Tuesday, November 17, 2009

How design language can foil counterfeiters

Two years ago, I bought a lamitube of sunscreen. It bore the name of a famous brand which we will refer to as XYZ. The sunscreen turned out to be gloopy, and it smelt unusual. And this aroused my suspicions- was it a fake?

I took a closer look at the packaging. The font was the typeface the company always uses. But the colour of the graphics on my lamitube made me really suspicious. They were a jolly kerry green and not the milky pastels that XYZ brand is known for.

Now brands that are processionally branded like XYZ, follow the design language generated for them, to the T. So if their brand colours are milky pastels, they don’t get radical and change to a kerry green.

Pretty miserable I had been conned, I emailed the company about my suspicions. It seems I was right; they don’t even have a sunscreen!

Moral of the story: if you are a brand looking to make a mark, hire branding experts to create a design language for you. Then stick with it. It’s a great way to protect yourself from cheap counterfeiters!