After defining my brand identity, I went back to the beginning concept of designing a tampon box. It has become the job of most brands and advertisers to shy away from showing this truth through their product packaging. When looking at packaging that already exists, the idea of ‘discreet’ and ‘secret’ is something that is a running theme throughout. The colour blue has been used throughout the years to represent periods, but as we all know blood is not blue! It also suggests that period blood is too disgusting to show on TV, when blood is regularly shown in sports, medical dramas, and horror films.
When looking at the brand colours on the supermarket shelves it is apparent that blue is a running theme throughout. The colours are mostly blues, greens and purples, with no red in sight, although they are specifically designed for use in a woman’s vagina, the flowers, bright colours, and flowing abstract lines visible on most packaging give little indication of this.
In the 1950s the company Johnson and Johnson created ‘modess’ sanitary towels, promoting the fact that their sanitary napkins came in a plain brown paper box to save embarrassment. Many brands still use terms like “virtually undetectable” or advertise that their product has a “discreet wrapper” to ensure “discreet protection.” This again continues to suggests that it’s important to hide the fact you’re menstruating.
To oppose this I designed my box following the rules in which I had implied for the brand ‘just’:
I worked on illustrating some vector images of used tampons using the same rules that I applied to the illustrations for the posters. It was important that my packaging did what it said on the tin and the use of red was paramount in standing out against other known tampon brands. Stripping down the tampons to their simplest descriptions helped to keep the design tasteful, not to explicit, preventing it from turning into something that could be perceived as a joke.