While Karl Gerstner was well known for his work on the magazine Capital, he also did very powerful and influential work in packaging and branding, specifically for Teddymat, a store-brand laundry detergent. Gerstner, Gredinger, and Kutter, the owners of GGK design, were brought in by Coop, a union of Swiss retail chains, in 1964. Their assignment was to update their brand of clothing cleansing powders and laundry detergents. GGK sought to make the brand look modern and not appear cheap, even though it was affordable. The brand was made up of 3 separate types of detergent, Teddy 75, Roby 75 and Teddymat. Gerstner wanted to visually unite them in his use of systematic grid work. He created various waves from 4 bands of color and each brand had an overarching primary color to set them apart. When arranged side by side the bands hit the edge at the same place on each box so that they would link together to create an image when on the shelves. The pattern also went all the way around the box, so that the design still felt complete and luxurious on its own. This also allowed them to be displayed from any side and still create an overarching image. The design of the boxes appears very simple, but if you look more closely you can see it is rather complex and together they make a very complex image. Later, Gerstner created packing with the same imagery and bands around it but in circular packaging. This new design sold very well and became very popular. This is just another of the countless examples of the success of simplistic-appearing design and complex Swiss grid work. Gerstner’s approach was innovative in the way he united the three types of laundry detergent and added meaning to them when they were together, as well as on their own.

Bibliography (information and images):

Tochilovsky, Alexander. “Issue N°8 – Teddymat.” Flat File, The Herb Lubalin Study Center, 6 May 2016, readymag.com/flatfile/08-teddymat/2/.