Brenan Liston was international design director for Prescriptives, part of the Estee Lauder Corporation in the US for four years in the late 90s.
After leaving Prescriptives he worked freelance for numerous cosmetics brands. His partner at Liston and Platon, Jonnie Vigar is an art director, originally from London, who has worked for both Wallpaper and Conde Nast magazines.
According to Liston, the majority of his clients are internationally based and operate primarily within the beauty and cosmetics industries in France, the UK and China.
The Korner project was launched in the UK in May. Madame Korner is an Australian company that has a long history, spanning a century in the beauty industry.
Their beauty salons, related beauty colleges and products for the local spa industry are well known. Liston says the company approached his studio when it wanted to establish a second product line solely for the international market.
“The original brief was to develop this brand around three products using existing formulations the company already possessed,” he said.
“After thorough market research and evaluation we proposed the development of an independent brand with a basic line-up of eight products – a base from which the brand could develop and grow,” said Liston.
“Once we had the line-up and established the company’s focus, our client, Rebecca Korner, set about developing the formulations with chemists in France and we began to work on developing the primary packaging and corporate identity,” said Liston.
“The final concept was developed fairly quickly although not immediately accepted by the client. We worked on numerous variations. Going full circle, coming back to this concept,“ said Liston.
“The tubes were designed initially, the corporate identity, then the jar. Once the basic design direction was established the secondary packaging, promotional material and associated ancillaries such as web sites and in store collateral followed.
“The initial sketches for the general skin-care tubes showed a cylinder of a set size with either one or two scallops of various sizes taken out to create the necessary volume configurations.
"In practice we had to play with the underlying cylinder dimensions and vary it slightly as the volume changes were too great to maintain the one size.
“The jar has a triple wall which keeps the thread hidden. It has a number of innovations and will be adapted in the future to take on a very different appearance.
“The most challenging part of the project was the development of the jar. It is quite complex, consisting of five separate injection moulds, producing parts in two very different materials.
“Design and engineering were completed in Australia, tool making and production in South Africa. The period of time taken, from our first meeting with the client to first production run, was sixteen months.”