This past March, Doritos rolled out a new look for many of its products that launched in the U.S., U.K., and Mexico, with a global rollout planned in virtually all the countries where Doritos are sold.  While the brand previously had dozens of packaging variations in different parts of the globe, the new design creates a central package design architecture. This move towards a single package design is a trend that has been hot for quite some time and continues to spread across many segments of the CPG industry.  Companies such as PepsiCo and Colgate-Palmolive have followed this trend in a variety of product categories.

Doritos partnered with design firm Hornall Anderson to create this new, sleek and simple look that moves towards an even simpler design than its existing versions. The new design offers more negative space, more emphasis on color blocking and a more compressed lockup for the logo and variety.

 

BAG WITH OLD LOOK / LOGO                        BAG WITH NEW LOOK / LOGO

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Today we try to focus on eating and drinking healthy and staying away from sugar and “the bad stuff” (i.e. soda). But Pepsi is telling us that when we do splurge, we should rejoice in doing so. In fact, we need to splurge every once and a while with a Pepsi. We need to “Live for Now.”

Of course, just telling us to “Live for Now” won’t do the trick. We need to see it and feel it. Showcasing happy people in commercials and billboards? Check. Sponsorship of the Super Bowl halftime show and collaboration with pop superstar Beyoncé? Check. Ok. But sales are still down. So, what comes next? …make the package of the actual product feel as energetic and up-to-date as the people consuming it. And so, Pepsi unveils the re-design of their 20 oz. single serve bottle, the first re-design in 17 years. Yep. It’s about time.

“This new bottle is the next milestone in Pepsi’s Live For Now marketing campaign,” said Angelique Krembs , Vice President TM Pepsi Marketing. “Our single serve bottle is the most visible and tangible connection point we have with our consumers, and we love how the new bottle expresses our brand DNA.” (Packaging Digest, 3/25/2013)

The bottle has a contoured bottom half to make it easier to hold. The wraparound label is shorter so more of the drink is exposed. The simple, yet easy-to-grip bottle and design captures the youthful spirit. We can only wait to see if it’s enough to increase sales. The new bottle is the first in the re-design of the full portfolio currently underway, with additional elements to be rolled out throughout the year. The company expects the new bottle to completely replace the current design over the next year to two years.

 

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Ain’t no stoppin’ us now. Works Design Group continues to grow. Within 6 months, we’ve added our 2nd full time team member to the mix. Kory Grushka comes to WDG from a completely different scene as a corporate lawyer, but that’s not to say he doesn’t know branding and design. In addition to his law degree, he also has his bachelor’s in computer animation and graphic design. Together, with his experience in the corporate world and his passion for branding and design, Kory is dedicated to taking WDG to new heights.

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After soaring with the same logo since 1968, the nation’s third largest airline, American, has recently unveiled a new logo that will appear on planes by the end of January.

New York based Vignelli Associates created the airy, simplistic design you see here.

 

The new logo still consists of red, white and blue undertones, but now features them as lighter and brighter.

American has also decided to update their alternate typography logo. Notice that the new version below has a more refined font in a solid color, a good symbol of unity, considering the words in the old logo were split between red and blue.

 

Old Logo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

New Logo

 

 

 

 

Some elements the brand did keep the same though are American symbols like the eagle and flag — reflecting the airline’s “passion for progress and the soaring spirit.” The new logo also creatively and simplistically introduces some new American motifs that were not in the old mark, such as a star, the letter A, and a runway.

We think the airline will do well with this new logo and re-branding, as it now reflects the times – it’s modern, but still remains recognizable and true to the airline’s core beliefs.

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We’ve been doing our research. We’ve found that more and more brands are calling attention to their new look or variety by using the word “new” in various ways on the design of their package or product – in a bar, across a box, in a circle, you name it. This word has become so important that some brands are creating their entire design around it, others even going a step further and telling consumers what’s new about it on the design. Take a look below at the different ways and places you’ll see this word used on product designs.

 

 

Some brands, like Pepperidge Farm and Fiber One are using what are called “basic interrupters.” This means that the word “new” is not affecting the whole layout and design on a product, but is just a small call-out on the front.

