Yves Béhar’s San Francisco-based design agency fuseproject was approached by Nivea to create a cohesive design language for the global skin care brand. The brand’s success had led to brand confusions, with disjointed packaging forms, different brand expressions, and disconnected graphic languages. Fuseproject was tasked with not only simplifying the brand message, but also challenged to use design to help Nivea reach sustainability goals.
Béhar speaks to how fuseproject approached the dual challenge:
How do the design intents of efficiency and sustainability, of uniqueness and emotion survive when mixed with complex operational, logistical, marketing and deployment demands? Our early thinking was to reduce the complexity of the current form languages, edit the numerous packaging types to a minimum set and eliminate the proliferation of logo variations and typographic expressions. We believe simplifying the Nivea visual language will offer a stronger and clearer expression of the brand values.
With these goals in mind, Béhar and his team used the classic Nivea Creme tin as their starting point for the new design, simplifying the brand’s visual identity:
The over 1,600 various bottles in Nivea’s portfolio of products also got a makeover; the bottles are now rounded and symmetrical, and the Nivea logo now prominently appears on both the top and side of the bottles. These design decision please the eye but more importantly, have tangible implications for both sales and sustainability:
Top areas are given an angle facing the customer, a gentle slope reminiscent of a hand offering a service. This branded design element has a dual purpose: to anchor the Nivea graphic on the bottle and to increase brand recognition on the shelf.
The current and future reduction of bottle and packaging shapes creates new efficiencies within the company. At the same time, the geometry of the new design allows for improved functionality and less material used overall by up to 15%. The weight reduction of the packaging combined with a label reduction of 23% (by switching to a different material and liner), as well as transportation optimization due to tighter packing are contributing to the overall 2020 goals of Beiersdorf to reduce its carbon footprint by 30% per product. In addition, all materials used are fully recyclable and all formulas have an average of over 80% non-fossil ingredients.
The new, simplified design will appear on shelves in 170 countries around the world, making the Nivea brand recognizable no matter where you are in the world. Watch the video below to learn more about Béhar’s process in redesigning the Nivea brand identity: