5 Designs We Love: Elegant Candy Packaging

In today’s edition of 5 Designs We Love, we will cover 5 of our favorite candy packaging designs. Each of these designs proves that sometimes, the packaging can be the sweetest thing.

1. Petit Geste

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Petit Plaisir is a type of Belgian chocolate sold in Barcelona and Madrid, which can’t be ignored. The pattern work for the Petit Geste line was created for the social initiative “5 Cellars, 5 Charity Projects”. It was designed by Barcelona design agency, Simple, using striking geometric shapes. The elaborate design is a work of art and provides yet another reason to buy a piece of chocolate.

2. Tingz

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Peppersmith Tingz is a line of Xylitol-based chewing gum and mints that actually helps prevent tooth decay, especially in children. The unique product needed one-of-a-kind packaging and branding to help it further stand out in the marketplace. Designed by London-based design agency, B&B Studio, the new packaging for Tingz has resonated with children and adults alike. The branding is teethy and fun, allowing parents to easily sell their children on the idea of good-for-you candy. The fun branding also expands to shop counter displays, where the candy packets are taken out of the monsters’ mouths. The two hairy monsters have been named Bowie and Floyd and their stories can be tracked through an online storybook narrative, booklets, and other marketing campaigns.

3. Lapp & Fao Chocolate Books

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Lapp & Fao created a series of chocolate books to better package their unique, adventurous flavors of chocolate. The packaging makes the set fun to eat and fun to gift. The line includes 15 different gourmet German chocolate bars, each wrapped in colorful card covers with intricate drawings and stories, making it more of a souvenir than a wrapper. The edges of the packaging are treated like a book spine, clearly displaying the brand’s logo in place of a book’s publisher. Each bar is designed to resemble a diary entry from Lapp and Fao’s travels around the world in search of the most delicious sweet delicacies. The effective packaging was designed by ONLYFORTHEFUTURE, with creative direction by Nils R. Zimmerman and illustrative detail by Andreas Klammt.

4. Coca Luxury Chocolates

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Coca Luxury Chocolates features 12 unique chocolates, each with their own small boxes. Designed by Denmark design studio, Bessermachen, each chocolate features its own coloring, personality, appearance, branding, and character like “The Rebel”, “The King”, and “The Magician”. The packaging makes the chocolates more fun to eat and each one is designed to reflect your character and personality.

5. Cacao Monkey

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The Cacao Monkey packaging features bright, colorful cutouts with the logo and type of chocolate spelled out in cutouts. The fictional brand of eco-conscious organic chocolate used the simplest graphic techniques, but created something unlike any other packaging designs. The bold packaging uses natural wrapping and minimal dyes to reduce its carbon footprint. The packaging was designed by Niamh Richardson, a visual communications student from the National College of Art and Design in Dublin.

5 Designs We Love: Sneakers

In this edition of 5 Designs We Love, we will highlight 5 of the most innovative designs in the world of sneakers.  Each of these designs has set the stage for future designs to come and have brilliantly set a trend that has endured the times.  As you are reading, note that each of these designs is unique and beautiful in its own right, but there is one important element that is present in each of the designs below: versatility.

1. Converse All Stars

Chuck Taylor Innovative Designs

Converse All Stars (also frequently referred to as “Chuck T.s” after Chuck Taylor’s famous endorsement) is a legendary shoe design has remained trendy throughout the generations.  The classic high-top and traditional designs are instantly recognizable are perhaps the most versatile sneaker in the history of sneakers… they have been customized with countless colors and styles over the years.  They are popular with a range of demographics, are worn with virtually any apparel combinations and are impossible to imitate or replace.

2. Nike SB Dunk

Nike SB Dunk Innovative Designs

The classic Nike SB Dunk is highly customizable.  In fact, the entire look and feel of the shoe can be transformed with simple changes in colors and shapes. These shoes became a cultural phenomenon and have continued to change and improve with the times. The classic Nike Swoosh is proudly displayed, making these instantly recognizable. This timeless design shows that one shoe can become so many different shoes by changing one simple element.

