceremony held on 2 October 2009 during the Brussels Design Forum.
Nippon Menard and its packaging designs
Established in 1959, Nippon Menard Cosmetic is a Japanese cosmetics brand owner with sales and manufacturing facilities in Taiwan, Malaysia, China, and France. Its latest expansion move was the establishment of S.A.R.L. Nippon Menard Monaco and the set up of Menard Institute Monte Carlo in Monaco earlier this year. The company offers a wide range of personal care products that feature beautiful packaging designed with as much careful attention as was paid to Authent.
Menard’s Fairlucent concentrate white, for example, is a skin clarifying serum that deeply infiltrates the skin. Deep azure was chosen as the product packaging color, to conjure the image of a white blossom flower emanating from the ethereal blue steam. The structural design of the package flows seamlessly up the bottle from a square shape, to one with a rounded mid body, before ending in a square top. This presents an image of “perpetual moisture and serene elegance”.
The design of Veilblock UV series of sunscreen and cleansing products – another product range of Menard’s - take inspiration from the seashells of beaches where consumers would commonly spend time at and use the products. A lovely seashell-inspired pattern rests on one face of the packaging. When consumers turn the package around, they can see a magical opalescent prism, with soft yet radiant colors that change as the product is held up in the sunlight.
About the designers
Shohei Yagi joined Menard as a product designer (Products Planning Department) in 2005. He was educated in Kwansei Gakuin University where he achieved a B.A. in Psychology. In 2000, he studied for an A.A.-equivalent Diploma in Space Design at the Kuwasawa Design School before starting at his first design-related job as an assistant designer with Claudio Colucci Design Inc between 2002-2005.
Akira Okamoto was the assistant designer for Authent and is a product designer (Products Planning Department) with Menard. He studied for a B.A. in Industrial Design at the Nagaoka Institute of Design from 2003 to 2007 before joining Menard.