Posts Tagged ‘packaging’

Lovely, tasty, nutritious, disappearing packaging

by Alex Benady

We may make our living from packaging. Packaging may enable our clients to make their living. The trouble is that within seconds of being opened or the product being consumed, packaging has no further useful purpose. It becomes surplus or waste.

And what a waste. According to HMG, in 2011 the UK produced nearly 11 million tonnes of packaging waste –just under a tenth of the UK’s total waste.  Although around sixty percent of this waste is recycled, that still leaves 4.5 million tonnes of packaging rubbish to be sorted, put out, collected and then transported to landfill, every year.

Just by way of comparison, that is almost exactly the same mount of earth that was removed from the 42 kilometres of tunnel dug for Cross Rail. But packaging is far les dense than earth so it  would fill a much longer tunnel

Wouldn’t it be so much better for everyone if somehow a large proportion of it just, well, disappeared?

Earlier this year we blogged about the work of Aaron Mickelson from the Pratt Institute New York who has found ways to make packaging do just that. He has created packaging that is part of the product and is used up as the product is used up.

Now we can report on two more developments in socially responsible, environmentally friendly packaging that just vanishes. (more…)

Will Packaging Cease To Exist?

by Sarah Cameron

Global warming, being green and carbon footprints have been a hot topic since the turn of the century, and the reduce, reuse, recycle mantra of environmental waste awareness has been firmly engrained into our consumer lives.

Design student Aaron Mickelson examined whether it was possible to eliminate packaging waste entirely, instead of merely reducing it. Thinking outside the box, his project, ‘The Disappearing Package’, investigates how to create packaging that becomes the product itself. Amongst Mickelson’s collection is a soap packet that dissolves upon first use, creating no need for unwrapping or disposal (an innovative use of soap soluble ink, and water soluble paper). The student’s solution for Britain’s favourite beverage is similarly resourceful: an elegant concertina of tea bags that are torn off one by one.

Mickelson is adamant that a disappearing package doesn’t need to mean a sacrifice for the brand. He says, “Disappeared packages retain all identity and marketing opportunities of traditional packaging solutions.”

Some might argue that the internet is the answer to the future’s sustainable packaging, with virtual shopping meaning that the consumer buys the product based on a photo of it, as opposed to the tactile draw of traditional packaging. However, if Mickelson’s designs are a glimpse of the future of packaging, consumers (and the environment) have something to look forward to.

Coley Porter Bell hat trick at International Spirits Challenge

by Alex Benady

Coley Porter Bell has scooped three medals at one of the world’s leading spirits awards.

The prestigious International Spirits Challenge 2013 has awarded Coley Porter Bell two golds and a bronze this week with work for three Pernod Ricard brands, Beefeater Burroughs reserve, Olmeca Altos and Chivas Brother’s blend.

Beefeater’s Burroughs reserve won gold in the ‘Best Packaging & Design On Trade’ section. Olmeca Altos took top prize in ‘Best Packaging and Design’ while Chivas Brothers’ Blend won bronze in ‘Best Packaging & Design Travel Retail’ division.

The brief for Olmeca Altos was to bring the brand story to life via the bottle. The design had to appeal to the ‘creative classes’ – hipsters and bar tenders and it had to have its own distinct modern Mexican personality to distance it from the Olmeca masterbrand.

Meanwhile, Beefeater wanted to establish a new category of super premium sipping gin. It needed to attract free-thinking’ drinkers already engaged with other ultra-premium categories such as whisky and cognac. CPB developed the concept, name and packaging design, which is a metaphor for the gin’s unique production.

And Chivas wanted to develop a permanent exclusive for Travel Retail to fit naturally into its portfolio and justify a price premium versus Chivas 12. It had to be highly visible and appealing to the ‘modern gentleman’.

“A lot of thought, care and craft goes into producing designs for these brands, and it’s nice to see that all our hard work behind the scenes goes recognised by people who really know about drink,” said Stephen Bell executive creative director of Coley Porter Bell


Those Crunchy Nutters

by Sarah Cameron

I’m going to put this out there – I’m just not sure about the new Crunchy Nut variant.  I’m a die-hard Kellogg’s Crunchy Nut fan, but this extension to a ‘luxury’ apply / rasin etc. granola variant is a stretch too far for me. Where’s the honey? Where’s the golden promise of nuts?  Where on earth are the cornflakes?!

The white and green identity looks a bit cold rather than luxury (and not at ALL welcoming in the wintery mornings),  and unfortunately ‘cold’ is exactly what this pack has left me feeling…



A cool new design for Olmeca Altos

by Alex Benady

Coley Porter Bell has created new designs and a cool, authentic new positioning for Pernod Ricard’s premium tequila Olmeca Altos to help it to operate as more of a standalone brand. The new bottles were launched in the US this month and are being rolled out to other markets round the world.

The brief was to distinguish Olmeca Altos from the rest of the Olmeca range by creating an appealing personality for the brand, while making the bottle easier for bartenders to handle.

The original Altos bottle  designed by CPB in 2010 was created as a  sub brand of Olmeca and had a close visual relationship to the parent brand. Since its launch Altos has been developing a loyal following so the time is now right for it to have more of a distinct personality.

