What distinguishes the developmental process in luxury packaging? How does it differ from that for conventional types of packaging?
The design of luxury packaging in particular involves trying out a lot of different things. In the end it all comes down to achieving exactly the effect that you want. Even after the basic design has been decided, the fine-tuning of color and material can still be a very lengthy process. Above all it often takes a long time to choose the right material. This time-consuming approach gives one scope to think in an incredible number of directions and to consider all sorts of possible variations – for me this process is incredibly exciting.
Who are the partners involved in this development process?
Above all the client, of course. After all, we are creating an image for his product and thus naturally would like to be guided by his views.
We like to meet with our clients at Model Kramp when the proofs are being printed so that we can assess the color at the printing press. Here, precisely at this point, is where we often take further important decisions.
Do you proactively use preliminary market testing for packaging and products you have developed?
I spend a lot of time in the market. On the one hand, I need to do my homework and to see what the competition has come up with recently and, on the other, I also look at my own creations and assess their impact. Often you pick up useful impressions on the spot that can be incorporated into other projects at a later date. Even with all our modern possibilities, practical testing is still an important part of our work.
A modern trend is for actors, prominent persons and fashion labels to develop their signature fragrances. Can you explain to us why this is so?
For fashion labels seeking a holistic identity a fragrance is a crucial element of the overall portfolio.
Powerful brands and famous names have an enormous impact. Many consumers identify with famous people or brands and are, thus, naturally also interested in their fragrances.
In addition, many people are only too happy to indulge in “a little bit of” luxury. Not every woman can afford to buy a dress by Chanel, but the luxury of Chanel's perfume may be within reach.
Which season provides the greatest incentive for new packaging?
Spring, when the desire for warmth and fresh colors and a new zest for life reawakens, and autumn, when the start of pre-Christmas shopping always generates increased demand for new lines.
You also offer POS/POP solutions. What do you pay attention to when searching for and implementing new ideas? Which materials have priority and why?
POS/POP solutions in particular play an extremely important role in determining the product categories for which designs need to be created. For each category we have to fulfill certain conditions, which, of course, we adhere to in our work.
In the luxury sector we can use materials of distinction, such as exotic woods or aluminum. In designs for the lifestyle segment, the materials used are often a little plainer. On the other hand, this is where brighter colors come into their own.
All in all, even for POS/POP solutions it is always crucial to take up the story of the fragrance and add another chapter.
Interview with Frank Loewer, Art Director in Lutz Hermann Design