brand identity redesign
This was a unique project for me because it didn't involve much CAD modeling or sketching. Instead, it involved cross functional teamwork. It also involved keeping a close relationship with our manufacturers, checking in daily. In this project we redesigned the logo, packaging, and updated 50+ products to form a cohesive brand update. My responsibility was the redesign of the products themselves, including, brushes, sponges, brush cups, and additional cosmetic accessories.
Real Techniques' design was outdated. Real Techniques needed highly instagramable products that appealed to the Millennial and Gen Z customer base. It was time for a redesign.
We researched the origin of the brand. Real Techniques started with Sam and Nick who were the first makeup artists to make it big utilizing YouTube to share tutorials. They were at the forefront of the YouTube craze.
Real Techniques' products were sorted into 3 categories base, eyes, and finish. The existing brushes were fluted if sold individually and straight if sold in a set. The fluting was so that the brushes could stand up on their own. This feature sometimes worked but mostly did not.
Another key part of research was the trend research. Because this project was all about impulse products and instagramability. The products needed to be very trendy. We also wanted them to look cute in the user's medicine cabinets on on her vanity. We wanted them to be a reflection of the users playful and experimental use of makeup.
Trend Research Board
FORM EXPLORATION and Features
Brushes: For this exercise, I went straight to CAD. I knew I wanted to play with the taper of the design. Ultimately, we decided that if we were going to update the color of the designs, we should keep the straight form. This way, the new designs tied back to the original. This also saved us from having to retool the handles, saving thousands in tooling costs.
We changed all fluted designs to a straight to make the line look consistent. This included the miniature brushes. We explored the idea of laser engraving the brush names, logo, and brush numbers but decided it was cost prohibitive.
MATERIALS AND COLOR
Arguably the most important element of the redesign was color. Real Techniques has been historically divided into 3 segments. Base (orange), Eyes (purple), and Finish (pink). For the redesign, we changed the segments up a bit. The consumer needed more than 3 categories of brushes. The result was Prep, Face, Eyes, Cheek, and Lip. To reflect these segments we chose champagne for Prep, peach for Face, violet for Eyes, rose for Cheek, and raspberry for Lip.
On a trip to Asia, we spent hours with the manufacturers perfecting the color. We also worked with the manufacturer to discern their capabilities for surface finishes. We chose a satin finish for the ferrule (the aluminum part of the brush) and metallic for the handle (the plastic piece of the brush). We were very precise on the level of gloss we wanted the aluminum to have. I can't emphasize how many hours went into color matching the text on the brush to the handle. We also color matched the sponges, cups, and ancillary items across multiple materials and manufacturers. It may seem small but was a huge accomplishment.
The whole color matching process included 2 weeks in Asia, dozens of variance boards transferred between countries over the course of months. It was an incredible feat for the multiple manufacturers and our team to achieve. It was worth every minute for the result; mouth watering brushes that you want to add to your cart and display on your vanity.
DESIGN INTENT SPECIFICATION SHEETS
Prior to production, I created Design Intent Specifications for every item. I show an example of these here but it is just an example. The real sheets are a trade secret of Paris Present's Incorporated.
The point of this section is to show a crucial part of the industrial design process: communication with the manufacturer. These sheets outline materials, finishes, and dimensions. Every pertinent specification down to the diameter and wave length of the brush hair is recorded in this document. It is here to ensure a quality end product that is hard for the manufacturer to mess up.
Because CAD modeling and rendering each brush to scale would take a great deal of time. We decided to create to scale illustrator renderings. These rendering were used in product development for presentations and design intent specificaitons. These were also passed to our crossfunctional teams for a multitude of purposes including: line sheets, marketing presentations, and packagning. Because they were perfectly to scale, the packaging team was able to use them to aid in the blister making process.
BRAND DESIGN LANGUAGE ELEMENTS GUIDE
I created a comprehensive guide for handle sizes, fillet ratios, colors, and art sizing. This expedites the development of future products and ensures that any new product will look like it belongs to the same family of existing products.
This project involved every team in the company. We worked hand in hand with the marketing team and the creative team. The graphic team designed a gorgeous new logo and the updated packaging.
Brush segments: Prep, Face, Cheek, Eye, and Lip.
Numbering system: We added the numbering system to the brushes. This especially helps in identifying the type of brush in Sam and Nik's YouTube tutorials.
Clear cups: Base, Eye, and Cheek segments get their own transluscent cup.
I am very proud of this project because it really did result in a highly instagramable product. The brushes are so cute that the users to want to share pictures of them. Here are some images that users have shared. These also put Real Techniques on the map for trendy and relevant cosmetic accessories. It also spiked sales. 😉