While designing cool stuff like cars, furniture and housewares is the dream job of almost every design school graduate, creating personal care packaging usually isn’t even on their career radar. But it should be, designers in the beauty industry say, because the same sense of aesthetics needed for those cooler items can be applied (no pun intended) to lipstick cases, hand lotion dispensers and makeup containers.
And careers in the field can be quite attractive (pun intended) because the global cosmetic packaging industry as a whole is expected to grow by 5.2% per year, and reach a grand total of $35.6 billion by 2022.
All these newbie designers need is a good sense of form, color, finish and material, and an overall conception of how all those elements go together. More often than not, that last element in the list above — material — is some form of plastic produced by injection molding.
Plastic Gold… or Titanium … or…
The beauty of plastic, designers say, is that different varieties can take on almost any form or finish a designer can dream up which affects its all-important “hand-feel,” or the way it feels in your hand. “Hand-feel,” combined with eye-appeal, produces a sense of joy and confidence before the consumer even opens the container, and can add real monetary value to the product it contains. The key is providing designers with a description or sample for the precise finish and color they want — a particular satin black, glossy gold or titanium gray.
Like many other designers of more mundane plastic injection molded products, personal care packaging designers are increasingly turning to 3-D printing for rapid prototyping. This is especially important for the incredibly nuanced shapes and designs personal care product companies are demanding. These days, designers can make ultra-tiny changes to a curve or finish in a cosmetic container one day and hold it in their hand the next.
What to know more about this beautiful topic? Watch for future blog posts!