Crit* Fisix

Fisix is a new range of shower gels, shampoos and hydrating skin balms developed by four marathon running friends who could not find cosmetic products to meet their needs as sportsmen. 

Fisix’s new identity and packaging solution, developed by international design agency Mucho, delivers a contrast of everyday cosmetics and a high quality scientific effectiveness with a clear sports reference through a number of different structural choices, the juxtaposition of abstract form and typographical flourish and the economy but accessibility of a single pastel and grey colour palette across each product.

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“The initial phase was to create a name that reflected a contemporary way of practicing sports that would appeal to sports men and women. We then generated a visual system that differentiates each product by using the lines that appear in courts or limits of sporting fields. By cropping and reinterpreting these lines we created liberating abstract shapes. We utilized a mixture of pastel colours with a dark gray as well as elegant typography in the logo to appeal to both a masculine and feminine audience.”

- Mucho

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Perhaps the most striking and accomplished element of this project, through restraint but communicative value, is the illustrations. Their mix of track, pool and court boundaries, cropped to give them a slightly more abstract sensibility and applied individually across each label, manages to extract a broad inclusivity from the specificity of each sport and contributes to a smart division of range alongside structure, colour and type.

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Each illustration has a nice sense of motion in either their sweeping curves, overlapping circles or horizontal/vertical thrust through the label while their fine line execution set across grey rectangular fills, have a diagrammatic simplicity - perhaps a reflection of the purity of ingredients - that neatly resolve and convey the themes of performance through strategy and the physics of motion within a confined game space, elements that leverage the high-tech, high quality perceptions of products emerging from contemporary sport science research.

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The consistent single line weight consistency of the illustrations are juxtaposed alongside the flourishes of an all lowercase logo-type and strap-line combination of serifs, italics, an FI ligature and a contrast of light and heavy strokes. Although these introduce subtle fashion sensibilities, their layout - a simple top down hierarchy and paragraphs typically seen on the reserve placed up front much, like the directions of pharmaceuticals, is very much in keeping with the structure and science of the illustrations.

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The economy and utility of a limited colour palette and the geometric starkness of the illustrations have been given a more accessible quality in the choice of pastels. These feel distinctly on-trend fashion-wise which resonates well the logo-type and are well elevated by what looks like the high tactile quality of a matt varnish surface treatment.

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Like the labels, the structural choices provide an interesting contrast of aesthetics, combining the standard cosmetic expectations of off-the-shelf tubs and pots, the clinical, scientific sensibilities of brown plastic - a neat choice reflective of amber glass used to limit UV exposure and spoiling the contents in labs - and the single-serve utility of the sachets. These make for an interesting communicative diversity that is appropriately bound by consistent graphic design and neatly conveys the brand’s union of sports science and everyday cosmetics.

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Although well executed the patterns and oversized logo-type - a simple extraction of the packaging - the POS card stand appears a little dull, neither enhancing through deviation, communicative additions or framing through simplicity. This however does not detract from the smart balance of everyday use, clinical effectiveness formulated for a specific market and a subtle, fashionable restraint and dimensionality that has been appropriately balanced across structure, colour, type and illustration.

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Richard Baird

Richard is a British freelance design consultant and writer who specialises in logos, branding and packaging. He has written for Brand New and Design Week, featured in Computer Arts magazine, Logology, Los Logos, Logolounge, The Big Book of Packaging and runs the blogs BP&O and Design Survival.

Twitter:@richbaird

Blog: BP&O

Portfolio:richardbaird.co.uk

In-DepthRichard Baird