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Featuring an international lineup of speakers from some of the world’s top brands and agencies, The Dieline Conference is the most inspirational and comprehensive packaging and branding design conference of its kind. For its eighth year it returns to Chicago, a vibrant city and hub for consumer packaged goods, as well as the ideal center for designers to gather, connect, and better understand the power of packaging design. 

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from Blog – The Dieline – Branding & Packaging Design

The Brief 1/24/17: Design News You Might Have Missed

Notice anything different? Yup, we’ve got a new look! We’ve been working on something that would make it even easier to find just what you’re looking for on The Dieline, whether it’s packaging design inspiration, interviews with designers and entrepreneurs, or the latest trends in design. Not to brag, but we think we look good. Let us know what you think by commenting below or joining the conversation on Twitter.

And now, the news you might have missed:

from Blog – The Dieline – Branding & Packaging Design

The Beautiful Watercolor of The Dorset Chocolate Company

Dorset Chocolate Company is a beautiful conceptual project from designer Perry Rowe. The watercolor is what sets this chocolate bar design apart from others, as it is executed in such a light and airy way. The color scheme plays off on colors one normally might not pair together, but the result is harmonious and easy on the eyes. 

“Based in Dorset, The Dorset Chocolate Company are dedicated to making delicious handmade chocolate. To reach to a wider audience, I was asked to reinvent their identity.” 

“Whilst Dorset is commonly known for its historical context, I wanted to avoid the heritage cliché. Looking into the famous landscapes, my inspiration was drawn to the underlying rock formation that create these magnificent sceneries. Watercolour was used to add artistic value to the brand and attract the right target audience.” 


Designed by: Perry Rowe

Agency: Salad Creative

Location: UK

from Blog – The Dieline – Branding & Packaging Design

Handmade Olive Oil Soap that Gets You Next to Godliness

We love this refreshing, updated portrayal of Greek Gods on Elo Soaps. These handmade body products are handmade and natural, made from—what else?—Greek olive oil, which is known to work wonders for your skin. Smirap Designs developed packaging that would pay homage to Greece and also appeal to those visiting the country.











“Elo soaps are 100% natural handmade soaps made from pure Greek olive oil. I was asked to make a series of illustrations of the Greek mythological gods and goddesses for the soaps they provide to Greek gift shops mostly targeted to tourists visiting Greece. We made 6 of the 12 main Greek gods, Zeus, Athena, Aphrodite, Demeter, Poseidon & Hermes. Although the ancient God theme is a very used theme in the Greek gift shop industry, we attempted to make them more modern and fresh by using my geometric pop art style. So the result we believe is something different than the usual. The packaging is very simple made of wrapped paper, a one sided printed card and a colored rope holding it together.”






Designed by: Smirap Designs

Designer: Mike Karolos

Country: Greece

City: Athens

from Blog – The Dieline – Branding & Packaging Design

Elephant Magazine has Packaging You Won’t Want to Toss

When you get a magazine in the mail, you’re usually most concerned with turning those first few pages and getting into the articles. But Kind Studio used packaging as an opportunity to extend the brand for Elephant Magazine. Instead of opening the box and tossing it, you’re able to make something from it—adding an interactive and simply fun element into receiving a new magazine in the mail.



“Elephant Magazine asked us to redesign their magazine mail packaging. Packaging is great opportunity to include flourishes or elements which add an extra dimension to design. With Elephant we wanted to take full advantage of this, creating something which not only reflects the playful, creative nature of the magazine, but is also a practical packaging solution. People receive their magazine well protected and can then build an elephant from the otherwise wasted material.”


Designed by: Kind Studio

Country: United Kingdom

City: London

from Blog – The Dieline – Branding & Packaging Design

Take the Edge off with this Thoughtful Tranquilo Tequila Gift Set

This is a true tequila experience, complete with a cozy blanket and a deck of playing cards. The Butler Bros designed this clever gift set that is perfect for relaxing after the end of a long, exhausting year (bye, 2016!). The bright colors of the blanket are juxtaposed with a simple, minimal flask design for the bottle, and a traditional font gives it a rustic vibe.







“2016 was not lacking in drama. The Butler Bros decided that the delivery of their year-end client gift would be a good time to prompt some peaceful reflection. For the holidays, they sent out boxes of ‘Tranquilo’—asking people to ‘Make Time. Take Time.’  Each box contained a branded Mexican blanket, woven in sunset colors, a custom-engraved Tranquilo flask filled with smooth-sipping reposado tequila, and a deck of vintage playing cards. They thought of it as a tool kit for taking the edge off. Their clients raved and obliged.”


Designed by: The Butler Bros

Country: United States

City: Austin, TX

from Blog – The Dieline – Branding & Packaging Design

Job of the Week: Pepsico


We are working on an amazing opportunity for a Design Director, Frito Lay North America Snacks. This Director must be a hands on designer who has extraordinary talent and taste, is on top of the latest trends, and has the ability to translate those trends into meaningful, relevant, and vital design systems and experiences. 

