Thymes + Zeus Jones

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Zeus Jones, a Minneapolis based design firm, has done an extensive amount of incredible work for Bath & Body brand Thymes:

"At Zeus Jones we believe that modern brands make design an integral part of everything they do. In fact, for the most successful companies, the product is often a physical embodiment of the brand’s core belief. One of the places we best explore this modern approach to design is in the packaging and product design work we do for our Thymes client.

When Thymes first contacted us in 2008 they were at a bit of a strategic crossroads. They had helped invent the Bath and Body category of products in the early 80’s with artful, handcrafted products and packaging.

After some years of declining sales, Thymes changed their approach to their product design and experienced a resurgence of sorts in the early part of the decade. Once again, the competition quickly followed suit. We were tasked with helping them architect their third major reinvention, with the challenge to introduce the company to new audiences while strengthening their connection to existing customers.

We conducted a deep competitive audit of the gift channel where Thymes products are largely sold. We quickly realized that the category broke down into two main types: brands that stressed efficacy but failed to effectively use design, and brands that were pretty, but not very effective."

Rest of the article and images of all of Zeus Jones' beautiful work for Thymes, after the jump.


"One of the ways Thymes is unique is that they don’t compromise in either usefulness or beauty. They have painstakingly built their own in house lab that produces amazing formulations and fragrances, while retaining the drive to make each collection artful and beautiful in its own unique way."

Another truth about the gift channel is that is largely collection and seasonally-driven, in many ways similar to the fashion industry. For this reason, it is imperative that each collection has a different design, fragrance, and overall experience from the one released six months prior.

This is one of the ways design serves as a vital business driver for Thymes. We use newness, not only as a means of acquisition, but also as a means of retention. This culminates in a brand that feels in constant renewal, but that is anchored by the quality of the products and the core beliefs that unite the entire product line.

The design of each Thymes product is itself a marketing asset, using shelf presence to create a look and feel that directly reflects the unique product inside, and allowing it to stand apart from the competition in an increasingly cluttered category.

Over the course of two years, we’ve had the privilege of creating four collections which have managed to outpace sales projections in a down economy. We have several other collections currently in the works and are excited to keep collaborating with Thymes on the future of the brand."

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"The Ambersweet Orange fragrance line is a wholesome blend of orange blossom, yogurt, and humectant honey. The color choice echoes the product’s warm, enveloping quality while the illustrations convey the sweetness of orange blossoms and honey."

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"We worked with Thymes to extend their Essentials product line into a series of “Experience Kits” that combined several products in ways that enhance everyday experiences. We also developed a custom retail display to showcase the products in gift stores."

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"Moonflower by Thymes is a high-end bath and body line that features notes of mahogany, amber and cognac. The packaging reflects the mysterious, premium nature of the product with a dark color palette and detailed floral illustrations wrapping each product. Gold foil was used in the printing process to add an unexpected element of brightness to the mix."

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"Naia is a clean, crisp fragrance that activates the senses. The packaging highlights the fresh simplicity of the products by wrapping them in illustrations of translucent leaves and splashes of water."

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"The Thymes Offerings line consists of 8 individually fragranced candles, each scented to evoke a particular emotion or sentiment. Symbols were created to represent each emotion, and colors were carefully chosen to match each fragrance. Handwriting was used to emphasize the personal nature of gift giving."