Crit* HALO

Our most discussed post last week was HALO. Check out what Richard had to say about it and share your own Crit* below!

Halo is an initiative that raises funds for women and women’s health charities across the UK. Set up by international supermarket Tesco, the charity will be funded by a new brand of tampons, towels and pantyliners that will generate a 15p donation per purchase. The packaging, developed by London based Parker Williams, was designed to blend an ‘emotive dual protection message’ and place the ‘charitable initiative at the heart of the brand’.

 
 

“Everyone at Parker Williams is thrilled to be involved in such a worthwhile initiative, and delighted that Tesco asked us to help create this important new brand. The emotive dual protection message ensures that both the product’s efficacy as well as the charitable initiative at the heart of the brand is clearly communicated in a visually distinctive way.”

“The distinctive and cheeky 'upside down A' within the Halo brand mark is dressed with lacy knickers giving a light-hearted 'smile' to a category that is historically difficult to navigate. The single minded use of pink creates real stand-out in store and celebrates the brand’s feminine roots. The lacy device is then used to enhance the colour coding for each product type helping overall range navigation and is given further 'playful' emphasis with the 'knickers on the line 'to communicate product differences in a bold and simple way.The design is confident with a caring, sensitive heart – raising awareness and allowing us all to contribute to a great cause with minimum fuss."- Tamara Williams, co-founder

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The duality of the heart/bum symbol, as a concept, works quite well to resolve the themes of care, comfort and charitable donations in a simple manner but unfortunately as a visual it appears silly instead of ‘cheeky’. The letter-forms of the logo-type blend a cold and geometric typographical construction with strange anatomical quirks that appear bizarre rather than cohesive. The top-side lowlight conflicts with the angle of the drop shadow below and leads to a mixed and confusing sense of depth. The ‘A’ has been unnecessarily duplicated outside of the logo-type across the larger packs pulling with it the byline (adding further inconsistency) while the internal copy is crammed into a shape that compromises its communicative impact.

The use of a fairly generic sans serif and script, devoid of any unique personality, suffers from some formatting issues which include an awkward mix of line heights and an incessant use of capitals which appear loud and aggressive rather than supportive and accessible. The lack of a clear information hierarchy, the result of equal visual weight being placed upon each asset, or a sense of movement, isolates rather than resolves each piece of information. The introduction of a lacy detail does work to slightly alleviate this issue but feels a little unoriginal and plain in its execution.

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The colour palette draws on the associations pink has with charitable activities but largely appears predictable, especially within a growing and more design sophisticated female hygiene market. Coupled with the extensive use of hearts, these choices appear childish in their interpretation of playful and gender stereotypical. A simple approach to product differentiation through colour, pack size and droplets follows established conventions and while not groundbreaking achieves a level of clear functionality. 

For me this packaging solution fails to capitalize on its uniquely charitable proposition opting for a mix of predictable and isolated visual devices, poorly formatted copy and a concept that appears slightly inappropriate for this sector.

Opinion by Richard Baird 

Twitter @richbaird

Tiana Spellman