3. Nike Air Jordans

Air Jordan Innovative Designs

While we are on the subject of Nike, the Air Jordans are widely beloved by fans of then and now. When the first Air Jordans were released in 1985, they set a strong statement in sneaker design.  While the original Air Jordan is the only design that features the trademark Nike Swoosh, the lines that followed featured other memorable marks. The Air Jordan III featured the iconic Jumpman logo and was the first to feature Nike’s patented air sole window units.

4. Vans

Vans Innovative Designs

Vans has created a comfortable shoe and casual branding that have made it wildly popular with consumers who tend to be laid back. The colors and certain features are customizable, but the basic shape of Vans usually remains the same. Customers can now design their own Vans shoes for a truly unique pair of shoes.

5. Be & D

Be & D Innovative Designs

Be & D is the first of its kind and has set what will hopefully become an enduring trend: utilizing the shoe’s canvas. They have found a way to create a picture, story, or shoe within the shoe and this is a trend we hope will pick up.

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5 Designs We Love: Cereal Packaging

In this edition of 5 Designs We Love, we turn to one of the most memorable and fun categories of food packaging design, and one that we can all relate to: cereal!  As you will see, brand mascots are one of the most important themes that run through many cereal brand designs, and that is certainly the case with all of the brands that we highlight below.    In a grocery aisle of brightly covered boxes and designs, these 5 have been able to stand out amongst the rest.

1. Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes

Cereal and Food Packaging

Tony the Tiger has been the widely recognized cartoon mascot for Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes since 1951. Eugene Kolkey designed the mascot for a contest to create the brand’s mascot. Tony the Tiger was originally competing against three other potential mascots, but they were quickly eliminated as the public strongly preferred Tony. As times have changed, Tony has also changed to better appeal to today’s youth. Parents also still get those nostalgic feelings when they see the rebranded Frosted Flakes.

2. Lucky Charms

Cereal and Food Packaging

Lucky Charms has been a long standing favorite with customers of all ages for decades. From the friendly, inviting leprechaun to the brightly colored marshmallows, everything about this box makes you want to pick it up. The leprechaun and packaging have been redesigned a number of times over the years, but still maintains the same basic red and yellow packaging with the leprechaun mascot. Consistently new marshmellow shapes and editions are introduced to keep the brand feeling exciting and fresh.

3. Fresh & Easy Kids Cereals

Cereal and Food PackagingFresh & Easy has created a unique design for their new children’s cereals. The new packaging stretches beyond the normal box front and onto the flaps of the box to create a large animal or creature drawing. The characters are each eating a bowl of their favorite cereal to better attract children and encourage them to eat the new non-mainstream cereal. Designed by international design consultancy, P&W, the new cereals are able to stand out next to sugary cereals featuring bright cartoon characters that children already know and love.

4. Honey Nut Cheerios

Cereal and Food Packaging

After branding Cheerios with minimal packaging, Honey Nut Cheerios was a cheerful step in the right direction. There is no better mascot for a honey cereal than a bumblebee, which is what makes this branding so effective. The friendly bee, colorful packaging, and flavorful drop of honey packaging pulls both parents and children in. Notice how the glow from the design spreads all the way the edges of the box as if the box is being magically transformed. Honey Nut Cheerios remains one of the most popular cereals on American shelves. BuzzBee is aimed towards the 9 – 12 age group and throughout the branding initiatives, can be seen doing things that children around this age would also typically do, but the box not childish enough to scare away the older crowd.

5. Cap’n Crunch

Cereal and Food Packaging

Cap’n Crunch brilliantly chose a friendly captain as their mascot in 1963 and have maintained the same basic image over the years. Combined with the catchy slogan “Crunchatize Me Cap’n”, it made the perfect packaging, branding, and advertising. The bright box features a large image of the mascot enjoying his favorite cereal and inviting the consumer in for a flavorful adventure.