Learn More + Apply

from Blog – The Dieline – Branding & Packaging Design

New Jury members for The Dieline Awards 2017

There are four main criteria are judges are basing their score for The Dieline Awards 2017: Creativity, Marketability, Innovation, and Execution. 

Entries are judged in two rounds of judging by a highly esteemed international panel of structural packaging, design, branding, and consumer product experts. 

Debbie Millman, Founder and Host of the Design Matters Podcast, Co-founder Graduate Program in Branding at SVA, Editorial and Creative Director of PRINT Magazine, serves as chairwoman of the judges. 

Who are our new jury members?

John Nunziato, Little Big Brands

Joshua James Breidenbach, Rice Creative

Learn More + Register Today

from Blog – The Dieline – Branding & Packaging Design

The Milkman is Back: the New Face of Home Delivery

A few years ago, in a piece I wrote about home delivery, I mentioned my childhood in North Wales where I made a bit of money delivering newspapers door to door. In fact, pre-Millennial U.S. children shared a similar rite of passage. Although we said goodbye to milk delivery and newspaper routes for a long time, thanks in large part to the convenience of online shopping, at-home delivery is making a comeback. Just look around your neighborhood and you’ll see—in addition to Peapod trucks—everything from milk and dry cleaning to local grocers dropping off the week’s shopping. Calling it “the return of the milkman,” a recent Nielsen study asks, “Could the wave of the future be a blast from the past?”

Then and Now

When I wrote on this subject in 2010, home delivery was led by Peapod in the U.S. and companies like Waitrose in the UK. In France, La Petite Reine took home delivery a step further, serving the inner city with “cargo bicycles” and giants like DHL were just getting into the business. My questions at the time were about how package design could accommodate online shopping and home delivery.

  • Will online shopping for commodity items create a need for specific package designs for items sold online?
  • What would these designs look like?
  • Will home delivery create an opportunity for national brands to regain share they’ve lost to private label?
  • If brands are competing on-shelf and online, will they be able to do less shouting and more “soft-sell” once the package is at the consumer’s door?Will brand owners be able to forge deeper connections with the consumer?



Packaging Evolves with Industry Demand

Ever hear of Smart Labeling? You will. For quite a while, consumers, government and industry trade groups have been pressuring brands to reduce their carbon footprint and offer data on a range of things from ingredients to provenance and more. The result has been a deluge of data on the package, leaving less and less space for iconic design elements that attract the consumer. New technologies that align with smart phones are giving consumers the ability to open a portal to the Internet just by pointing a phone at the product—whether on shelf or online. They’ll be able to see ingredients, get recipes, watch video content and more. In fact, this technology is already here, and for national brands and private brands alike, it’s leveling the playing field. And it’s giving designers more room on pack—plus opportunities pre- and post-purchase—to engage with the consumer.

So Who’s Ordering Online?

Internet sales are dominated by digital natives—Millennials and those born at the turn of the 21st Century known as “Generation Z.” They not only shop online, they price compare, search for locally grown produce, and prefer to go from work to the yoga studio rather than waste time at the grocery store. According to a 2015 Nielsen Study, 30% of Millennials (ages 21-34) and 28% of Generation Z (ages 15-20) say they’re ordering groceries online for home delivery, compared to only 17% of Baby Boomers. Younger people are also the most willing to use all of the e-commerce options in the future.

What Are They Buying?

Product selection plays a significant role in consumer habits when it comes to home delivery. There is a 60/40 split between non-food and food items respectively. When consumers shop in store, the exact opposite it true. So how do brands lure shoppers now that they have so many channels?

According to a recent study from Profitero, “Mobile is everywhere.” A good example is Google Buy Button, which makes it easier for people who are searching for products on their phone to buy them. There’s also a movement to Screenless Commerce, such as with Amazon Echo, which is Amazon’s version of Siri. It’s embedded into its own speaker and, besides telling it to play music, you can say “I need paper towels.” It will use its algorithm to place an order based on its best guess or what type of paper towel you mean. It may match your recent order or it may pick a best seller, but in either this is the type of ordering that is an outgrowth of mobile. Brands could have a fight on their hands figuring out how to outthink this one!



Packaging Design For Home Delivery

A recent survey from Dotcom Distribution focuses on the importance of the “unboxing experience.” They found the following, “52 percent of consumers are likely to make repeat purchases from an online merchant that delivers premium packaging.”  They also found that “4 out of 10 consumers would share an image of an online delivery via social media if it comes in a unique package.” Says Maria Haggarty of Dotcom Distribution, “The act of online and social recommendations drives loyalty from your customers and promotes brand awareness.”

