Brand Design Study: Glossier Cloud Paint

Updated: Oct 10, 2020

Modern minimalism done right

Glossier show impressive restraint in  how simple and minimalist they keep this design. The different colored tubes look so nice lined up together that having more than just one becomes very appealing. When designing a line of makeup products think about how they look together so everyone will want the complete line in their own makeup collection. I think cloud paint does this which is a successful result for packaging design.

What is minimalism?

Minimalism is simplifying something until only the essential details remain. It just tells you the name of the product, what it is and the color. That's all. Because that's all it needs.

How do you make minimalism look modern?

Since you are working with very few elements its even more important to be very deliberate with each detail. If you are almost only working with typography pick a modern looking sans serif font. Sans serif fonts have been very popular with graphic designers for some years now and pair well with the minimalist look (we don't need no serifs, so away they go!).

Of course you can make minimalist designs with any kind of font, but I think sanf serifs is one way to make it look fresh and new.

Make minimalism clear with references.

For packaging design it is very important to communicate what the product is very clearly and a good way to accomplish this is to reference designs that most people will instinctively recognize.

Cloud Paint's packaging does this by referencing the design of paint tubes and Pantone swatches. The text layout is similar to the way it is on a Pantone swatch and the shape is like a paint tube.

How do you keep designs simple?

We can see how cloud paint simplified their design by looking at an older version of the design. The old version had 'Glossier' as the prominent text in the same color as the top. But if you think about it the brand is not essential information and the text doesn't need to show the color, the colored top part tells us the color. 

So the old design is telling us the same information twice while also not conveying the essential information in a clear manner. The new design greatly improves on the good ideas from the old one.

What have we learned from this?

Minimalism is just one way of doing design but I think we can still use some of these ideas to improve any style of design. When designing you should always ask yourself why each detail is the way it is and if having it improves the clarity of information communicated or aesthetic look. If it doesn't then consider changing or just simply removing it. 

Cloud paint is an amazing example of modern minimalism done right  

Thanks for reading!

//Jennifer Carlsson


Design Blog

I blog about cosmetics packaging design and branding. I write about design in general and anything else I find interesting. You can see my own work on the portfolio page.

In my work I help cosmetics companies with packaging design, market research and brand strategy.

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©2020 Jennifer Carlsson


Jennifer Carlsson


Stockholm, Sweden

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