 

5 Designs We Love: Classic Nintendo Game Covers

In today’s edition of 5 Designs We Love, we will cover the 5 most iconic designs for classic Nintendo game covers.  Now, you might be wondering whether we are able to set aside our sentimental emotions for each of these games in order to truly judge the designs on their merits.  And our answer to that question?  Hell no.  We are happy to admit that these rankings are biased, and that our long history with these classics may have influenced our opinions.  That said, we think that these covers do truly stand out as not only groundbreaking designs in the category, but also designs that helped create a social phenomenon.   Hope you enjoy reading as much as we enjoyed writing it…

1. Super Mario Brothers 1

Super Mario Video Game Packaging

In the world of video game packaging and design, its hard to imagine a more iconic property than Super Mario Brothers.  While the “look and feel” of this cover design wasn’t the first of its kind, it left one of the greatest impressions with fans. The same style was used on other popular classic game covers, like Duck Hunt and Donkey Kong, linking the classic games together. Released to North America in 1985, Super Mario Bros. has been repackaged many times over the years. However, the original North American box art is what most people recognize today.

2. Super Mario Brothers 3

Super Mario Video Game Packaging

While Super Mario Brothers 1 set the standards for video games of its time,  Super Mario Bros. 3 took on a life of its own. The updated cover showed players what they were in for and depicts Mario with the new “Super Leaf” flying powers. Introduced to the United States in 1990, the cover was significantly brighter, bolder, and cleaner than its predecessors. The use of a bold minimal yellow behind Mario created simplicity and mystery at the same time.

3. The Legend of Zelda

Legend of Zelda Video Game Packaging

The Legend of Zelda stood apart from the rest by doing what others hadn’t yet – branding the cartridge. Along with the bright gold label, Zelda also featured a gold-colored cartridge by cutting away a small portion of the box. The gold cartridge made it easily distinguishable from the rest and ensured that fans could easily find their favorite game amongst their pile of video games. Released in North America in 1987, the tremendously popular game has sold over 6.5 million copies, making it a bestseller for Nintendo.

4. Tetris

Tetris Video Game Packaging

The Tetris cover perfectly illustrates what the game is about and draws players in from the onset. Released in 1984, the game was designed and programmed by Alexey Pajitnov while he was working for the Dorodnicym Computing Centre of the Academy of Science of the USSR in Moscow.

5. Gradius

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Gradius is a horizontal scrolling “shoot’em up game” produced by Konami, and originally released as a coin-operated arcade game in 1985.  The cover art for the game really struck us – its a very compelling illustration of a fantasy space world that is intended to sell the excitement and depth of the game itself.  That said, there is only one problem: the graphics look nothing like the cover art.   This exciting illustration style reminds us of the cover art for many of the old Atari games… super realistic illustrations to depict unrealistic and pixelated video games.  In any event, very pretty and enticing art that is worth highlighting.

5 Designs We Love: Movie Posters of the 70’s

In our latest edition of 5 Designs We Love, we take a look at 5 classic movie poster designs. When we decided to focus on movie posters as a subject, it immediately became apparent that there are far too many great poster designs throughout the history of motion pictures to ever narrow them down to a list of just five. So we thought we would share some of our favorites, and separate them into individual categories.  Here are our favorites from the 70’s era.

1. Jaws (1975)

Jaws one-sheet

From the subtle fish hook “J” in the title treatment to the not-so-subtle shark emerging from the depths focused on his unsuspecting prey atop the ocean surface, the poster for Jaws is “Iconic” to say the least.  While the proportions of the shark are almost cartoon like, the image feels completely realistic and believable through the masterful painting of artist Roger Kastel

2. Animal House (1978)

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The movie poster design for Animal House can really be summed up in one word… chaos!  And it fits the film perfectly. Not only does all the wildness and fun of Delta House depicted in Rick Meyerowitz’s illustration make you want to see the movie, but there are so many points of discovery from the film that it becomes one of those images that you have to look at a second time after watching it to understand them all.  Then you want to see it again.