The new positioning is aimed at attracting sophisticated creative young urban drinkers. The design itself is deliberately minimal, featuring clear hammered glass with the branding embossed onto the glass itself.

“Altos needed to play up its authenticity whilst also highlighting the taste of the product, making drinking Altos more about enjoyment and discernment than shooters and partying, “ explained CPB creative director Stuart Humm.

“The target market is notoriously unresponsive to marketing, so rather than the design shouting at them we wanted consumers to feel that they have discovered it themselves. As a result it’s deliberately understated and dressed down.”

Packaging really can affect product performance.

by Vicky Bullen

When brand design companies pitch the benefits of packaging, they tend to talk about bringing the brand to life, creating a connection with consumers and ensuring that the product stands out on shelf.

While they might talk about setting up the right product perceptions, the design industry has rightly been wary of arguing that the right design can actually improve a product. Not expectations of the product or feelings about the product, but how the product physically performs.

We have fought shy of claiming that the right packaging design will make your aspirins relieve pain better, or make your wine more pleasurable or your milk fresher.

It has fallen to someone from outside the design discipline to make that case. (more…)

Explaining to the French why we tampered with a French icon. In English.

by Ridhi Sain


Ricard is much more than an alcoholic drink in France. It’s an institution, a cornerstone of French life and its design and advertising occupy a truly iconic position in French culture.

So it was with equal feelings of honour, pride and gut-wrenching anxiety that I stood up to speak last week at the opening of an exhibition of Ricard’s journey through the years in the Musee des Arts Decoratifs in Paris.


Pearlfisher creates ‘you count…’ brand for Waitrose

by Igor Astrologo

Pearlfisher has designed the brand identity and packaging for the ‘you count…’ range for Waitrose, part of the supermarket’s LOVE life offer.

Product shots on a white background, navigational cues and calorie content set in bold, bright, colourful type… but I can’t help feel the range looks a little too clinical and unappetising for my tastebuds.

waitrose you count... packaging by Pearlfisher

Beautiful Biscuits from Mrs. Fell

by Leia Baker

Congratulations to our lovely Heta, who got married on Saturday to Nick. We hope you both had a beautiful day and thanks for the yummy biscuiteer biscuits!

What has the Milkybar Kid got in common with Zappo’s founder Tony Hsieh?

by Emma Brock

Believe it or not the Milkybar Kid is fifty. Time to give the little dude a change of clothes and a bit of a scrub up, you might think. So that’s exactly what we did last year and this week our update of one of the UK’s most enduring brand icons finally found its way into the shops.

As part of the redesign Coley Porter Bell developed a whole world for The Kid as well as a psychologic profile, describing what he thinks, how he reacts, his interests and motivations. Not only does he now have a clearly identifiable moral code, he is active fun, generous and fair and just a little bit cooler than his recent incarnations.

Predating the film Bugsy Malone by a good fifteen years, he used to be the sheriff of a small town peopled by kids. Now he is leader of a small posse which includes Bluebell the Cow, Scruff the dog and Sonny the horse.  Their different interactions and adventures allow for The Milkybar Kid to appear in many different scenarios and scenes.  Inviting consumer to construct their own narratives around his activities.

Ok, you might think that creating a back story for a cartoon character selling chocolate is a bit, well, pretentious. But like any marketing update, any micro change, it tells you something about the way that consumers and society at large are changing.

In this case it’s all about the humanisation of brands. While our Milkybar packs are clearly in the analogue world, the demand for brands to become more ‘human’ is actually being driven by the virtual world of social media. As US marketing guru Gary Vaynerchuck puts it: “Social media have taken us back to small town rules. You can no longer stack it high and see it fly.” ie You have to have a real personality and use it to interact with your consumers.”

There are various strategies available to achieve this. One is to literally make a person the face of the brand or corporation. Richard Branson, Stelios and Remington’s Victor Kiam are prime examples in the real world.

A modern variation on that theme is the construction of a social company or brand on-line. US on-line shoe firm Zappos was established in 1999 and now has sales of well over $1.2bn a year.  The company was built largely on Olympian service which in turn was based on the idea of showing that the company is made up of happy individuals that you’d really like to get to know, says Chief exec Tony Hsieh. He takes pains to lead from the front in this respect and astonishingly takes the time to reply to every Twitter addressed to him. What better way to communicate that this is a social company than to use social media?

A third approach is to humanise the brand through tone of voice. Probably the best example of that is innocent which has built a stunningly successful business based on pure ingredients and fresh natural vocabulary. It’s personal, informal and even a little cheeky

They use back of pack copy to engage, charm and make people believe in the brand “We’re perhaps not as sophisticated in database management as we’d like to be but  we do realise the value of direct contact, ” said communications chief Charlotte Rawlins a couple of years ago.

The Milkybar Kid, isn’t a CEO, he isn’t a tone of voice, but he is very human and in a world dominated by the internet, that counts for an awful lot these days.

This blog is about all the things that inspire us as we make brands beautiful: insights and ideas, points of view, fabulous work, nascent trends - all the things that excite us and help us to see new possibilities for the brands we work on. So please enjoy, add your comments, forward the link, and come back and see us. We’ll be posting regularly.