© 2019 by Jason CT Yang. 

Project Overview

About Meroware

Meroware is a collection of contemporary toddler products made for the discerning, modern family. Mero, named after the burst of joy we feel everyday when designing what we love. Mero is inspired by the flawless Tokyo mom, strong, independent, expertly styled, and accompanied by her little toddler who is just as fabulous.

Problem Statement

Different Approach to Toddler Category

A category always designed for kids, most products and packaging in the toddler market are filled with vivid colors and cute cartoon characters. Meroware has a different approach to this competitive category. Born from a desire to develop stylish products for moms in mind, meroware aims to make the moms to feel fabulous amid the hectic pace of family life. The designs are created to match the mom’s taste without sacrificing functionality.

Project

Package Design for a New Brand

Meroware is a toddler brand created by Sim Design. Based in Taipei, Taiwan, Sim Design is a small startup studio composed of industrial designers. In 2017, I was hired as a freelance graphic designer to create the packaging for a series of meroware products that will be launched in 2018. As a new brand that is just starting to develop its brand image, the design of the packaging is what sets the brand presence on a retail shelf, and is what people will recognize the brand by. This wasn’t just a simple package design project, I was defining the visual language of the brand.

Project Goal

Minimal, Contemporary Japanese Style

‚ÄčTo create a package design language that can be scalable to fit different size product, and still speaks the same family accent. The packaging should have a clean minimal design with a wow factor to look unlike any feeding products for kids on the market. The look and feel should be adult and appealing to a fashion mom - providing the same excitement and “sexy contemporary design” aesthetics as chocolate, makeup or soap packaging in Japanese industry. 

Business Goal

Prominent Japanese Character

Launching in Tokyo, Meroware had clear plans to expand to other countries such as China, Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan, etc… The visual language has to carry a strong Japanese accent to stand out as an imported brand in countries outside of Japan. In addition,  Meroware is positioned as mainstream to high-end brand, the packaging needs to feel valuable with a sense of quirkiness to reflect the brand.

Users & Audience

Modern, Stylish Japanese Moms

Trendy, design-conscious and educated Japanese moms around 25-35. This group of people is particular about the style of the things they own, including their children.

Design Challenge

Deliver Artwork in 2 Months

The logomark of meroware consists of a crown and a circle. The requirement was clear that the new packaging design must use the 45 degree angle from the logo to reflect the crown. The final design needs to be expandable to fit different products: Alice, Elle and Kate.

  • 3 different visual directions for ideation 

  • No use of product photography

  • 3 color minimal and 6 color maximum (2 Pantone color at max)  

My Role

As an independent freelance designer, I was responsible for packaging design, visual direction and final artwork. Conducted two review workshops and consulted with 1 product manager and 1 design lead.  

Key Deliverables

  • Three art direction design pitches 

  • Final artwork for 14 SKUs 

Design Process

Packaging for Japanese Modern Moms

This project focused on ideation and implementation phase, as SIM Design already covered business strategy and marketing research.

Ideation

Concept 1

Inspired by the traditional Japanese horticultural design, the ripples outlined by cobble show the beauty of Japanese minimalism. 

Concept 2

Inspired by the 45 degree angle from the logo, a continuous geometric wave line is created. And the logo is dismantled in the wave line to reflect the crown and sunset.

Concept 3

Reduced the size of the logo and turned it into a background pattern.
Moreover, exaggerate the  45 degree angle from the logo to reflect the V shape.

Ideation Review

In the workshop, I asked SIM designers to vote for their favorite design and share post-it notes feedback. The feedback focus on why you like it, why it can represent Mero, what are we missing, and how we can improve.

Solution

Summary

Unique Mix of Quality and Quirkiness

The brand owner chose concept one in the end as it is closest to what they had in mind. They loved that concept one is clean and minimal, but at the same time has a unique mix of quality and quirkiness to it. The package design feels expensive and fun, it speaks the same language as the product. They especially enjoyed the way the crown logo stretches to two faces of the packaging, and when put together side by side, the complete crown logo is presented. The brand owner was very satisfied with the outcome, they think the package design really brings a fresh look to the toddler industry.

Design Release

Retail Stores

crisp, minimal design standout on shelves

Launch Party December 2018, Shanghai

Outcome

Analysis

My role in this project is to create visual direction that accurately sets the position, character and visual presence of the brand. The client was very satisfied with the visual direction and quality of the outcome.