Case Study: “Karoo Mermaid” – Redefining Packaging Design with AI Integration

Bravo Design, a trailblazing design agency, was selected as one of twenty global agencies to participate in the prestigious Make a Mark global project. Their task was to create a packaging design that seamlessly melded South African storytelling traditions with cutting-edge modernity. The outcome? A ground-breaking prototype packaging for an Agave spirit, named “Karoo Mermaid.”

Approach: Marrying tradition with technology

To create a product deeply rooted in South African culture, Bravo Design drew inspiration from the folklore of ‘Karoo Mermaids,’ weaving this narrative into the packaging prototype for a craft Agave spirit. This unique approach involved the integration of artificial intelligence (AI) to guide the design’s conceptual journey. By merging centuries-old storytelling with modern technology, the team aimed to create a product that embodied futuristic design and creative soul.

A new creative ally

AI tools like ChatGPT and Midjourney played a pivotal role in the project. Expert guidance was crucial to harness AI’s potential for achieving desired design outcomes. AI became an indispensable member of the team, enabling exploration of new dimensions of creativity and visualising ideas that were previously hard to articulate.

A colour-changing foil mimics the mesmerising interplay of light on mermaid scales on this Agave spirits bottle

Result: Pushing design boundaries

The collaboration with industry leaders and Make a Mark partners ESTAL, Avery Dennison, and Leonhard KURZ (supplied locally by Synchron Markings) was integral to the project’s success. The heart of the creation was a meticulously crafted glass bottle, designed to reflect the grandeur of mermaids. A colour-changing foil, engineered exclusively for the project by KURZ, mimicked the mesmerising interplay of light on mermaid scales, enhancing the overall aesthetic.

The following foils were used:
Transfer Foils: KURZ LUXOR® 308, LUXOR® 377, LUXOR® 427, TRUSTCOLOR® A01

Challenges overcome

  • Conceptualisation: Defining the project’s concept for an open brief was a significant challenge.
  • AI Integration: Incorporating AI required experimentation and continuous improvement of the approach.
  • Colour-changing foil: Collaboration with KURZ led to the creation of a prototype foil, adding a unique dimension to the design.
Karoo Mermaid bottle part of the Make A Mark packaging design project

Lessons learned

  • Fearless innovation: Embracing AI and pushing design boundaries opened up new possibilities.
  • Collaboration is key: Partnering with industry leaders unlocked new ideas and innovations.
  • Authentic storytelling: Choosing an authentic narrative is pivotal for brand success.

A new frontier in graphic design

The “Karoo Mermaid” project exemplifies fearless innovation, where tradition meets cutting-edge technology. It’s a testament to Bravo Design’s readiness to embrace AI and forge a new, exciting future. The collaboration with industry partners elevated the project to new heights, resulting in a design that defies norms and embraces limitless possibilities. Bravo Design’s eight-month journey into this uncharted territory stands as a beacon of what’s achievable with creativity and technology.

Karoo Mermaid bottle part of the Make A Mark packaging design project

Materials used

  • Estal Glass: Customised glass bottle with a unique tactile quality.
  • Leonhard KURZ: Provided teal, silver and ground-breaking colour-changing foil.
  • Avery Dennison: Fasson cotton white paper for showcasing foiling and embossing.
  • Tapi: Custom glass stopper.
  • Vollherbst: Precision nano and micro embossing for high-quality printing.

© Synchron Fabrics & Foils, November 2023

It’s simple really. The better the packaging the better the perceived value.  KURZ foils provides our brand with a direct route to the “buying brain” – and it shows on the bottom line…

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