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A shift in consumer attitudes away from the ‘authentic’ and ‘craft’ to a cleaner, simpler aesthetic

Has authenticity become a dirty word? It used to stand for: a trusted source, considered creation, originality and, above all, quality. Yet times have changed and consumers are losing connection with the Hipster aesthetic associated with it. In short, the word has become bastardised. So with consumers seeking a different expression of quality, where does design and packaging go from here?

Essentially, we will see a move away from the glorified ‘heritage’ of Hipster authenticity. As more and more brands endorse the aesthetic of beards, tartan shirts, craft beers and rugged wood textures, the design codes that were once driven by purpose and resourcefulness are now seen as style over content. As such, people are beginning to gravitate towards packaging that is simple, with iconic branding and distinctive structures in refined substrates.

This is not to say that the value behind a truly ‘authentic’ product has been lost. Consumers still hold respect for a product that has been created through skill and hard-earned knowledge, but it is the expression of ‘faux-craft’ that consumers are beginning to rebel against.

The noticeable shift in consumer trends towards this cleaner, more simplistic aesthetic, often featuring a mono palette, intriguing structures, metallic finishes, direct language and plain, unisex typography, has seen brands begin to react. Combining the above consumer desires with a Scandi influence, brands are turning to an almost undesigned style that focuses on an unfussy quality. Embracing technology and slicker finishes, there’s a distinctive move to subtler visual design that shows brands taking a quieter pride in their heritage, provenance and quality.

We have highlighted four brands that are beginning to embrace this ‘nakedness’ and have started to strip down and pare back to convey this new angle on authenticity.

1. NikeLab X Undercover Gyakusou collection

Nike have collaborated with designer Jun Takahashi to create a running uniform that combines the latest technical innovations with a simple and pared back aesthetic. Genuine technology has been harnessed to create an optimised product with the perfect balance of style and substance.

Anti Authenticity Nike Lab Bulletproof

2. Our/Vodka

A global vodka that’s produced by local distilleries around the world to capture the unique personality and expression of individual regions. The packaging has been distilled down to its core equities to create a unified global brand that lets the vodka do the talking.

Anti Authenticity Our Vodka

3. Diesel Blah Blah Blah

Opting out of using the usual inspirational slogans and quotes that often adorn fashion advertising, Diesel cuts to the chase and explicitly writes out their campaign’s intentions. Combining plain studio photography with taglines such as ‘this is where we tell you what to wear’ and ‘blah blah blah’, it’s a refreshingly raw and honest approach to a fashion campaign.

Anti Authenticity Diesel

4. A.P.C Olive Oil

The Parisian fashion house turns its hand to… olive oil. Embracing the same clean minimal look of their clothing line, A.P.C has removed all unnecessary clutter from its packaging and focussed on a premium substrate and finish to ensure consumers focus on the quality of the product without any of the faff.

A.P.C Olive Oil

Actions

1. Go naked: Really strip away the white noise on pack and hero your core equities.

2. Sensualise your substrate: Make people want to touch and handle your product more.

3. Respect your heritage don’t pillage it: Be quietly proud of your history, use it subtly and with restraint.

Reference:

1. Nike – http://news.nike.com/news/redefining-running-silhouettes-the-holiday-2015-nikelab-x-undercover-gyakusou-collection

2. Our/Vodka – http://ourvodka.com

3. Diesel – http://www.fashiongonerogue.com/gallery/diesel-gets-meta-for-fall-2015-campaign/

4. A.P.C – http://lovelypackage.com/apc-olive-oil/

Blog written by Bella.