Saturday, August 23, 2008

Package Design: Tide Detregent

Rob Walker in The New York Times offers an analysis of a branding icon -Tide.

(illustration by Peter Arkle):

"the effectiveness of the original Tide package, which communicated “cyclone in a box,” he says. “There’s this great dynamic tension there. The word ‘Tide’ is bursting out of the circle, and the circle is standing out of the box. It’s almost a baroque composition; it’s like what Steven Spielberg would do if he were designing a brand.” The idea was that Tide is “a force of nature — it’s a phase shift.” After all, an effective synthetic detergent was a real innovation in 1947, a result of years of expensive research and development. The bull’s-eye look was actually borrowed from earlier P.&G. products, Dash and Oxydol. But in his memorable culture and design book, “The Total Package,” Thomas Hine noted that “some sophisticated color research” — involving a psychologist who specialized in such things — went into selecting a bright scheme that would suggest “sufficient power,” tempered with the “likable” blue that had a more “sensitive” connotation. Reaching the market just as automatic washing machines were catching on, Tide was a sensation; anecdotal accounts from the time suggest people lined up to get hold of the stuff — as if it were an iPhone."

NYTimes Article

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