Entrepreneur Dave Nowacek—tired of shaving in front of a sink with chemical-based products on his face, only to get razor burn and nicks—had an epiphany: Stop the insanity, and start shaving in the shower. But the health and beauty aids (HBA) category isn’t exactly brimming with in-shower shaving products. So Nowacek created his own shaving bar, which he calls Dave’s Shower Shave.
The product is hand-crafted, 100% organic soap formulated—and packaged—for in-shower shaving. Each bar is packed in a travel-friendly, recyclable polypropylene case with a suction cup on the back for sticking to the shower wall. The front of the injection-molded case features a square mirror.
Wrapped around the case is a card-stock sleeve printed with brand graphics and color-coded by scent: Spruce Jojoba, Mandarin Mint and Sage Bergamot.
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Nowacek worked with Chicago-based design firm Webb deVlam to position the brand and create the package design. Ronald de Vlam, CEO and global managing partner of Webb deVlam, shares the details of the collaboration.
What were the goals regarding the brand’s packaging?
de Vlam: The goals were to take on a patented design during its infancy and develop it into a product that could be easily manufactured (with low-cost tooling), easily assembled (by hand, in batch production) and commercially viable should the business be ready for Phase 2: mass production. Phase 1 was all about getting the product off the ground with minimum capital investment.
Why include a mirror as part of the package? How is it protected from breaking?
de Vlam: The mirror was included in the packaging to provide a reflective surface and aid in the process of shaving in the shower. It looks like a glass mirror, but it is plastic, shatterproof and fog-resistant. It is highly reflective and has a de-misting layer that prevents the buildup of steam. We sourced it from China.
How does this packaging help the product become part of a man’s daily routine?
de Vlam: Dave’s Shower Shave is about encouraging men to shave in the shower. The shower is the perfect environment for a good, cleansing, safe shave. The steam and hot water help open the pores of your skin. The hot water becomes a soothing rinse and reduces post-shave irritation. [An] added perk is the lack of clean up; all the post-shave mess goes down the shower drain.
Many showers aren’t equipped with a shaving mirror. Our design allows the user to place the unit at a convenient height and position on the tiled walls of their shower. The mirror faces outward, using the suction cup provided on the back of the product. Because of its presence in the shower, the product also becomes a daily reminder to shave. The design is very useful if you’re traveling, and by no means is it gender specific; many women love lathering with Dave’s Shower Shave.
What material is the sleeve, and how is it printed?
de Vlam: The sleeve is made of paper stock: French Speckletone Kraft 140-lb stock. There is a layer of varnish complementing debased areas, and every color is a spot color, including the screen printing on the sides.
How do the sleeve graphics communicate key brand attributes?
de Vlam: We are trying to make Dave’s Shower Shave an ultimate shave destination by recalling the days of barber shops with steamed towels, leather chairs and the smell of masculine odors like mint, talcs and sandalwood. So the design is definitely retro, with simple colors and a mix of typography borrowed from yesteryear. Our mustache with shower rain coming down is an obvious reference to the in-shower intended use. Once you have it in your hands, the mirror, suction cup and shape all help communicate the key brand attributes.
Who supplies the sleeve and case?
de Vlam: The supplier is Crosspoint Intl. We worked with their Chinese plant. Lake County Press was the printer, and Midwest Gold Stamper (773-775-5253) was responsible for the debasement and varnish work.