Making a better temporary tattoo world

[Kim Rogala] Last month Tattly launched a completely revamped look along with 12 new collections. Tattly’s Businessman, Rusty Meadows shared a behind-the-scenes look at the creation of this new packaging that’s as fun and eye-catching as the designy temporary tattoos inside.

In the opening photo, Rusty applies Tattly designs onto team member Bekka Palmer for the cover of the Tattly Black Set’s new packaging.

The final cover of the Black Set after Rusty’s handiwork

Twelve new Tattly collections in fabulous new packaging

Who was the creative driver of the new packaging? Who was the designer?
There wasn’t a sole driver on the project, it ended up being a creative team effort. Everyone here played a part in getting the design, from out of our heads into your hands. The graphic design for the packaging was done by Tina Roth-Eisenberg (aka Swissmiss) who is the founder of Tattly.

Tell us about the design process for the new packages.
We started by playing around with the form factor of the sets. Initially we were looking at ready-made packaging options, but we quickly realized that something completely custom was the way to go. Once we had settled on using a totally custom envelope, we began the design process. We worked on the design in-house at first but we were not completely satisfied, so we hired an outside designer to do a round of concepts for us. This helped us focus on the elements we thought were essential to the final design.

Photography became a key element of the new designs, and we realized that our current photography was not going to make the cut. We shot a new cover for each collection. Once we had the concept and photography settled, we were ready to work on the final touches.

The Tattlys included in the Nautical Set are designed by Fiona Richards.

You said that you initially attempted the photography yourselves, and quickly decided to use a professional. Why?
Before this packaging project, every photograph on our website was taken by someone on our team. We all took turns as photographers and models. Our early photos worked very well and did the trick for the website, but we needed a whole other level of skill.

So who did the final photos for the package fronts?  They’re fun.
We brought on the fabulous Julia Robbs to shoot the photos for each cover. Julia is our wonderful staff photographer. Check her work out. You can see some of the gorgeous photos photos she’s taken for Tattly at

Image options for Tattly set covers

Was it difficult to style the physical placements of the Tattlys on the models?
We composed the shots with what we felt was the best placement of the Tattlys that still had a natural look. We wanted to show as many of the designs as we could without the photos looking ridiculous. We’re a family brand, so there are a limited number of locations in which we could place them.

Bekka Palmer applying Tattlys on Emerson Taymor

Yoko Ohama and Kevin Huynh wearing Tattlys for the shooting of the cover image of the “Premier Set.”

Tina tweeted in search of models for the packages. Any luck with that?
We didn’t have a budget for professional models, so we did send out some tweets looking for models we could pay with handfuls of Tattlys. But we ended up shooting the photographs with kids of friends and colleagues, and all of the adult models are Tattly team members!

The Monster Set (left) Tattlys includes designs by Anke van der Meer. The Menagerie Set (right) is designed by Amy Blay.

Rusty, which cover is your favorite? Which are the most popular collections so far?
I know it’s corny but we love them all. The Premier Set is by far the most popular. It’s essentially the best-of-the-best Tattlys so that make sense.

The Premier Set is a collection of all-star Tattlys

How did you select the paper for the new packaging?
Everyone at Tattly is either a designer by trade or at heart so we were all very familiar with Mohawk long before this project. We had also recently worked with Mohawk to make a custom Tattly for the HOW Design Conference. In the end, we wanted a nice paper that was made in the U.S. Mohawk fit the bill perfectly.

You choose Mohawk Options Navajo 180 DTC for the packages. Why such a heavy weight?
We really wanted the packaging to have structure. As we said internally, when selecting a stock, “I want it to make a sound when I hit it against the table.” The Tattlys are thin and light. We needed packaging that would give the product weight and a solid form.

The new Tattly packaging creates a stronger retail presence than the previous packaging (at right).

You sell online and in stores; did that affect your design decisions for the packages?
The packing was primarily designed for physical retailing. Every design choice was with that goal in mind. We were happy that the final product was still slim enough to easily work for online sales as well.

One last question, Rusty: Who printed the new packaging?
We had these printed by S.P.A., outside of Philadelphia. Simple offset printing on custom dies with a peel-and-stick flap. They usually print software packaging, so they loved working on a fun project like this!

See all the Tattly sets here and more Tattly photos over at FPO.

Tired of putting poorly designed temporary tattoos on her daugther’s arm, Tina Roth Eisenberg took matters into her own hands. In July 2011, Tattly Temporary Tattoos launched online, featuring an all-star lineup of professional designers and illustrators. Starting with just a handful of different designs, Tattly received thousands of orders from around the world and now offers over 250 designs.

Photos courtesy of Tattly.

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Comments (1)

  1. Posted by Shimmer Body Art on 03.27.13 at 11:02 am

    Nice post. A team effort project might just be more successful than individual work. Thanks for sharing.

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