 

Here are more examples of basic interrupters:

Here are examples of design altering call-outs. As you can see, the word “new” takes up the entire top portion of the boxes below, and utilizes a completely different color than the rest of designed box.

 

Often times, when brands are creating a line extension or a new variety, they also want this called out by using the word “new.” Fiber One does this on the box design of their new Nutty Clusters & Almonds variety.

 

Still, many brands want consumers to know exactly what is new or different about their product, so they make sure to explicitly state it on the design of the bag, box or package.

Quaker wants consumers to know that even though the look of their bag changed (as well as the brand name), that the mini rice cakes still have the same great taste.

 

 

Schar however wants consumers to know that they in fact did make the actual product better – it’s a new recipe this time that they are using to create softer rolls. And Ensure uses two tactics. Peach is a new variety, but they still want to reiterate to consumers that the Ensure brand in general is a good source of protein.

 

 

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Ta Da!

If you weren’t lucky enough to have received our 2012 Holiday Package, here is a glimpse of what our clients received in the mail or by hand delivery.

These all-natural carrot cakes (courtesy of Donna Hutches) were baked in 4 mini jars, and placed in a carefully designed package—complete with individual wooden spoons (for sharing) and a hand-stamped logo on the lid of each of the jars.

Nestled in an embossed box and wrapped in a letterpress belly-band, these cakes are as much a joy to open as they are to eat.

We’re proud to show off this latest brand identity we created for The Cake & Carrot Company (C&C) ….and yet, our clients and friends were equally (if not more) thrilled to have received them!

 

 

 

We had a very short timeline in which to have this packaging completed. We’re very grateful to the vendors that we worked with to get each element produced with such time constraints. A Quick Cut, of Maple Shade, NJ was able to turn our custom dieline into a functioning and beautiful box, stamped from Neenah Classic Crest stock and then embossed with the Cake & Carrot Co. logo and crest.

 

 

 

 

The belly-band was produced by Colleen at Cleanwash Letterpress on Frankford Ave. in Philadelphia. Printed on French Paper’s 100 lb. Construction Line stock, she was able to achieve a nice impression that really brings the branding to life. On the day the cakes were baked, we hand-stamped the date on the bands, adding a personal touch.

 

 

 

The holiday card and production notes contained within the box were digitally printed by our friends over at Garrison Printing. We were kept plenty busy while these elements were turned around to us. Debossing the C&C crest into each steel jar lid proved to be quite a challenge. Using a custom ordered aircraft-grade steel stamp, we found that we needed 12 tons of pressure to get a clear imprint. With each lid needing to be stamped individually while operating a modified hydraulic press by hand, Eric’s weekend was pretty much spent in his garage.

 

 

We were relieved when all elements merged seamlessly to create the finished product! As we work to expand upon the Cake & Carrot Co.’s brand, and to help get these treats to market, be sure to visit thecakeandcarrot.com to sign up for updates, or visit the brand’s Facebook page.

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For our 2012 holiday gift to our clients, we decided to design and deliver mini carrot cakes by the dozens. From creating the logo, to drawing up the box and making sure each color blended perfectly, to even photographing the freshly baked treats, we left no detail untouched. And if you weren’t lucky enough to receive one of these all-natural packages, keep an eye out for our next post where we’ll unveil the finished product.

 

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Works Design Group welcomes the newest member of their team, Maureen Kolodziej. Maureen will be managing client relations, marketing and communications.  She’s worked for national companies such as Toll Brothers, the luxury home builders, as well as local Philadelphia magazine. She’s also had experience at firms such as Star Group and Tierney Communications, plus the Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corporation (GPTMC).

She knows what clients want. And she’s intent on making sure they get what they need.  From conceptualizing to copy writing, she’s got a passion for creativity.  But it’s out in front of people where she shines the most.  She’s a team player who brings everyone together to ensure the final product is approved, awesome and on time. She can’t wait to begin working with you!

