Squina Natural Health Food & Skincare

Founded in 1994, Squina is a leading manufacturer in Hong Kong’s natural health food market. The popular natural health food series and skincare series have been on market for a long time therefore are in an urgent need for a branding evolvement. For the purpose, Squina hosted a packaging design competition in the campus of Fudan University.

This is my entry to Squina–Fudan Packaging Design Competition in 2017. The competition requires two set of packaging designs for Squina’s natural health food and skincare products. Therefore I made two unique concepts of design based on the nature of the products. The entry received Second Award in the finals.




Part 1

“魚宝” Natural Health Food

Treasure from the sea

About the Series

“魚宝” is a natural health food series of Squina, originated from Japan. “魚宝” means “Treasure of Fish” in Japanese, as the product is made from fish in Japan. The health food series is targeted for the elder group that lacks necessary nutritions. The series has been on market for several years and become Squina’s flagship product in Hong Kong market.

The years-old packaging on market

The original packaging was designed around a decade ago and it is clearly outdated and cannot serve the new needs today. The original design lacks a coherent design system across products in the same series resulting in a lost in product identity. The complicated and chaos color palette of the design makes the products less legible in a bunch of products on the store shelf.

New Design

My Proposal

I designed a new series of package for Squina “魚宝” Natural Health Food. The core concept of the design is about the nature of the product – fish. While developing the design around the concept, I put my focus mainly on four parts: colors, iconography, typography, and legibility, which combined contributes to a friendly, distinghshing universal design system. So here’s the final product.

Iconography

Coherent, Legible

The design includes new icons for five separate products. While the icons conforms to a unified minimalism style, they remain highly legible as the look of an icon is well-tailored for the very product it stands for. Besides the icons, there are special patterns designed for every individual product, abstractly symboling the use of the food. The packagings share a similar positioning of icons and patterns, creating a unified branding image for the series.

Colors

For the Ease of Use

The original packaging on market has a messy palette of almost zero recognizability to differentiate from other products. So the color palette received an overhaul in the new design — five hues for each of the product. Since the series is mainly targeted for the elder group, a simplified color palette can not only help the series standing out from the shelf, but also help the elders — likely with weakened eyesight that is hard to read text — better tell the product with color. It’s the design for the ease of use with targeted customers in mind.

Originial (L) and new (R) palette

Typography

Friendly with Readability

Great typography is crucial in packaging design. The typographic layout is hugely simplified compared to the original design, abandoning the less important information. For the fonts, they were carefully chosen to make the text on packaging more readable and friendly to customers. Here are the two fonts for the two scripts on the packaging.

源ノ角ゴシック (Source Han Sans JP)Source Han Sans JP is a font designed by Adobe and Google with great readability and legibility so it’s more friendly to the elder group. Some detail to notice is that Kanji (Hanzi, 汉字) writing is different in various regions (China, Japan, Korea), in order to match the product’s place of origin, I choose the JP version instead of the HK version, so the product will look more authentic to customers.

Avenir Next RoundedFor the English letters, I choose Avenir Next Rounded designed by Adrian Frutiger. The typeface is designed with geometric and legible principle in mind. The open counters and apertures make the text easier to read even from a long distance. I prefer to rounded version to the normal version here for the reason that rounded version looks more mind and friendly to eyes, bringing a sense of caring to customers, which is what the brand is expressing.

Gift box

A Special Mind

The packaging comes with a gift box as an option. The box is designed with tradition Japanese style in mind. The beige background looks warm and friendly, the orthodox handwriting title and brush-style illustration brings a traditional and precious feel. There’s no other way better than this to express your wishes to your family and friends.

Summary

A Modern Revamp

The new Squina “魚宝” Natural Health Food packaging design is a modern revamp in brand identity. It brings a more iconic, legible, easy-to-use experience to the customers.

Part 2

Natural Desensitizing Skincare Series

For sensitive skin

About the Series

The Natural Desensitizing Skincare Series is extracted from precious Squalane, penetrates into dermal skin layer, moisturing, and helping in anti-oxidization. It relieve sthe early signs of aging and helps skin regain its natural radiance with suppleness. It’s the flagship series in Squina’s product line.

The current packaging on market

The current packaging design is modern and clean, but still the design is way too unified that it lacks proper differentiation among different products in the series, resulting in bothers for customers.

Revised design

My Proposal

I designed a revised version of packaging for Squina Natural Desensitizing Skincare Series. The new design is elegant and graceful, indicating the series’ high-end flagship position. The revision tackles one great challenge – to differentiate products with packaging to create better legibility – using the element of flowers. So here’s the final design.

Theme

Fresh and Natural

The core element of the new packaging is flowers. The skincare products are natural and fresh which is just like the flowers. Every skincare product has its own watercolor flower illustration on its front, with a unique theme color to strengthen the identity and legibility of a single product. With the flowers and colors, customers can easily identify the product instead of checking on the names every time.

Typography

Elegant, Delicate

The typography design in the new packaging is specially tailored for the natural skincare series to emphasize its high-end flagship position in the product line. I adapted two different typefaces with unique characteristics to create a clean, unified, contrast, legible and premium front look. So here are my two takes.

Title – Didot InitialsI use Didot Initials for the titles. The Didot typeface is described as neoclassical, and evocative of the Age of Enlightenment. Its high contrast stroke and consistently horizontal stress, flat and unbracketed serifs, make Didot look modern and fashionable and still popular today after 200 years. Didot is mainly used in fashion magazines and shows today, as a symbol for beauty, fashion and elegance. Didot’s characteristics perfectly match Squina’s skincare series and I choose Didot Initials from its various optical sizes, which is more suitable for big titles.

Caption – Optima novaSince Didot’s contrast is too high that it’s basically unable to read in small sizes, there’s a need to choose another font that can match Didot to use in captions. Here I choose Optima nova, designed by Herman Zapf and Akira Kobayashi. Based on letters from grave plates in Florence, Optima nova is classically roman in proportion and character, but without serifs. The letterforms were designed in the proportions of the Golden Ratio. Optima nova is comfortable to read for captions and it brings a classic sense of elegance to the product, making it look more trustworthy and authentic for customers.

Gift wrapping

A Gift for Skin

Besides the individual product packaging, there’s also a gift wrapping option. The gift box inherits the theme of individual packaging with watercolor flowers and Didot as the titling typeface. The gift box even more emphasizes the branding identity with more flowers and a golden title, contributing to a premium feel. The box is wrapped with a red ribbon expressing the care and wishes from the sender.

Summary

An Identity Upgrade

The new Squina Natural Desensitizing Skincare Series packaging design is more than a revision over the original design, it’s an upgrade in identity. With the more legible and iconic design, we’re hopeful of more responses from the market.