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A Rebranding Concept That Could Make Ladies Love Car Accessories

Vinh Pho’s AutoZone packaging makes car accessories appealing to the fairer sex (and more accessible to everyone).

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If motor-oil canisters are any indication, women don’t buy oil. Ever. The packaging has so many muscular angles and mannish colors and all-cap type treatments, you half expect it to go marching into a meeting of No Ma’am. Which should make sense to precisely no one. Women drive. Some even (gasp!) know how to change their oil. Shouldn’t motor oil — and all auto accessories for that matter — appeal to the fairer sex?

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Enter Vinh Pho, a student designer living in France, who has snipped away all that dudishness to produce a refreshingly simple (and, yes, gender-neutral) packaging concept for car gear sold by the spare-parts giant AutoZone. The products include hand tools, microfiber pads, a drying cloth, and, of course, motor oil, and each is done up in a sleek graphic scheme of orange, gray, and white, with minimal text and lots of lower-case letters; think Method instead of Nascar.

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As for the shape of the packaging, it suggests a light feminine touch: The oil comes in a capsule that resembles a Glade PlugIn, microfiber pads in something that could easily pass for a compact.

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Sure, some men might scoff at an oil canister that doesn’t look like Axe body spray on steroids. But set aside all this gender talk, for a moment, and think about this: Pho’s design is leaps and bounds easier to read than most car-accessory brands. Look at his oil capsule, which makes the most important information, the oil grade, the biggest feature. That’s great news for ladies and guys alike — nothing’s less manly than pouring the wrong oil in your car.

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[Images courtesy of Vinh Pho]

About the author

Suzanne LaBarre is the editor of Co.Design. Previously, she was the online content director of Popular Science and has written for the New York Times, the New York Observer, Newsday, I.D

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