Gold bar packages

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One of my largest clients in the past few years has been the Israeli Coins and Medals Corporation (ICMC). I have designed several e-commerce websites for them, and was consequently also hired to design packages for a new line of products – the Dove of Peace gold bar.

The company has had several drafts for the package commissioned from other designers, but was unsatisfied with the results. With a major numismatics fair approaching, time was pressing to find a solution. They wanted a package that was practical and stylish at the same time. It also needed to be strongly associated with Israel, and with Jerusalem.

The package included two elements – a inner envelope and a sleeve, and so I felt that I should create some contrast between the two, as if the envelope is “peeking” from within. Knowing that the package was to be quite small in size (about the size of a cigarette pack), I decided to keep it simple. I wanted it to have one powerful element as a focal point, and nothing more. I believed that sticking to these two principals would provide a stylish result.

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I submitted three different concepts. The first had a jet black background, and an image of the gold bar, slanted and glistening with light shining behind it. It had nothing more on the front other than the company logo and the product name, both in gold foil. I suggested that the inner envelope be made of textured golden paper. This was somewhat reminiscent of quality chocolate packages, and I sort of liked this association.

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The second concept had a gold foil pattern on it, based on the Star of David shape. It had a royal blue background, and the inner envelope was to be made of high quality white stock, producing the ever so Israeli white and blue color combination.

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The third concept was on a lighter note. It featured a stylized illustration of Jerusalem on a white background, inspired by old mosaic depictions of the holy city. This time the blue was on the inside, using deep blue quality recycled stock.

The ICMC managers liked concept A, but thought that the inner golden paper was a little over the top, and that we should tone it down a little. They also liked the Star of David pattern from concept B. And so we decided to make the inner envelope a metallic matte silver, with the pattern overlayed in a glossy UV varnish. This gave the envelope a subtle, light responsive texture.

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The result was stunning. A package which doesn’t yell “luxury!”, but rather whispers it softly. In addition, I also created a few limited edition sleeves, featuring colorful collages.

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I also designed a certificate of authenticity, to be inclosed together with each bar of fine gold. It featured a water mark of the ancient walls of Jerusalem.

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In order to complete everything in time for the coin fair, I had to put in a few sleepless nights. This paid off since the product was a success and drew a lot of attention.

A flowing brand

One of the most successful branding projects I have been involved in is of a small Israeli start-up company called Flometrica. This company develops disposable measuring equipment, for medical use.

The first challenge of every branding project is to create a logotype. A good logotype is like the opening notes of a concerto – it sets the tone and atmosphere of the entire brand, and makes the rest of the process a whole lot easier. Specifically in this project I had a hard time finding the right one. I must have presented the client with half a dozen different sketches. All of them were reasonable, but none of them was “it”.

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At that point, while doodling absent-mindedly, I came up with this sketch. It was very simple, almost banal. But it made the “M” look a lot like Flometrica’s product – a drop of fluid passing through a measuring tube. The letters were hand drawn, since I couldn’t find a geometric font with the correct characteristics. The client immediately loved it. We tried a few color variations and finally decided to go with the classic Blue and Cyan duo.

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As I mentioned before, a good logo makes the entire branding process flow, as if on it’s own. The more I looked at it the more I knew I had to take that special M and turn it into a leitmotiv. Here you can see it appearing in white on the company’s business cards. The blue and cyan blend into an abstract background, illustrating the concept of “flow”.

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I later went on to design the company’s website. I tried to keep it as clean and tidy as possible, in order to convey the ideas of accuracy and efficiency. the only element which disturbs the straight lines is my beloved leitmotiv (here in the carousel’s buttons. The pictures of people smiling balance the cold color scheme, and add a bit of warmth and humanity.

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I later went on and created a concept for the packaging of the product’s software. Again, using the drop as a dominant motive which is easily recognizable, and limiting myself to the brand’s colors. The result is simple and effective.

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