Nirvana CPH Research and Development: Piece of Cake?

Posted 7 November 2011 by Donna Creek

Product design is much like cooking: if you have all the right ingredients, you’re bound to make a great meal.

With packaging, its similar but different in the sense that you’re always looking for the one spice or ingredient to really make your design stand out and be truly innovative.

Take Nirvana’s recent collaboration for example. A leading British fashion/ luxury brand whose brief was to help develop the packaging for their new fragrance. In this instance all the ingredients were there: An amazing design and concept to have the material used mirror the feel and texture of skin. But where to start?

Our journey started with a tiny swatch of an unknown material that was discovered by the Chief Creative Officer with no clue of what it was or who even made it. An arduous investigative search…tracing the very steps of the Chief creative to the design company that helped create the rebrand of an exclusive hotel to the print company who produced the samples to the very manufacturer.

Such a search led to discovering it was a substrate consisting of both paper and latex, which allowed the material to have the flexibility and texture of suede whilst being highly resilient.

Through development with the manufacturer to produce a series of bespoke colours that emulated flesh tones, we had created the foundations for this exciting product.

In the months that ensued, Nirvana CPH conducted various developmental tests to ensure the materials performance stuck to the brief: was soft to touch, durable and was workable in production. We worked with a number of foil companies to find the perfect foil colour that helped to enhance the richness of the design and fit with the brand.

Working closely with their graphic designers and brand team, we produced a number of intricate dies for a series of print and foil embossing trials to challenge the durability and strength of the material, but moreso to replicate their desired logo exactly.

A tall task but successful as we were able to influence the final artwork based on our test results, resulting in the use of a multifaceted die which embossed, foiled and bevel embossed…talk about multi-tasking!

Our expertise in packaging design and development helped to make the actual construction of the packaging one which would prove a bonus to consumers: there’s nothing worse than having a great treat you can’t open or is fiddly.

The end result? We have a product that upon viewing for the first time is not only intriguing and alluring visually but allows the senses to run riot as to touch, it feels like touching skin. Brief met, amazing launch and reviews… truly the icing on the cake.