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June 26, 2014

Naval Elements in Your Label Design

Naval Elements in Your Label Design

We can’t say for sure exactly why, but maritime culture is very comforting. We enjoy nothing more than a fun evening singing rounds of “Barnacle Bill the Sailor” while engaging in an anchor lifting competition with burly longshoremen. It’s how we relax.

Naval design elements offer a healthy dose of understated elegance – when well composed it can be comfortable and casual and at the same time highly sophisticated. It’s the kind of wealth and sophistication that manages to be both inviting and exclusive, which is what practically every brand wants to achieve. Here are only a few reasons why naval designs could give your product logo a much needed touch of class.

Maritime design screams style.

As we’ve stated, naval elements, when properly integrated, add a huge amount of elegance to a logo design. Yachts, beaches, barnacles and salt-encrusted piers are inherently romantic – at least to those of us who don’t suffer from watercraft vertigo.

The hopelessly landlocked can only dream of living near a beach community, and products with a sea-faring aesthetic can remind us of a lifestyle that only the extremely privileged can afford. Furthermore, naval design elements can be evocative while remaining refreshingly simple.

Everyone loves the ocean

For thousands of years, the ocean has inspired some of our greatest and most enduring works of art and literature, from the works of Homer to the profundity of Leonardo DiCaprio screaming “Rose!” 10,000 times in Titanic. The sea represents freedom, youth and travel – everything that has massive consumer appeal.

When it comes to drink design, the inherent refreshing quality of the sea can inspire thoughts of sitting on a beach, sipping cocktails and enjoying a lovely day of soaking up the sun and watching passersby. Or, an artfully designed beverage containers can remind us of being stranded on an inhospitable island, suffering from perishing thirst while desperately waiting for a rescue team. Either way, a drink wouldn’t be half bad.

Piracy is just so hot right now

The circumstances surrounding the movie “Captain Phillips” notwithstanding, there has always been a fair amount of dash surrounding pirates. Living off the grid; taking the law into our own hands; enjoying the bounty of the sea; pillaging and plundering with reckless abandon and spontaneously bursting into Gilbert and Sullivan operettas has more than its share of charm. But maybe we’re simplifying the culture ever so slightly.

Just look at Captain Morgan ad campaigns; Pirates of the Caribbean; sexy pirate Halloween costumes. Never mind that real pirates were toothless, limbless, homicidal criminals plagued with scurvy and crawling with lice – Captain Jack Sparrow is just so freakin’ cute!

Oceanic motifs are clean and cheerful

When you think of costal design, what automatically comes to mind? Billowing and gauzy white curtains, bay windows, sea shells, women in tasteful sarongs and Brooke Shields and Christopher Atkins frolicking nakedly along the shoreline and living in an implausibly well engineered tree house. What’s not to love?

The color scheme for marine inspired design can be very bright and breezy, easy on the eye and genderless. While rum brands often embrace the pirate aesthetic – dark colors, rugged textures, classic Deco fonts and parrots – maritime designs can easily be very clear and buoyant. Any drink design concept can be made to suit the widest variety of tastes is definitely a concept that should be investigated if not totally embraced.

So, what have we learned today? We learned that the ocean symbolizes freedom, beauty and a gritty underclass of seafaring criminals. We learned that the bright and fresh colors of the beach are both sophisticated and casual. We learned that Johnny Depp can still look great even when he hasn’t appeared to have bathed in several decades. Most importantly, we learned that no matter whether you are designing a logo for a beverage, a grooming product or a food, naval design elements can breathe fresh, briny air into a stale design.

author

by Kevin Smith

Managing partner at SmashBrand. We’re a group of experienced brand owners, thinkers and world-class designers united by an obsession for creating category disrupting brand experiences.


Purposefully selective, we work with brands that want to stand out and also stand for something.


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