Pride month of June made me think of gender neutral packaging. Gendered
packaging is everywhere, from razors to detergent to toothpaste to yogurt and
everything else in between. Whether it is just the color palette or the slogan of
As a creative person, packaging design has always been super important to
me. Generally, when trying out a new product, store or even a restaurant my
selection is made based on the branding. A lot of us unconsciously do this every
day. Traditionally, branding is based on the target audience one is trying to entice
and ideally it is following the current trends.
Have you noticed a shift in design? In the past, packaging design has been
gender specific. Products geared towards women appear to be soft, gentle, and
associated with pink tones, while items geared towards men are designed to look
fast, dangerous, and exciting with blue tones.
Millennials have caused a dramatic shift in the way brands design. We don’t like
to think in boxes, and we don’t like being put in boxes either. Most millennials feel
that gender isn’t a binary but rather a spectrum. Looking to break free from
stereotypes or at the very least applauding the brands and people who actively
do so, millennials pride themselves in purchasing products that challenge gender
norms rather than sustain them. It appears packaging designers are happy to
oblige, and, contrary to what you may think, the shift toward gender-neutral
packaging design is not just limited to cosmetics.
Until the 1920’s, the color pink that is now seen as feminine was once considered
to be the “boy color” within the Bourgeois class. While blue was more of a
feminine color due to the association of classical paintings and the Virgin Mary in
Interesting fact: The Pink Tax is a phenomenon in the form of gender based price
discrimination where products geared towards women are more expensive even
though most of the products are ultimately gender neutral. The “pink tax” name
started because most of these products were made pink.
Products like Powerful Yogurt “developed a new greek yogurt specifically suited
to address the unique health and nutrition needs of the most neglected
consumers in the category: men.” That branding has since been changed
because of the backlash they received.
Many big companies are finally understanding the current consumer and we will
see a big shift towards gender neutral packaging. No longer is the consumer
uninformed, we know what we want and we aren’t as easily swayed by the
manipulation of big brand marketing push.
Contact us for your branding and marketing questions.
Follow: @brookemasonphoto @bmcreativela