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5 Questions with Colt: Adidas Packaging

by Jessica Deseo on 11/02/2016 | 4 Minute Read

Can’t stop won’t stop. Every week we bring you The Dieline’s Top 10 packaging projects and articles to inspire and boost creativity, but why stop there? Our 5 Questions With series allows us to sit down with the best of the best here on The Dieline and dig deeper into these fascinating projects, from the design process to the biggest challenges. Today are chatting with Colt,  a London-based design studio and their Creative Director John Sweeney, about their work for Adidas. 

Last week's full feature:

1. Walk us through the design process that you went through for this project.

John Sweeney: To announce the arrival of Adidas Athletics, we were briefed to create premium packaging solutions for one of the largest cross category activations the brand had ever seen. The Z.N.E (zero negative energy) hoodie which led the launch, is designed to block out any distractions and create a zone around athletes where they can 'find focus'. With the direction of the product in mind we began working on a raft of packaging concepts that would create a protective ‘zone’ around the contents. Some of the ideas initially sketched were based around inflatables and one was an abstract, multi-faceted, structural option based on 3D soundwaves. We ultimately agreed on the soundproof concept quite early on as it really got to the heart of the offer and had some strong visual and textural ties with materials being used across the range. 

2. What was one of the biggest goals you set out to achieve with this packaging and how did you accomplish it?

John Sweeney: From the get-go, the most important element of the brief was to deliver a solution that was unique and told the story of the product. Once the concept was in place our job was to make sure the results were as innovative as possible by utilising unusual finishes and materials without sacrificing function. 

3. What was the most challenging part of this project?

John Sweeney: It was undoubtably developing the foam box from a production perspective. We spoke to multiple suppliers before choosing one. They were working with new materials and other suppliers whose product was normally more likely to be part of a mattress or film set than a packaging solution for a global sports brand. This unknown element meant we needed to see multiple prototypes and made nailing down costs difficult. The other two items - the perspex case and the bag - were more straightforward productions. The challenge with them was ensuring that the whole production process had the same obsessive level of attention on the quality of the finishes that we were trying to achieve for the foam box.

4. If you could pick one aspect of the finished design that you like the most or feel especially proud of, what would it be and why?

John Sweeney: If we’re talking about the physical results then we love the foam. It’s a handsome, tactile material, especially in the way it’s been used. Looking at the bigger picture, it might sound like false-modesty but the the thing we’re most proud of is the reaction that the client received at the launch as well as it gaining incredible traction on social media. The results needed to be as unique as possible to generate a buzz with the target market and it certainly managed that. 

5. Share one lesson that you learned while working on the project.

John Sweeney: Black foam is much more forgiving than white!

About Colt: 

We don’t want to be your supplier. Great results require less  ‘them’ and more ‘us’. We believe in partnerships and we’ll pull  on your knowledge and experience as much as you’ll push ours.  Together we can take your brand far beyond whatever you’re  thinking as you read this. There are subtle differences when it comes to establishing a  business or helping an established business, but we can dial  our approach up or down to fit your needs. That flexibility means  we enjoy getting involved with brands whatever their stage of  development, whether taking their first steps, producing healthy  offspring or conquering the world. But enough about us.  Where can we add value to your business?

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