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Niki Jacob - Advertising Art & Design Instructor

SoapBox Project – Client Challenge

The Client & The Team

This is a leadership project; meaning you are both client and graphic designer rolled into one. 

Both teams have been hired to design a concept for a bar of soap. You have complete creative control over the name and the design of the box—provided it’s your original artwork. 

However, the client wants to see a mock-up of the soapbox in both physical and electronic forms.

Furthermore, you are only allowed to use 2 SPOT colors for the project. You will spend one day together as the client and create a Creative Brief detailing exactly what you would like to see on the box.

The room will need to break into two teams. 

The next day each team will have to stand in front of the room and explain their creative brief, while the other half takes notes so they know what the company (client) wants in their design.

Once the details have been explained, the teams will get to work, students can use sample soapboxes from the internet but cannot use the companies’ names.


  1. You must come up with a Soap name, Company name, all information pertaining to the box, ingredients, barcode, and the design layout and colors they want.
  2. You’ll need to spend some time thinking about the design and how each face will appear to the viewer.


Thumbnails & Comps

Now that you know what the client wants you to need to start brainstorming designs.

Each student will produce 3-5 thumbnails sketches of their design ideas, and print out a color palette from Adobe Color. Make sure you save the palette so you can reuse it for the whole project.

You will have 2 days to each come up with 3 to 5 thumbnail sketches to present to the client.

After, the client will collaboratively look at the team designs and change or choose any design they choose. Each student will end up having only 1 design chosen.

Whichever design was chosen, you will then use the printed soap box template to create a rough draft of the box. You will need to cut out the box and use tape to put it together. You have one day to complete this. 

The deadlines are set in this way in order to learn deadlines. If you miss the deadline your design might not be chosen as the overall design the client chooses.


Building the Template

The following video will demonstrate how to build a 3.5″ x 2.5″ x 1.25″ soapbox template.

These dimensions closely match the soapbox dimensions Dove uses for their products.

Spot Color Concepts

Do you remember what a SPOT color is?

There are two different ways color can be applied to paper in color printing: spot color and process color. Spot color is a method of applying a premixed color of ink directly to the page. Colors created without screens or dots, such as those found in the PANTONE MATCHING SYSTEM®, are referred to in the industry as spot or solid colors. 

Open up Illustrator and let’s watch the video and together we will set up Adobe Illustrator for Spot Color. 

REMEMBER: While you might have chosen colors for the box, the Pantone Swatchbook is suitable for visually seeing the colors, as the previews in Adobe Illustrator may not represent how the product will print. If you need additional help choosing colors, you may want to look at Adobe Color for inspiration.”

All designs MUST be printed out with all registration marks and put on the bulletin board in order for the Client to choose which design they like the best. 
(File > Print > Marks and Bleed > All)

Creating 3D Views and Prints

The following video will demonstrate how to design and produce a final soapbox in Adobe Illustrator and the one below will demonstrate how to create a 3D version of the soapbox using the Adobe Illustrator Extrude and Bevel effect.

While my approach seems straightforward, I have had several issues with getting the symbols to work. I found that you might need to simplify the artwork before making the symbol (expanding shapes, pathfinders, etc.). This is a destructive process, so be sure to duplicate objects before simplifying them.