This 70’s Typography Trend is Still Alive and Well

In 2017, Chobani made waves in the design community when they unveiled a new packaging redesign. The typeface was a retro throwback to a look from the disco era – the design team drew particular inspiration from “Windsor”, a typeface that is maybe most associated with 70’s pop culture like “Annie Hall”.

The intention was to introduce an element of quirkiness and fun into the brand, as the old logo was considered by some to be too “harsh, fragmented, and cold.” When package design seems a little old-fashioned (in the right way), it can actually give the brand a youthful quality. Probably the best example of this is Ben & Jerry’s. The company has always stayed true to its hippie roots in its branding, and yet it always manages to feel just as young and exciting as ever. So while the redesign may have initially raised some eyebrows, the surprising choice paid off to give Chobani a looser, more lively look.

Fast-forward to three years later. Sun-Maid, a dominant brand in the dried fruit category, has just released their first significant redesign since the 70’s. Does it look familiar?

via The Dieline

There is a good reason for this similarity. According to Keith Seaman, the creative director at the agency that’s behind the redesign, “a bold and humanist serif typeface set large really gives the packaging a retro and approachable feel, and by relying on the brand’s classic red color and product illustrations, we created a consistent package design across the entire family of products.” For a brand like Sun-Maid that has been a pantry staple for families for generations, leaning into the company’s heritage was important to the executive team.

Knowing that these are the reasons why a brand would opt for this sort of look in a redesign, we can expect that we might see more packaging that follows this style in the near future. A major consumer trend right now is that shoppers are increasingly reaching for products from their childhoods, with brands like Chef Boyardee providing familiarity and comfort to buyers.

If brand leaders decide to lean into these qualities with redesigns, packaging that harkens back to the 70’s and 80’s will be a natural choice. Retro design trends often circle back around as part of the natural cycle of consumer tastes, but brands now have even more reason to take a chance by looking to the past for inspiration.


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