Sheridan & Co designs brand and product concept for The Y Code

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Sheridan & Co has created a new brand and a new product concept, “The Y Code”, which aims to reuse male cosmetics for “the everyday man”. The Y Code aims to offer an accessible and inclusive high-end cosmetic solution that is currently not served by existing brands on the market.

“The target market for the Y Code is interesting – these men are young enough that they are not yet set in their ways; they are open to experimentation, have a decent disposable income, may already have a well-stocked grooming practice. and maybe tried the cosmetics somehow – even if it involved looting Ms.’s makeup bag to cover up the shady effects of a hangover, ”explained Freddie Sheridan, director of Sheridan & Co.

The phenomenon of men in make-up has moved beyond drag queens, Hollywood and the stage to an industry expected to be worth over $ 60 billion by 2020 (Euromonitor, 2017). Drawing on market analysis, trends in male cosmetics over the past two years and over 30 years of expertise in the general cosmetics industry, Sheridan & Co identified an opportunity to create a conceptual cosmetics brand for men who, in a sense, “reclaim” the act of carrying to be reconciled.

“Looking at the historical context of men in makeup in the modern age, it is curious how the act of wearing it has become an almost exclusively female pursuit,” continued Freddie Sheridan. “Ancient tribal warriors saw it as a war paint, a tool to make their behavior more frightening, not effeminate, towards their enemies. Makeup, in that sense, looked a lot like ammunition. So it’s interesting how today’s male cosmetics have become such a terrifying idea for the average man.

The Y Code represents a brand new approach to men’s cosmetics. The name was specifically chosen to address the very DNA of masculinity, claiming a stake in a female-centric marketplace with a proposal that evokes the anthropological significance of male makeup (empowering, formidable) but presenting it in a relevant and meaningful way. modern (confident, individual).

Product positioning was central to the ideation process – the idea was to create a brand that was as inclusive as possible to ensure it caught the interests of men who might never have experimented with makeup before at those who wear it regularly as part of their regular grooming routine. Where cosmetics for women have a strong focus on the principles of beautification, brand language and visual cues have been used here to put The Y Code’s emphasis on the idea of ​​enhancement, correction and subtle refinements – a “barely there” aesthetic that compliments rather than obscures the face.

The slogan “Honor what sets you apart” and other brand terms including “It’s you, but better” underscore the idea of ​​individuality and personal optimization. The products are positioned as practical tools to be used to “fix”, “boost”, “energize” and “save” so that everyone can look their best. This is taken further into product design concepts where items such as tinted moisturizers and liquid foundations are presented in minimalist monochrome “paint tubes”. Simple graphic icons with succinct and simple descriptors indicate the purpose of each product.

The branding of the Y code here is simply expressed as “Y” next to an individual code indicating the shade or type of product. Line graphics that cross the ‘Y’ crosswise and diagonally give a certain scientific touch to the aesthetic of the packaging, while the outer packaging, presented as matchboxes, labels the product simply as’ The code “. The font is bold, industrial in appearance, and bleeds on the sides for a utilitarian feel. The application of the products was also essential to ensure that the “tool” concept was maintained throughout the process; all-purpose balms and tanning gels, for example, come in large, twist-on-and-use tubes and packaged in the brand’s convenient, reusable zip pouches. Meanwhile, at outlets, concept shots hinting at an urban landscape – like the gray concrete of a skate ramp – continue with the monochrome theme, with a diverse selection of faces – from bearded to freckled. , from black to white, from tattooed to pierced – used to represent an ambitious but essentially realistic and diverse aesthetic.

“Words like ‘guyliner’ have a lot to answer in terms of deterring ordinary men from cosmetic testing and experimentation,” Sheridan said. “It is clear that functionality must be at the forefront of language and brand identity. Brands must be authentic and transparent in their presentation. The identity must be clear and simple to have an impact. Additionally, brands need to go beyond a simple product to become Knowing the differences in buying engines between men and women is essential here.

“Perhaps the time has come for men to reclaim the act of applying make-up, but in a relevant and modern way. allowed to look at the best possible version of themselves, without fear of judgment or stigma.Currently, the male cosmetics market is almost exclusively served by high-end brands with a luxury price tag, targeting the rich modern man and independent. As social norms change and there is more product diversity within the category, men’s cosmetics could eventually become more accessible as they become more widely acceptable and commonplace. “

Pictures: Courtesy of Sheridan & Co

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