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Spotlight: Eric Balshin, CEO of Yesterday Wellness


February 18, 2021
By PrintAction Staff

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Eric Balshin is the chief executive officer of Yesterday Wellness, a Canadian company that manufactures CBD products to promote calm and relaxation to customers in the United States. We spoke with Eric about Yesterday Wellness’ product packaging, and how the packaging was designed to reflect the product within.

How did you come up with the design concept for the packaging and labels?

EB: It all started with the name. We went out and did a big study with a number of different packaging designs along with the name to figure out how it resonated with our core demographic, women aged 30 to 60 years old, give or take. Generally speaking, the feedback we got, not only on the name, but on the beach motif and the packaging, was extremely positive. With the inspiration behind it, we really wanted the packaging to feel as natural as possible. Everything from the paper stock to the colours we used, the typography, the photography, we really just wanted it to feel and reflect that the product is all-natural.

The beach and that kind of imagery is all meant to evoke the opposite of stress – that feeling that everything is well and you can relax and sit back and enjoy your life. It brings you back to a point where things are a little bit easier, things are a little more relaxed. Maybe you’re on a beach at some point and enjoying your vacation; that’s kind of the inspiration behind it.

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Can you describe the paper stock and the typography used?

EB: The paper is not coated at all, it’s purely natural. We wanted something a little bit thicker that would get across that premium nature of the packaging, but we also didn’t want it to feel wasteful at all. We really tried to find a paper stock that hit all that criteria where it held the ink really well and printed really nicely and beautifully, and that it didn’t have any added kind of chemicals so that it was highly sustainable and natural.

On the typography, we’re using Neuton Bold for most of the major headlines, and Montserrat Regular for the sub-headings.

Why did you decide on black-and-white packaging?

EB: I think it’s more the name itself and the nostalgia feeling of thinking about better times, older times or simpler times. And so that was kind of the idea there, that the black and white photography and the background itself, bringing some of those colours through the photography kind of made it look and feel in that relaxing, nostalgic mindset.

Can you discuss the creative process behind creating the packaging and design?

EB: I was part of it, but the packaging was designed by Toronto-based creative agency Open. We started with a list of different types of names, whether it was functionality or nostalgic or stuff along those lines. We whittled it down, we had our internal votes, brought it down to a smaller group. From there, we took the names and we tried to mock up packaging to get a feeling for what they could look like, once we brought them to life. And then from there, we made some revisions, then did the grand study. We went to a group of about 1,000 people across the U.S. in our target demographic. We accumulated the results, we looked at the data, and we chose the one that really resonated with us. From there, we had a lot of revisionary work. And then, just in terms of the readability of the packaging itself and making sure there’s lots of negative whitespace, it’s really all just about that simple feeling, that really natural look, and keeping it looking very premium.

What did you learn about packaging during the process?

EB: I did learn a lot about packaging along the way. Everything from Pantone to CMYK for using two, four or six colours. We put a double hit of black on the logo. We had embossing on the logo, we tried to keep the imagery as high quality as possible. That led to a little bit of a difficult process in terms of having all the print itself be very clear and legible while also having the image come through the way we wanted it to. It was definitely a process for me to get to that point, because I’ve never done anything like this before.

How do you think the packaging represents the products?

EB: It all comes back to the same way of thinking about the products. We really wanted to go after the customers’ emotional side, specifically stress and anxiety. I think, based on everything we’ve been reading and all the application studies and all the work we’ve done ourselves, that seems to be the one that holds true the most across everybody. When we were thinking about the name and how it relates to the product and what we’re trying to do there, it’s really about hitting on that emotional side of the equation, the stress and anxiety. Leave the stresses of today in the past.

 

Eric’s answers were edited for length and clarity. For more Spotlight Q&A interviews, please visit printaction.com/profiles.

This article originally appeared in the October 2020 issue of PrintAction.