Interview with Lutz – Lutz Herrmann Design

Do you own a bottle of Katy Perry perfume?  How about the latest Rimmel mascara, Wonder’full?  Here is the guy who designed them.
Dream job? We think so.

Lutz Herrmann

Lutz owns his own design agency Lutz Herrmann Design, creating some of the world’s most beautiful fragrance bottles, including Beckham, Beyoncé, and Karl Lagerfeld fragrance bottles and Rimmel cosmetics packaging.

 

How did you end up here?

How I did end up here? Good question – I guess it is pure coincidence. My original plan was to study fine arts after school. My parents were not really happy and so in the end I went for history of arts, something more tangible and real. But honestly the theory did not fulfill my needs and so after a while I started to work in a packaging design agency, both to have some money on the side and to experience the world of graphic design, since I thought I might go and study this rather than to continue history of arts.

So this is where I basically then got a job offer and stayed for over 12 years. This agency was quite famous Peter Schmidt Studios and was working in the world of German fashion and cosmetic industry with the likes of Jil Sander, Joop, Hugo Boss.

Why did you end up mostly designing in the arena of cosmetic and fragrance – did you just “fall into” this place?

Well the world of packaging design is quite diverse, but in the end most of the projects you do there are evolutions of product lines, re-launches of existing brands, establishing new categories of an existing product family etc… Whereas, if it comes to

packaging design of cosmetics & fragrances… you have to create a whole story from scratch, this is the interesting part about it

K Perry fragrances

In most cases you start really only with a brand name and then create the story around it, which makes the name credible in the world of cosmetic and fragrances.

How long have you being doing this, and what keeps you doing it?

Good question – I’m doing this now for about 30 years and still think there are some challenges. The whole business is currently undergoing a major shakeup – this is at least my feeling. The industry never had to face bigger challenges. I think

the market is overcrowded with too many brands and also too many bad products

I say bad and mean basically, products which have no added value, no added benefit. There are too many offers in the market, which are identical, or at least very exchangeable. It is a very interesting time and it is interesting to be able to influence the future of the market through design. This keeps me going.

What’s the most interesting project you have worked on?

Similar to a parent who is being asked which child is the most beloved one… I cannot pick one specific project. Each project has its challenges whether stressful or purely entertaining.

I have met some very nice VIP people, who in the end are as human as you and me. I have met some of the most interesting fashion designers in the 80s/ 90s and later on.

I travel for work – this is all very inspirational and I love what I do – caring for details, for beauty, in small dimension of a fragrance bottle or a lipstick.

What work by others do you admire?

There are some designers I really admire – one of them is Fabien Baron, who created not only bottles, but the whole concept and advertising in the 90s and early 2000s – he basically adapted his very personal clean simplistic style to a whole generation of fragrances. I admire that he kept his vision – on the other hand it is very single minded what he did, but stylish.

And there are some French designers, which I admire. One of them is

Alain de Mourgues – he designed for example the L’Eau D’Issey for Issey Miyake. This bottle is absolutely iconic.

I think it was a reaction on “Nuit D’été” JOOP which had already a similar approach and which I designed in the company I was working with at that time.

What would you do if you weren’t doing this?
I would be an archeologist. I love ancient civilizations and I love history, stories and discoveries.

Or what I now pursue as a second job – making fragrances. I discovered this old traditional Berlin fragrance brand J.F. Schwarzlose and re-launched it, including the re-launch of the old formulas… very exciting.

JF Scwarzlose Berlin

What is your superpower?
Sleep!

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Tell us three things about yourself that you love doing – not related to this job?

Contemporary art/artists

Giacomo Puccini – general indulge in listening to music

Once in a while, a club night with friends

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