3. Star Wars (1977)

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There are so many great poster designs for Star Wars, we could almost do a 5 Designs We Love just on Star Wars. However, we are choosing to focus on the original One Sheet by artist Tom Jung. The image portrays a much more glamourous and sexy depiction of Leia than we ever came to know in the movie and a muscle bound Luke we never knew either. The image effectively struck a cord in the imaginations of just about every child of the 70’s, immediately carrying them off to that “galaxy far, far away”. The most iconic element in the poster, also never seen in the film is the pose of Luke holding his light saber high above his head. This image of the design has become part of countless images, packages and logos ever since.

4. The Stepford Wives (1975)

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Not one you normally find on people’s all time favorite poster lists, but the poster image for the film The Stepford Wives is downright disturbing – and that’s what makes it a great poster. The movie about a group of submissive suburban housewives obsessed with housework is represented perfectly by a single image of a broken, emotionless woman. Long before the days of photoshop, the photographic image of a shattered woman made of fragile ceramic is very effectively executed.

5. Alien (1979)

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Another great example that sometimes less is more when it comes to creating a great movie poster design. From it’s simple title treatment to the quiet anticipation of what horror is about to emerge from the disturbing egg centered in the black of space, the poster does not say much but speaks volumes. Maybe most frightening of all is the tag line “In space no one can hear you scream”.

 

5 Designs We Love: Fresh & Minimal Bottle Packaging

In today’s 5 Designs We Love, we look at 5 bottle designs from the food and beverage world. These designs are incredibly unique and engaging, while conveying a premium feel with minimalist typography, color and design.  Enjoy folks.

1. Mikuni Wild Harvest NOBLE

Mikuni Bottle Package Designs

In visual presentation more evocative of top-shelf whiskey brands than traditional breakfast syrup, everything about Mikuni Wild Harvest’s packaging says “premium.” Indeed, the liquor connection is not accidental – the Quebec-based company touts the stuff as “matured in Tuthilltown charred American oak barrels, with just a hint of raw Tuthilltown bourbon.” The cork stoppers, wax seals, and letterpress-like printing channel an old-fashioned apothecary more than a modern kitchen, but the bottle design keeps the focus on the product’s rich, glorious color, and reinforces the brands’ messaging as artisanal, handcrafted and upscale.

2. Gibbs Honey

Gibbs Honey Bottle Package Designs

Another tasty example of minimal, transparent packaging, avoiding flashy labeling and busyness to let the product shine. While Gibbs Honey’s sturdy mason jar taps into vintage trends, the stark hexagonal logo really hits the sweet spot, a perfect use of simple shapes to subtly suggest product cues, in this case, a single honeycomb.  The blink-twice-or-you’ll-miss-it arrow in the serifed ‘G’ is a great touch, the mark of a skilled designer who understands restraint in branding.

3. Fruita Blanch

Fruita Blach Bottle Package Designs

Throwback packaging is all the rage. Fruita Blanch works it to perfection, opting for a single-strip vertical label that doubles as a seal, leaving lots of room for the product to ‘pop’ behind the thick, sturdy glass. Add retro fonts, a muted color scheme, and unbranded white caps, and the overall effect is pure ’50s supermarket chic.  The no-frills utilitarian design also effortlessly reinforces the Spanish company’s organic, chemical-free brand messaging.

4. Carlsberg Copenhagen

Carlsberg Copenhagen Bottle Package Designs

Denmark’s Carlsberg brewery is famous the world over with beer connoisseurs for their award-winning pilsners. But the sexy packaging design of their Copenhagen brand is the true winner, with a crisp, clean look that eschews cliched beer schema, and gives deft nods to high-end wine labels and natural soda brands. The stark black-and-white color palette, carefully-ordered information hierarchy, and understated textual and logo elements oozes classic Scandinavian minimalism, while the stripped-down packaging and clear glass lets the honeyed hue of the liquid speak to us. Pure elegance.

5. Zúmex Pack

Zumex Bottle Package Designs

With a sleek ergonomic bottle constructed from ultra-durable translucent HDPE plastic, the industrial design of the Zumex Pack might appear more akin to motor oil than orange juice, but don’t be fooled. The genius of the packaging is that it never forgets its functionality and context: after food vendors purchase a Zumex juicer, the Pack bottles are ordered and distributed in cases, meant for en mass store display. The citrus inside the bottle makes the sale.  And c’mon, when Helvetica marries maximum usability, the fruit of the union is always beautiful!

