Feb. 03, 2021, by Anais Lamelliere and Nicolas Paulhac
Parametric Monotype: From Illustrator to Substance, in Beauty Packaging Design
The Substance Source team explores the potential of using 3D tools to complement 2D workflows, when designing high-quality packaging products.
Showcasing power of Substance toolset in the design of beauty packaging
The Substance 3D Assets team is insatiably curious, forever peering into new sectors, and discovering new areas of professional activity. We’ve previously delved into the worlds of sportswear, procedural fashion, and product design. But for a while now that curiosity has been rising up, a faint itch in search of being scratched.
And so our curious delving-about begins again. This time around, we’re looking into the design of beauty packaging. This is a sector which is increasingly using digital tools, and so has changing needs: it has a growing requirement for photorealistic images and digital libraries of materials; these in turn facilitate the creation of communication visuals, and can prove more cost-effective than ‘classic’ photo shoots. This increasing use of digital tools also grants us the possibility to showcase the power of the Substance toolset, as applied to the visualization of packaging goods.
Creating our own unique range of beauty packaging
And so, for this investigation into the realm of beauty packaging, the team created its own unique range of beauty packaging. The thesis: 3D tools can complement 2D designs, in that texturing and digital visualization provide enormous potential for efficient development and iteration around a complete lineup of packaging. Like this, a designer of a visual lineup can share creations with a 3D artist directly, greatly facilitating the creation of visuals for an e-commerce or retail platform.
Other motivators of this project
An exploration of improved efficacy was not the only motivator of this project, however. More and more, we are all forced to question the sustainability of our own habits, and the ethics of the way we act as consumers – and manufacturers too must increasingly confront these questions. And so another driving force behind this project was a need to prioritize sustainable manufacturing practices. Could we act in a more environmentally conscious way in terms of how we approach the design process itself? And could we incorporate materials that would emphasize this conscientious approach if such packaging designs were to theoretically enter mass production?
In order to effectively showcase our packaging design, of course, we would need to present that design artfully. The Substance 3D Assets team had previously worked with 3D artist Ronan Mahon to create the short films mentioned above; now Anais Lamelliere and Nicolas Paulhac approached Ronan once more to create a film to highlight the remarkable quality attainable when approaching packaging design with a mix of 2D and 3D approaches.
As initially mentioned, considerations for this particular packaging design are rooted in a collective return to ethical conscientiousness that we are currently experiencing, which is pushing us to re-evaluate how products are made, how to manufacture them, and the true extent of their environmental impact.
Additionally, from a viewpoint of greater efficiency, texturing and digital visualization provide enormous potential for development and iteration around a complete lineup of packaging.
The key outcomes that we’ve discovered in developing this product range, and short film, support these initial ideas that motivated this projects: using a comprehensive library of parametric materials, such a design exercise demands only a small investment in terms of time and money, while maintaining a level of quality that is comparable with more conventional methods. Using 3D tools – such as the Substance toolset – for packaging design, the potential cost benefits are real and significant.
As seen in this project, the suppleness and understatement of natural materials – natural cardboard, along with leaves and petals – can be combined with ethical and sustainable production and retail processes. The resources required for this design approach are low, in terms of both time and money. Furthermore, 3D visualization of designs grants the flexibility to refresh displays, images, and layouts more frequently than might otherwise be the case.
The Packaging Materials Collection is available now on Substance 3D Assets.