GladRags is a small brand with a big dream — of creating cloth pads and menstrual products to help empower people across the world.
This small business was created with the hopes of eliminating stigmas surrounding female periods, and it works to do this with a comprehensive web design, cool packaging and powerful messaging to change the industry.
These packages are straightforward, blunt and to-the-point. They don’t come with subtleties or euphemisms. They don’t come with playful messages or clever comments. The GladRags brand wanted to get rid of these formalities. They didn’t want to sugarcoat menstruation but embrace it.
And this powerful message is embedded in the design in its bold coloring, creative icons and bold text.
This design dares to be seen and demands to be heard. And it brings with its eye-catching design an impactful message of openness, positivity and empowerment in a way that slowly but surely changes perceptions.
We live in a world where so many things that come naturally have become taboo. Breastfeeding, the female body and reproductive system are all things our society tries to censor.
Just look at the commercials you see on the television for pads, tampons, razors and more. They don’t show women naturally, and they don’t show the process of hygiene and menstruation correctly either.
But these packages do something different and stand out on the shelf proudly and without shame — something menstruators around the world should do themselves.
GladRags dares to transcend the ordinary. And it does so with a range of products that are made with quality materials.
But it’s not just the materials that make for a product that screams authority. It’s the brands this business partners with that strengthens its identity and dedication to creating a more fluid, organic and empowering dialogue that promotes normalcy when it comes to the female form and its functions.
Each of its products gets a different package, but all are made up a classic box form. For some, you get a wide variety of subtle, stunning and regal colors like burgundies, maroons and creams. This creates a luxurious design that embodies a richness and an authority.
And they also come with a kind of double meaning — with the red color mimicking the color of blood.
In others, different imagery adds a majestic and enchanting quality. There are gold foils and stunning shapes that dance along these packages to give it an in-depth and powerful edge. These products mean business. They're strong. They're tough. They're durable. They’re worth your while and don’t you forget it.
These subtle images aren’t the same as the icons that sit on the design and add context, instead, they are shapes, lines and colors that give the brand an authoritative and competitive edge by giving it a personality that refuses to back down.
There’s a geometric and angular quality here that only works to provide more flexibility and strength to the brand that other brands fail to incorporate.
In addition to the fun and fluid shapes and designs that add a creative authenticity to the brand and its products, impactful icons bring context and clarity.
These icons take on many shapes and sizes. There's a fun and cool cutout on the boxes that looks like a thought bubble or text bubble, like the brand is jumping in to make a quick comment on the products or the industry as a whole. This also lets people see and feel the products inside, putting them in direct contact with the items they might be purchasing.
Little droplets on the front tell people how absorbent these products are depending on the needs of the consumer.
And there are also intuitive images of the products themselves that show more about the strength and the general makeup of these products so that consumers can quickly and efficiently find the products that are perfect for their bodies.
Fun and simple illustrations of these products and accompanying images line these boxes in a playful, interactive and serene way, giving this brand an identity that is more approachable and down to earth — just like their products.
The GladRags logo is also an image that stands out in the industry and on this packaging. It’s a symbol all its own bringing with it a message that clears up any misconceptions people might have about menstruation.
This logo is made up of a straightforward and memorable symbol. It takes on the shape of an hourglass, only inside the hourglass isn’t sand, but bright red blood.
The top half of the liquid inside the hourglass takes on the shape of a heart while the bottom is a droplet. This mirrors the process of menstruation in a straightforward, clever and engaging way — refusing to be ignored and showing the world that it isn’t ashamed of what it is.
It glorifies menstruation, celebrating it so that women and menstruators across the world don’t have to be ashamed or hide it from others. It’s a natural occurrence and it should be as normal as sneezing or brushing your teeth.
Founded in Portland, Oregon in 1993, the GladRags brand is a small business that creates a range of menstrual products in the form of reusable cloth menstrual pads and menstrual cups.
Brenda Mallory and Karen Paule are the founders behind this progressive and sophisticated brand, and their small business has grown increasingly since its conception almost 30 years ago.
To this day, GladRags continues to be owned and operates by women and women alone. It’s cruelty-free and packed with ambition.
Here’s a glimpse inside the GladRags story:
GladRags is a small business with big ideas: to make cloth pads and menstrual cups go mainstream and empower menstruators everywhere. From our office in Portland, Oregon, we ship comfortable, thoughtfully-designed reusable menstrual products to customers all over the world. Our menstrual cup, XO Flo, and full range of cloth pad styles provide menstruators of all types with body-friendly, versatile options that they can rely on for years. Inspired by the simple utility, earth-friendliness, and comfort of cloth diapers, GladRags was founded in 1993. It began just a few miles from our current office, as a home-based business that quickly outgrew the extra bedroom. We've made many exciting changes over the years, but our mission has remained the same: to provide high quality, sustainable products to positively transform the experience of menstruation.
GladRags has partnered with a number of women-only industries, and it’s continuing its invigorating and passionate endeavors to create a world that is open, honest and free of unnecessary stigmas.
Its packaging promotes that — evident from its messaging to its color choice and its imagery.
This GladRags packaging is a standout design in the industry, transcending traditional shape, color and imagery in order to transform the menstrual products themselves in an empowering and sophisticated way.
When you think pads and tampons, you probably think of a sleek, minimal and subdued design. These packages don’t want to stand out or really be noticed. But this GladRags packaging is the opposite.
And that was the point, according to the agency behind these creations:
We wanted to steer clear of the pharmaceutical aesthetic of feminine hygiene packaging on the whole. The stigma surrounding menstrual cups is that they're difficult and messy to use, and sometimes the natural conclusion is to compensate for that fact by designing packaging that's overtly minimal, girly, or just plain sterile. We wanted this packaging to feel thoughtful, upbeat, and unique by comparison.
It’s loud. It’s in your face. It’s pronounced.
The text is blunt. It’s informative, enlightening and straightforward. There is no flowery or clever language. There are no euphemisms to hide the products these packages hold. There isn’t room for that.
This brand doesn’t want to hide the idea of menstruation. It wants to embrace it and celebrate it. The GladRags brand is a champion for all things body positive, empowering and enlightening. And it removes this preexisting stigma in a bright, exciting and fun packaging that adds a playfulness to the process that refuses to be ignored.
Creative icons add a contextual aspect to this design that tells consumers just exactly what kind of products sits within.
Simple text tells people of the quality, the purpose and the durability of the menstrual products this brands craftily supplies. An intuitive logo steals the show and adds a sophistication and a class to the brand that elevates it immensely.
And all of these elements together create a design that flies off of the shelves immediately.
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