5 Designs We Love: Body Wash

The personal care industry has experienced a branding and design revolution in the last decade or so, and one of the most obvious examples of this is the body wash category.  Whether targeted to males, females, millenials or octegenarians (must be out there somewhere), the product packaging and branding of this category has become a lot more sophisticated and distinctive in recent years.  Here is a look at 5 outstanding designs from that category, along with our thoughts about each.

1. Axe

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It would be hard to write an article about body wash without a long look at Axe.  If you havent watched TV for the last 15 years, Axe is a Unilever brand that focuses on personal care products that are targeted at the 15-25 year old male demographic.  In fact, Axe is perhaps responsible for creating the modern day male personal care category.  Their marketing and design strategy centers around dynamic and over-the-top imagery and messaging to convince young males that their products will attract the ladies.  Their signature product is body spray, but the brand naturally includes body wash with a number of designs such as those highlighted above.  What makes these designs so outstanding is how perfectly positioned they are for their target demographic.  The curved industrial structure, black and white color contrast and bold typography screams masculinity and strength.  These could easily be devices to clean your football cleats, or tazers, or some other modern rugged item that is appealing to males while completely alienating females.  And that is exactly what Axe wants: to make cool personal care products, just for (young) dudes.

2. Old Spice

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Old Spice is also a personal care brand that has historically been targeted at the male demographic.  As an iconic legacy brand owned by Procter & Gamble, Old Spice had a long history and a dedicated consumer base which was probably not the most attractive to the younger male set.  To that end, in the mid- to late-2000’s, Old Spice was repositioned as a light-hearted, fantastical and quirky brand, while in 2010 it launched perhaps the most successful online viral video campaign in history.  Rather than creating a more industrial and modern brand (a la Axe), Old Spice’s branding was able to introduce masculinity and “chick magnetism” through some unexpected contrast.  For instance, the product highlighted above is a body wash from Old Spice’s Fresh Collection.  The structure is definitely modern and masculine, but the imagery features a serene landscape illustration in the background with a bold geometric Old Spice stamp on top.  The design is able to convey the freshness, masculinity and quirkiness that have become the brand’s signature characteristics.

3. Caress

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The Caress products above are polar opposites from the Axe and Old Spice products that we previously discussed.  Caress, a Unilever personal care brand, is exclusively focused on the female demographic, and the Souffle branded products above are a shining example of that positioning.  We love the unique teardrop structure that this product is housed in, and how it is so clearly a feminine product – from the color to the structure to the delicate typography.  We wanted to show these designs to show the dramatic contrast between this and the previous male-specific products.  But more importantly, we wanted to show how overt the gender-specific positioning is in the personal care category as a whole.

4. Manatomicals

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Manatomicals is a male-specific personal care brand from the Maltese company Anatomicals.  Like Axe and Old Spice above, these products are targeted to the male demographic.  We were struck by the prominent typography and copy on the front of the package that speaks directly to the consumer with pithy comments and/or questions.  This type of direct conversation is fairly cutting edge in the package design industry, and is only now starting to be seen on packaging from national brands (Heinz Ketchup, for instance).  That said, this contemporary technique is particularly uncommon in the personal care aisle, and we love how distinctive that makes this product (particularly as compared to its competitors).

5. Palmolive Thermal Spa

Palmolive Thermal Spa Skin Renewal Body Wash 250ml 125-800x800

As you undoubtedly know, Palmolive is a brand that has become the iconic dish soap brand.  In recent years the brand has been extended into a multitude of product categories, and here we feature a Palmolive branded body wash.  We’d be curious to know whether Palmolive has been successful in extending its brand into the personal care aisle (we dont see a natural connection between washing dishes and washing your body), but that is a different discussion.  We love this product because of its uniquely feminine and curvaceous structure.  Clearly the personal care category is full of distinctive and innovative structural designs, and this product fits the mold perfectly – we thought it was worth highlighting.

