Anthony Nardo’s packaging design talents fuel national cosmetics industry honors

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Friday, January 31st, 2020

Anthony Nardo has a love of the mechanical world, of cars, of mathematics, and of hands-on learning, and he recently combined all of them for a project that usually doesn’t involve any of them:


And it was a beautiful, glossy hit.


Nardo, a Graphics Design senior, is one of five national finalists in The Independent Cosmetic Manufacturers and Distributors (ICMAD) Association’s 2020 Young Designers Awards Competition.

The contest requires students to use ingenuity in designing an original cosmetic package. From product to presentation, labeling, colors, materials, and the overall concept, Nardo’s “Petrol Beard Oil” is a study in combining a retro feel with modern consumer trends.

He completed it as a final project for instructor Tom Newmaster‘s fall term Packaging class.

“It was a chance to delve right into an area I hadn’t thought of before,” Nardo says. “It was something new to me.”

That vintage aesthetic

Nardo says his initial project sketches focused on vintage barber and gasoline themes, a play on the beard oil product.

There were lots of ideas about the packaging itself, he says, and he then hit on something that strengthened that modern/old-time dynamic even more.

“Back in the day, they sold oil in those glass bottles with metal toppers,” he says. Following through on that idea, he says, “allowed me to create a modern package that carries that vintage aesthetic through the whole” project.

Like the gas pump that measures fluid ounces of beard oil instead of gasoline gallons. Or the ubiquitous modern barcode that Nardo integrated into his vintage gas station illustration. Or the vintage colors, the level of gloss on the label, the shape of the boxes which are constructed to hold Petrol Beard Oil.

All that aesthetic focus means nothing, Nardo says, if the packaging is too difficult to construct on a large scale, or if it would be prohibitively expensive to do so. “So it’s all designed in such a way that it can be manufactured pretty easily and cost-effectively,” he says.

When Nardo heads to California for the mid-February awards ceremony, he’ll be continuing recent PCA&D top-five success in the ICMAD competition. Kyle Newkirk won third place in 2015 with Dirt, a soap product; Maranda Bressi‘s Milkman Cosmetics Cream Body Milk placed second in 2017; Emily White‘s C’mon was an honorable mention in 2018; and Brian Fenstermacher last year earned honorable mention.

Nardo and NewmasterInstructor Tom Newmaster, left, with Graphic Design senior Anthony Nardo.