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Works Design Group recently created this frosty logo and it’s alternate for our friends at Honey’s Angels, a Philadelphia-based organization that provides food and grocery giftcards to struggling families during the holiday season.

 

 

The grassroots effort, begun by the McVey family in 2006, honors Helen “Honey” McVey, a generous, compassionate woman who spent much of her life caring for others—her family, her neighbors, the sick and the elderly. In year one, Honey’s Angels assisted just 17 families. This year, they’ll help at least 200, bringing their grand total to nearly 750 families served.

Each year, the McVey family rallies relatives, friends and members of the community who generously donate their money and time to make the outreach a successful one. Volunteers scour local supermarkets for bargains, pack boxes with all of the food families need to enjoy complete holiday dinners and gather on delivery day—this year taking place on Sunday, November 18—to transport the food to recipients.

So what inspired us to create this mark? Every year, Honey’s granddaughter Brittan makes angel-shaped sugar cookies that are distributed to each family with their food. These tasty treats are always a big hit, and they look remarkably like the logo seen here.

Here’s to Honey’s Angels, and here’s to a happy Thanksgiving for you and yours!

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In a world where there is an increasing dependence on virtual interfaces in the form of computer, tablet and phone screens, there is been a natural desire to hold on to familiar pasts. While a touchscreen device offers unlimited possibilities for interface innovation, we’ve found ourselves peering into a reflection of obsolete pasts–vestigial pieces that only exist to make us feel comfortable about the future. Why is this? In a time where humans are creating new technologies at an incredible pace, we should be focused on how these can best be nurtured rather than weighing them down with our past. In order to free ourselves for true innovation, we need to rid ourselves of our dependence on skeuomorphism.

 

What is a skeuomorph? A skeuomorph is a design element that imitates a feature that was functionally necessary to an original design, while being merely ornamental in its current state. For example, a modern “engineered hardwood” floor may have a printed wood-grain pattern on its surface. While the engineered material is likely a vast improvement over natural wood—with no warping, staining, or cracking to worry about—the idea of real wood is familiar and comforting to us. After all, few people stand in awe of the perfectly aligned particulate beneath our feet. Another example is window mullions—the dividing bars of a window pane. While at one time these were necessary to divide individual pieces of glass, we now have the capability to produce more efficient glass panels at any size, rendering a grid of smaller panes obsolete. Still, we have a cultural connection to those bars, going so far as to superficially glue them to a window that is perfectly functional without them.

 

 

This theme is nothing new. From hubcaps to greek Greek columns, pleather jackets to flame-shaped lightbulbs—this idea is instilled in us. It has only been with the rise of the on-screen interface that we’ve seen how deeply ingrained skeuomorphism is within human culture. One of the earliest adaptations in the computing world is the file folder. Most of us use tabbed file folders everyday. But, how many of them are physical folders? I see 15 folders on my desktop right now and not a single one is made of paper. Rather, they are made of pixels, and hold nothing but 1′s and 0′s. If you save a document, likely you will be clicking on an icon shaped like a floppy disk. Yet, when was the last time you saved something to a physical floppy disk? I haven’t even seen one in a well over a decade.

 

In recent years, Apple has been at the forefront of the skeuomorphic interface. Their iBooks are neatly displayed on a wood-grained bookshelf and all calendar events are posted in a leather-bound planner. Are these visual cues necessary? Will a user lose all reference for their task if they are not reassured by objects from the real world? As a designer, I feel there is a better solution. Microsoft—not known for their design chops—has challenged Apple’s direction with the introduction of Windows 8. With a heavy dependence on typography, blocks of color, and simplified icons, Microsoft hopes to break current trends. This week Apple has taken note, firing their lead software guru Scott Forstall, who along with the late Steve Jobs is a proponent of the skeuomorph.

 

 

While it has yet to be seen whether consumers will respond well to the lack of real-world-reference in early stages, it seems to me that this is the direction that we need to move. We need to embrace technologies as they apply to us now, not as they once did. But what of the future? Will we one day be using some unfathomable device in which its book reader feature looks like an old-school iPad? We’ll have to wait and see.

 

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