Packaging for Tangent GC Natural Cleaning soap by Carl Nas Associates — BP&O
Text by Richard Baird
Tangent GC started as a Scandinavian organic apparel and shoe care company developing products designed to extend the life of clothes and shoes, and entered the organic skin care market in 2016. Concern for the longevity of the skin becomes an understandable extension of that original intention.
Carl Nas Associates, who has worked with Tangent GC on its packaging treatments for an increasing number of products for the past several years, worked on the brand's new line of organic soaps. Just like previous work, which could be described as minimally sensitive (literally not trending), this is very much about nuance and continuity. This post acts as an extension of previous posts. It affirms the elegance and flexibility that the original treatment and effectiveness of a good choice of materials and the communication potential of surfaces and structures offer and are present in this. This is a rare opportunity to see how a solution works over time and in new contexts.
The company's graphic identity, a typographical system designed by Essen International under the creative direction of Carl Nas, created an informative immediacy through the absence of superfluous stylistic details and colors, structured content effectively and distinguished a distinction in arrangement, alignment and Set of Accurate Mono.
When Tangent GC entered the organic personal skincare market, the company worked with London-based Carl Nas Associates to develop the graphic language that Carl Nas originally enlisted as Creative Director at Essen International. In this new phase, the studio applied an originally graphic system for shoe and clothing care to skin care packaging and organic hand cream. This was supported by campaigns with swirling fabrics and illustrations by famous airbrush artist Syd Brak, which introduced a humanistic aspect and showed that there was conceptual and visual potential.
The Tangent GC Soap range is organic and vegan, cruel and fossil-free. And just like the product itself is “impact-resistant”, the studio was looking for an impact-resistant packaging treatment. This materialized as simple wrapping paper with the now recognizable typographical treatment, which clearly connects the entire range and also frames the available fragrances. The power of this is going back to the past. Paper, not plastic. A wrap, not a box. Uncoated not coated. It's a useful reminder of the excess packaging used by big brands and the potential for perceived value lies not in the abundance of the material, but in the absence of materials and the synergy of the material with the product and brand.
Where big brands that use plastic bottles (and overpacks) express their new ecological positioning with large lettering and give high priority to “largely recycled” – the words of the consumer and not corporate responsibility – brands like Tangent GC feel much more comfortable just do the right thing and let it feel instead of reading it. That's not to say that the former has no broader awareness-raising purpose, just that it seems a little late and a little insincere today.
The startup images are another notable thing. These exist in a space between studio portfolio images and product photography. In this way, this dual purpose, which serves both the studio and the customer, creates further continuity (no difference between the two online services) and multiple purposes (brings value to both the customer and the studio). This is becoming more common and smarter, especially now that taking portfolio pictures comes with new challenges and costs that are harder to justify. This is where the product and its packaging become an interesting point resulting from the sculpting and the arrangement of the two. More from Carl Nas Associates on BP&O.
Design: Carl Nas Associates. Opinion: Richard Baird. Fonts used: Accurate Mono.
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