As you dive into the world of wet shaving, you have probably noticed that there are more details than you ever imaged. While this is a return to a simple, age-old ritual of blade, soap, & brush, it is also so much more. You can get lost in the nuances in fragrance, preferences for hair grade, and even judgements on which piece of steel is “just right”. So it might not surprise you to learn that even the shape of the bottles is given intense scrutiny and planning.
Function and aesthetics all play a role in designing an aftershave bottle. How thick/heavy should it be? How wide is the opening? Tall & slender? Or short and stout?
Todd Cerami, Fine Accoutrements, gave us some insight into this thought process as he designed a new look for Fine Aftershaves.
- WCS: Why did you decide to redesign the bottle?
- Mr. Fine: The original bottle was simply the best I could find off the shelf because I wasn’t in a position to invest in custom bottles for a then unproven product. It was nice, but it was never my ideal packaging. Truth be told, that bottle was intended for use with syrup or barbecue sauce, and I just re-purposed it as best I could. Now, however, the brand is in a position to further invest in itself, to achieve my most idealized version of the product.
- WCS: How did you land on the design that you did?
- Mr. Fine: I personally direct all product and packaging designs for Fine Accoutrements, and they all start with inspiration from my favorite mid-twentieth century brands from the golden age of wet shaving. The aftershave is no exception, but in this case, the brands Palmolive and Williams and deserve special mention. I’ve always thought of the vintage green Palmolive bottle as the quintessential aftershave packaging. You could take all of the words off the label, and just show someone the bottle, and they would probably know what it was at first glance. That’s the same characteristic I wanted for Fine, so the inspiration for the bottle shape came from there. The box design was mainly inspired by vintage Aqua Velva packaging by Williams. I looked at a lot of aftershave packaging, and that box really stood out when it came to generating that golden-age vibe I look for.
- WCS: How long did it take you to find the right bottle? What were some of the aspects of a bottle that you were looking for?
- Mr. Fine: The bottle was custom designed to my specifications, so it was really matter of finding the right manufacturer who could provide what I was looking for, in the quantities I needed, and at the right price. It took a lot of shopping around, but I think we found a good partner. I’m really happy with the way the new bottles turned out, and I hope to keep this packaging exactly as it is for a long time to come!
The new bottle shaped has already been launched with American Blend, Lavender Pour Homme, and Platinum. Expect to see Green Vetiver, L’Orange Noir, and Italian Citrus in their new digs by mid June.