Layer created a face mask as well as a container for hand sanitiser and two for hand wipes – one for the home and one to use on the go – for the new brand, which is launching this spring.
The studio worked closely with Never Go Alone‘s founder, Nga Nguyen, and creative director Carl Adelson to design the branding and packaging. It hopes to make sanitary products more attractive to ensure that people carry them with them at all times.
“The hygiene and wellness space is classically either super, super beauty driven and quite lux, or it’s really very sterile and medical,” Hubert told Dezeen.
“And I think there’s just a really nice opportunity to create accessible, renewable, sustainable, bright
The packaging for Never Go Alone is made from injection-moulded recycled plastic and comes in soft, neutral earth tones with a bright orange accent colour.
Aptly called Edition 01: Sandstone, the products have organic shapes and are made from soft-touch materials to have a tactile feel.
“I’m a big believer in products that should be warm and inviting,” Hubert said. “We love and cherish and desire the ceramics and keepsakes that we have around us, and they’re always made from natural, tactile materials.”
“There is no reason why a synthetic plastic shouldn’t have a warmer, more crafted appeal.”
The containers are refillable to reduce waste, and come with lanyards so they can be attached to keys or a bag.
As well as the containers, Layer also designed a layered mask that is made from an outer layer of a lightweight knitted fabric, bonded to a mid-layer made from Ultrasuede.
The outermost layer conceals a replaceable, bespoke PM2.5 filter that slips into an internal pocket.
A technical superfine knit incorporates antibacterial fibres and sits closest to the face.
“We designed it to fit incredibly close to the face, and you can squeeze the nose bridge really well,” Hubert said of the mask.
“It’s not a revolution, it’s an evolution of what’s out there, after having used them so often.”
The colours and positioning of the mask straps can be changed, allowing users to play around with the design, which was created to have more of a leisure feel than most protective gear.
“Masks should be there as a protective feature, not to create fear, and I think the more medical and technical something looks the more fear it induces,” Hubert explained.
“Having something that feels a bit like your sneakers, your jacket or your running gear, and encouraging you to be active with it is the way to better integrate what is quite an invasive product.”
For the Never Go Alone branding Layer chose an n-shaped mark with an architectural shape that evokes doorways.
“The simplicity of the pure geometry embodies the confident spirit of Never Go Alone,” the brand said.
Never Go Alone’s name was derived from the founder Nga Nguyen’s first name as it has the acronym NGA. The London-based entrepreneur started the brand to support other covid sufferers, after catching the virus herself in 2020 and becoming known as “fashion’s coronavirus Patient Zero.“
Layer has previously created a cinema seat for life post-coronavirus, but this is its first product directly related to the pandemic to go into production.
“We are running a few other projects which are a reaction and solution to the pandemic, but this is the first production for us as a response to that,” Hubert said.
“I just think that’s what design is for, tackling the big socio-economic and cultural issues around us and creating solutions that make things a little better and people a little happier and healthier,” he continued.
“Design doesn’t change the world in isolation, but it can help make things a little bit more compelling and useful.”
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