Who Gives a Crap flushes “soft cuddly design tropes”

Lyon&Lyon created the brand’s new “visually disruptive” packaging to make it shelf-ready as it moves into supermarket retail for the first time.

Design studio Lyon&Lyon has refreshed eco toilet paper brand Who Gives a Crap’s packaging to prepare it for its retail debut.

Who Gives a Crap has only been available to buy as a direct-to-consumer online product but now it has launched across 240 Waitrose stores in the UK. Who Gives a Crap approached Lyon&Lyon last year after the company’s in-house creative team recommended the studio.

Lyon&Lyon co-founder Mat Lyon says the brand “has a lot to say”, from its “deforestation message” and the fact that it donates 50% of profits towards building toilets to its “super long” toilet rolls”. He explains that “retail purchasing decisions can take as little as three to five seconds”, so the studio had to navigate the “messaging hierarchy” and tailor it for a retail audience.

Most people are not aware that making traditional toilet paper causes deforestation, according to Mat Lyon who says it is easier to get the message across online and “trickier in retail”.

The main aim was to “visually disrupt” the “aesthetically stagnant” toilet paper aisle packaging in a way that would “leave other brands feeling outdated and, dare I say, unethical”, says studio co-founder Ben Lyon. To achieve this, Lyon&Lyon avoided the “soft cuddly design tropes” often found in the toilet paper aisle, Ben Lyon adds.

With a variety of brand assets to choose from, Mat Lyon says the studio set out “identifying the most important assets” that they could leverage on the packaging. As well as its playful name and custom typeface Crapcase, Who Gives a Crap’s patterns form a huge part of it brand equity, so Lyon&Lyon designed the pack with “whole panels of its striking patterns”, Mat Lyon explains.

From “splashes of ridiculously fun copy” to “a quick game of toilet related crossword”, Mat Lyon says the studio sought to incorporate “lovely moments of discovery” into the packaging. He adds that Lyon&Lyon combined some of its existing brand colours to create “bold flanks of colour”.

Lyon&Lyon passed on its concepts to Who Gives a Crap’s in-house team who “adopted and reworked” them to create the final packaging, says Mat Lyon. The in-house team also added a peep hole so shoppers can see the wrapped toilet tissues inside.

Lyon&Lyon was not involved in the final packaging specification, but Mat Lyon confirmed that it is “plastic free and made only from paper and card”. He says the outer packaging is “a rigid cardboard box” on which the studio listed “all the ludicrously limitless possibilities of an empty box, such as a dangerous skateboard, a mouse mansion and a protest sign”.

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