With their bright color bars, these soaps by Sopiary caught my eye.

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The layout of the design is clean. Everything is centered, stable, balanced. With ample white space, it feels restful yet bright.

The choice of typeface is classy, yet organic-feeling. The small, understated, yet strong serif face reminds of the simpler, honest stereotypes of gardening.

There’s a clear hierarchy in information, which the color bar (which corresponds to the scent of the soap) helps to delineate. In a hurry, we’d intuitively jump the tagline to read the scent of the soap, positioned under the color bar and set in heavier small caps.

The special function of the soap (exfoliate and soothe, detox, cleanse, etc.) is set on the line immediately under the scent, but in the same style, it doesn’t help to distinguish the types of information. Barring any dramatic changes, what if the text for the scent were instead placed on the color bar, and the special function underneath?

The sides of the soaps carry the logo, the color bar, and a general product feature.

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It’s not helpful that these “spines” don’t tell us what scent the color bars indicate…but maybe this mystery was purposely designed to provoke the curious shopper into picking up the soap for closer investigation.

Perhaps the thing that sits least well with me is the logo.

IMG_5790I love the name Soapiary—a combination of topiary and soap, just like the soaps are combination of plants and soap. But the logo looks more like a paper clip or a tapeworm to me than plants, though I see a clue to a greenhouse. Or maybe an aviary, but that also has little to do with plants.