(Est. 1937) “For more than 78 years, Carma Laboratories, Inc., has manufactured Carmex® brand lip balms. Located in the greater Milwaukee area, Carma Laboratories is a family owned and operated business that was founded in 1937 by Alfred Woelbing, the inventor of Carmex® lip balm. Today, the company continues to produce its long trusted lip care formula in the yellow capped jar, and has also expanded the product line to include flavored lip balms, soothing skin care products, and a new cold sore treatment. The carefully crafted lip balm has been a #1 pharmacist-recommended item for 16 years in a row and new Carmex® Cold Sore Treatment was recently named the 2015 “Product of the Year” winner in the Specialty Skin Treatment category by Product of the Year USA. Product of the Year USA is the nation’s largest consumer survey on product innovation and the award is backed by the votes of over 40,000 consumers.”
With a vibrant innovation pipeline and a recent, tremendously successful Cold Sore product innovation, the brand was ripe for a refresh.
Through design-focused consumer research, Anthem developed brand positioning, a scale-able brand & product architecture, and beautiful packaging designed to modernize the brand and increase shelf-impact and navigability.
Images (opinion after)
The old logo looked like some kind of utilitarian pharmaceutical concoction that was going to get the job done in getting your lips balmed. It wasn’t a great logo but it had a confident, no-frills presence. The new logo, on the other hand, is trying so hard to be something… anything. And it does as many graphic maneuvers as it can to achieve some kind of message. The odd holding shape, the inconsistent typography, and the horrible “ex” ligature. It’s trying to be friendly, maybe trying to compete with Chapstick or Burt’s Bees or maybe even with Kleenex. It’s all over the place and it’s not good. The old packaging — particularly the “classic” balm and tube — looked like they would get the job done. Sure, they looked like something you would find on a car mechanic’s workspace to lubricate an engine but that’s what was cool about it. The new packaging is so soft around the edges it has lost any personality and the increased “shelf impact” mentioned in the quote is hard to agree with as this just blends in with the rest of the mainstream packaging of the world. Even at the detail level — like the size relationship between the watermelon/plum and the oatmeal — is highly questionable and kind of sloppy and cliché. I may be more negative about this than necessary but it feels like such a step back — or a step away from something that felt genuine — where there were some cool graphic ingredients to build something on.
Thanks to Joseph Moon for the tip.