Designers face problem of multilcultural packs

International News:Clare Dowdy +44 171-439 4222

US consultancies are facing new design challenges with consumer packaging as clients reposition their products to deliver one look across the whole of North America.

The redesigns are driven by the economic sense for US-based multinationals to produce one pack style which will work not just in the dominant home market, but in Canada and Mexico as well, says Jerome Kathman, vice president of packaging and branding specialist Libby Perszyk Kathman.

In this trend North America lags behind Europe, where multi-lingual packs are accepted and are now perceived as signifying a higher quality product, says a spokesman for Fitch in Boston, which has worked on multilingual packaging for JBL’s new range of home speakers.

“US consumers feel that multi-language packs indicate a cheaper product because the perception is they are imported,” he says.

Such international assignments bring their own creative restrictions: “It’s not just language translation, it’s cultural translation of images,” says Fitch’s spokesman.

And packaging will become more cluttered as the laws on packaging text increase, leaving even less room for aesthetics, adds Kathman.

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