 

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5 Designs We Love: Private Label Branding

The world of private label branding has experienced a (not so) quiet revolution in the last 10+ years.  Gone are the days where “store brand” or “private label” meant stale products, low quality and copycat designs meant to trick you into buying a knock off of your favorite national brands.  Many retailers today are committed to turning their own products into distinctive brands that can stand on their own against their national brand competitors.  Here is a look at 5 retailers that have led the charge in the private label renaissance.

1.  Walgreens

Nice! by Walgreens - Private Label Branding

Walgreens has become one of the key players in the transformation of private label branding.  Their Nice! brand clearly demonstrates their commitment to creating distinctive designs and to building brand equity.  The packaging features highly stylized and irreverent photography, and minimalist layouts with clean and sophisticated typography.  They maintain consistency across their product lines, while they use color and photography to differentiate between product categories.  Moreover, Walgreens has not only innovated with their branding and design, but also with product marketing.  For instance, they recently sponsored a broadcast television show to promote another one of their featured brands, Good and Delish.

2.  A&P

Via Roma - Private Label Branding

A&P, a grocery chain based in Northern New Jersey, has historically been a pioneer in private label branding.  They created Eight O’Clock Coffee, the prominent coffee brand that was eventually sold off and is now an independently owned brand.  A&P has a number of private label brands that are contemporary in design, and their Via Roma brand is a perfect example.  A&P launched this brand in 2009 as a line of high end italian products, while consolidating many of their Italian food products into this new and bold line.  The brand reflects a commitment to brand building through contemporary design and packaging.  It features clean design, beautiful product photography, and extremely evocative black and white photographs of older, charismatic Italian personalities (A&P’s design agency actually travelled to a small village in Italy to capture these images).  The brand is extremely enticing and distinctive, and compares favorably against just about any packaged Italian food products we’ve seen from a design perspective.

3.  Safeway

Safeway - Private Label Branding

In 2005, Safeway, the #3 grocery chain in the US, committed to a $100 million overhaul of its entire private label brand portfolio.  In the years since, Safeway has launched a number of outstanding brands under their own labels, and their efforts have been at the forefront of the private label renaissance that has shaped the industry in the United States.  The images above show a couple of categories – fruit flavored sodas and potato chips – and these are great examples of just how far the Safeway team is willing to push the envelope.   These look nothing like the stale graphics that are typically seen on most fruit flavored soda packages.  And moreover, the potato chip designs are very modern and playful, while turning the chips into distinctive characters that serve as mascots.  These are great examples of just how innovative Safeway has been, and how they lead the way for other retailers in the private label world.

4.  Waitrose

Waitrose - Private Label Branding

So its not really fair to point to one European private label brand and say that it stands out from the pack.  The fact of the matter is that Europe’s private label industry is incredibly well developed, and their private label brands are some of the most creative and cutting edge brands in the world.  Retailers such as Tesco (UK), Aldi (Germany), Lidl (Germany), Carrefour (France) and Albert Heijn (Netherlands) have sophisticated private label portfolios, with creative packaging and design and extensive marketing strategies.  That said, we were particularly impressed with a number of brands that have been developed by Waitrose, a premium retailer in the UK that has a variety of store brands across many categories.   The mustard designs that we included above are not necessarily the best designs in the private label world… rather, they’re intended to be representative of the creative, minimalist and cutting edge designs that Waitrose uses to build their brands and to keep them fresh.

5.  Publix

Publix - Private Label Branding

Ahhh, Publix.  Publix is a large grocery chain throughout the Southeast United States.  For years, Publix has been a leader in the US private label market, with well-developed brands across many categories, and super engaging design and packaging.  We included two samples above from their “Premium” and “Publix” brands to show their uniqueness.  High end photography, engaging layouts and simple contemporary design wins the day here.  Publix private label products compare favorably not just against other private label brands, but even against most cutting-edge national brands.  In fact, Publix has been so successful and innovative with their private label brands that many of them have taken on a life of their own.  For instance, one of their most popular brands, Greenwise, has been incredibly popular and differentiated in the natural food category.  So much so, in fact, that Publix has experimented with opening stand-alone “Greenwise Market” stores to take advantage of the brand equity and following that it has attracted.  This type of brand building is extremely unique in the US market today – not to mention 5+ years ago (when Publix was leading the charge).