So What Does this Mean for Product Design?

Only five years after I first wrote on home delivery and we have a whole new set of questions to consider, such as how will you engage the consumer pre- and post-purchase? Will technologies like smart labeling become the norm? If so, who will win: early adopters or those who jump in after the kinks are worked out? Will the demand for organic make it harder to compete with shelf-stable products when it comes to home delivery?

However, just consider how quickly things can change in 5 years and how redundant some of these questions now are. With Amazon testing drone delivery systems and online sales of pretty much every commodity category on the rise, what will be the face of delivery within the next 5 years? What will be the new norm?

As we know, consumers are slow to adopt any form of new technology, and even when they do, they might adopt the inferior version of the technology available. Just ask any frustrated consumer that purchased a BETA Max tape over the inferior VHS system. As the markets, consumer demands, and brands innovate, what is clear is that what we see and expect in today’s delivery will be significantly different from yesterday. Brands that fail to evolve and adapt to these changes will go the way of the Dodo, Blockbusters, The Walkman, Circuit City, and so on. The full consumer experience and product delivery have never been more important. Far more important than that annual “design award” or the vapid trendy aesthetics for the sake of looking cool. Brands have to deliver way beyond that and deliver on the fundamentals of the business as well as delighting the consumer.

Stay tuned.

Fred Richards
Chief Creative Officer, Kaleidoscope

Fred ensures that Kaleidoscope leverages its diverse creative talent from all offices in Chicago, New York and Europe to generate fresh, strategic packaging design solutions for clients. Fred has worked in the international design industry for more than 20 years, specifically in the “Fast Moving Consumer Goods” category. Having worked for some of the world’s leading branding and design companies in Britain, USA, Switzerland, Fred brings a multifaceted perspective and rich design philosophy to Kaleidoscope’s design.

from Blog – The Dieline – Branding & Packaging Design

Microme Cosmetics is Makeup With Provenance

A holistic vision fuels the story-telling behind this beauty concept by Russian branding agency, Funky Business. As a way to highlight Microme Cosmetics’ allegiance to its ingredients, the range mimics the look of its makeup under the microscope. The result is an honest iteration of tactile packages, designed to deliver on the products’ provenance in a subtle yet impactful way. 

“Microme Cosmetics are an innovative solution in the field of molecular makeup. Natural ingredients and the latest scientific developments have allowed for the creation of safe and effective solutions for rejuvenation and skin protection. The product line consists of three well-developed positions helping to get a full range of skin care products. Skin Protect — protection, Skin Care — Care, Skin Control — constant care.”





“The main objective was to reflect the company’s innovative approach to their products and natural ingredients, but not to make it trivial. We decided to look deeper and explore the basic ingredients of the cosmetics from under the microscope because its molecular properties provide such effects. On the molecular level each object forms incredible patterns, so these patterns were the basis for the packaging ideas.”

“As a result, the decision was to use a tactile pattern formed by the main ingredient of the product. High-quality paper and special printing technology made it possible to not only to see but also feel the contents of the box.”

Designed by Funky Business

Creative Director: Mikhail Ankudinov

Art-director: Ilya Tumaikin

Designer: Sergey Ryadovoy

3D, retouch: Konstantin Simonov
Project manager: Anna Raskova

Country: Russia 

from Blog – The Dieline – Branding & Packaging Design

Tradition Meets the New World with Bionic Brew

As the world becomes increasingly connected, language barriers are a thing of the past. In the case of Bionic Brew, Austin based HELMS WORKSHOP updated a traditional folktale with modern visual language to introduce craft-beer to a burgeoning Chinese market. 

“Revolutionary in nature and rebellious in spirit, Bionic Brew hit the ground running as the first craft brewery in one of the world’s largest urban villages – Shenzhen, China. Fighting obstacles along the way, the tenacious band of brewers grew from gypsy brewing and pop-up bars to a proper brew house and tap rooms. Now regarded as pioneers in a growing market, the brewery tasked us with distilling their renegade spirit into a strong brand identity.” 

“In Chinese folklore, ancient poets tell a story of The Gold Rabbit. Tethered to the moon, the mythical figure spends its days brewing the elixir of life. That care in craft, electrified by the spirit of the Bionic Brew team sparked a powerful symbol for the brand. Flanking plum blossoms nod toward endurance through hardship.” 

“Growing and sustaining a craft brewery in China is no small feat, but Bionic Brew is thriving. As the fastest-growing craft brewery in the region, their increasing popularity means a new, diverse audience. To supercharge that growth we worked with the team in Shenzhen to build a versatile, arresting packaging system that speaks to both a Chinese and English-language audience.” 

Designed by: Alana Lyons, Zach Wieland, Christian Helms

Client: Bionic Brew 

Country: China 

from Blog – The Dieline – Branding & Packaging Design