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5 Designs We Love: Chips & Crisps Packaging

When it comes to snacks in a bag, everyone has their favorites and people can get testy about them.  But not us.  We love them all – Lay’s, Herr’s, Ruffles, Doritos, etc… all good in our minds.  In the article below, we are not passing judgment on the products themselves, but rather, we are just highlighting some truly awesome designs in snack packaging world.  In fact, we have not even tried most of the chips referenced below.  We just think their branding and packaging looks awesome.  Purely business, not personal.

1. San Carlo Potato Chips

Snack Packaging Samples - San Carlo Chips

San Carlo is a large Italian snack food manufacturer that has been around for 80 years.  They sell their products throughout Europe and other parts of the world (though not in the US).  As you can see, these designs are flat out awesome.  San Carlo takes the simplicity trend to the extreme here – each variety features a light/white background, a single product photo and bare minimum text.  The design is somewhat similar to what Lay’s has done with their latest designs.  Not sure what the Italian snack shelf looks like, but this presumably allows San Carlo to own the color white in this category.  Additionally, the shadows behind the chips create depth and really make the chips pop off the package.  This is an amazing example of how simple design taken to the extreme can make a product stand out in a sea of bold colors and typography.

2. Tesco Tortilla Chips

Snack Packaging Samples - Tesco Chips

What’s not to love about these designs?  They were created by Tesco, the UK-based supermarket chain that is the second most profitable retailer in the world (after Wal-Mart).  The majority of Tesco’s products are private label, and these chips demonstrate how creative Tesco gets with its packaging.  While we love simple design, we also love engaging mascots.  And Tesco succeeds on both of counts here.  The engaging mascot is a Mexican-looking man lounging beside a bowl of tortilla chips.  At the same time, the package contains absolutely no unnecessary visual clutter, with the only additional elements being a basic product description and brand name.  As an aside, pretty amazing for a private label design, isnt it?  Not what you expect to see from store brands in the US, thats for sure.

3. Real Handcooked Potato Chips

Snack Packaging Samples - Real Handcooked Chips

Continuing with the mascot love, have a look at these designs from Real Handcooked chips.  They are also a UK company, and these packages use mascots to differentiate between the varieties, along with bold solid colors.  In this case, the mascots are funny people with unique personalities.  These designs are irreverent, but they are extremely memorable and certainly stand out on the shelf.

4. Darling Spuds Chips

Snack Packaging Samples - Darling Spuds Chips

We now have a hat trick of UK-based companies in this list, as Darling Spuds is yet another UK-based company (though you can find these in US stores).  These chips come in a variety of flavors, and they are marketed as healthier, natural chips that are 20% lower in fat that regular potato chips.  The packaging here also centers around a mascot, but this time it’s a round potato decorated with some sketched lines that create unique personalities.  This is yet another example of beautifully simple snack packaging, with the focal point being the potato and the secondary element being the brand name.  Simple, elegant and playful wins the day here.

5. Food Should Taste Good Chips

Snack Packaging Samples - Food Should Taste Good Chips

Food Should Taste Good is an innovative all-natural snack brand that makes some very unique chips.  They have been a prominent player in the natural snack food category since 2006, and the brand was acquired by General Mills in 2012.  They were innovators in this category while using ingredients like chocolate, sweet potato and flax seeds.  They have been on our radar for years, and we have long admired their products and designs.  Notably, most of their varieties feature illustrated individual chips with drop shadows.  In addition to the illustrations, their design signature is also a solid dark frame around a solid white background for most of their packages.  The text is minimal and elegant, and the designs evoke a very refined, premium feel that was not all that common when they first hit the scene.  These guys are an oldie but goodie.

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5 Designs We Love: Vodka Packaging

In our second installment of the “5 Designs We Love” series, we would like to highlight a number of creative designs in the world of vodka bottle packaging design.  When it comes to driving sales and building brand equity in the spirits world, package design and advertising are often more important than product quality (one notable exception is Tito’s Vodka, which has exploded onto the scene without premium package design and with precious little advertising).  Most packages in the vodka category feature clear or clouded glass bottles, and most brands compete with sexy, simple and premium designs.  Differentiation is the name of the game, and also a very difficult feat to accomplish.  Below are some examples of designs that got it right.

1. V2O Vodka

v2o Vodka Bottle Packaging Design

V2O Vodka

We’re not really sure if this vodka is a concept or a commercial product, but the packaging is really awesome in any case.  V2O seems to be an Indian brand that was created by Black Pencil India, a division of Leo Burnett.  It features a memorable structural design that looks like ice cubes stacked in a tower, with the bottles ranging in size based on the number of stacked cubes (from one cube at 125mL to four cubes at 750mL).  This design conveys a crisp, simple and unique look & feel with an eye-catching bottle that introduces a certain “wow” factor on the shelf.  Simply put, this package design embodies real differentiation in a sea of sameness.

2. Crystal Head Vodka

Crystal Head Vodka Bottle Packaging Design

Crystal Head Vodka

Crystal Head Vodka is a Canadian company founded by Dan Akroyd (yes, that Dan Akroyd).  The vodka is quadruple-distilled and seven times filtered, with the final 3 filtrations through Herkimer diamond crystals.  The bottle, shaped like a crystal skull, was designed by artist John Alexander (Akryod’s co-founder), and is manufactured by Bruni Glass, a Milan based glass manufacturer.  Similar to V2O Vodka above, we love this package design because of its unique shape and distinctive look.  Its not your average vodka bottle, and curious to see if this will inspire other brands to experiment with unique glass structures in the vodka category.

3. Anestasia Vodka

Anestasia Vodka Bottle Packaging Design

Anestasia Vodka

Anestasia Vodka is an American vodka brand founded in 2012 , and that is distilled in Bend, Oregon.  Similar to the two vodka bottles above, the bottle structure itself is a distinctive and memorable shape, and is definitely differentiated from all the other clear glass vodka bottles on retail shelves.  It features a series of geometric faces to create a natural looking clear glass bottle that resembles a mountain or stalagmite shape.  The structure was designed by Karim Rashid, the famed industrial/interior/graphic/everything designer.

4. Frozen Ghost Vodka

Frozen Ghost Vodka Bottle Packaging Design

Frozen Ghost Vodka

Frozen Ghost Vodka, a premium vodka launched a few years ago by Frozen Ghost Distilling Company, introduces storytelling and a dramatic visual effect into the vodka packaging world.  This vodka is packaged in a clouded glass bottle, but the front of the package features something that is both intriguing and memorable: a haunting silhouette of a ghost trapped in the bottle.  This image relates to an old ghost story from Western Canada, and there is a long drawn out story that we will save for another time (you can read about it here if youre interested).  In any event, we love the storytelling aspect and the shelf impact that this packaging brings to the table.

5. Fris Vodka

Fris Vodka Bottle Packaging Design

Fris Vodka

Fris Vodka is a Danish Vodka brand owned by the Absolut Company.  We wanted to point this packaging out despite the fact that its neither as dramatic as some of the packages highlighted above, nor as beautiful or premium-ish as many other designs on the market (see clear glass bottles from Ciroc, Belvedere, Absolut, etc).  The reason this package design excites us is that Fris deviated from the clear or cloudly glass bottle designs that represent 90% (just our guess) of vodka bottles on shelves today.  Fris, like Skyy and Svedka, opted not to focus on the clear liquid inside the bottle, but instead created an opaque bottle with a bold shape and a solid dark blue color.  This design is memorable more because of what it does not have (a clear glass bottle) than what it does have (a clean, dark, premium package design that de-emphasizes the product).