When High Design Doesn’t Align

As trend leaders and enthusiasts, designers have a natural inclination to move with the times, and their ‘of-the-moment’ design aesthetic wants to reflect that. To them, the inverse can feel like “bad design.” This approach in packaged goods is often visually aspirational, and can be an effective way for a brand to spark new consumer love. Yet, it often hinges on the designer’s perception of beautiful, rather than beauty being in the eye of the beholder. It begs the question, if, in using this approach, are designers designing above consumers instead of to them? The 2016 election revealed a chasm between aspiration and pragmatism, and asks those of us in the marketing, advertising and design world: do we really know who we are talking to? Get it right and you’ll create emotional resonance and brand relevance. Get it wrong and you could miss your target entirely. 

"Advertisers are grappling with a stark realization: After spending years courting U.S. consumers with aspirational images of upscale urban living, they may have misjudged the yearning of much of their audience…advertisers are reflecting on whether they are out of touch with the same people--rural, economically frustrated, elite-distrusting, anti-globalization voters--who propelled the businessman into the White House.” --Alexandra Bruell and Suzanne Vranica Trump's win has ad agencies rethink how they collect data, recruit staff Wall Street Journal, 11/21/16]

“Advertisers are grappling with a stark realization: After spending years courting U.S. consumers with aspirational images of upscale urban living, they may have misjudged the yearning of much of their audience…advertisers are reflecting on whether they are out of touch with the same people–rural, economically frustrated, elite-distrusting, anti-globalization voters–who propelled the businessman into the White House.”
–Alexandra Bruell and Suzanne Vranica
Trump’s win has ad agencies rethink how they collect data, recruit staff
Wall Street Journal, 11/21/16]

A quick glance at the state of current package design shows a trending upscale, premium aesthetic that is increasingly aspirational and very much tied to the narrative around authenticity. Over the last five years, small new challenger brands have leveraged aspirational design as a way to disrupt established brands at shelf and create an immediate, more intimate connection with consumers. In telling their story – the process, the people, their purpose – they have answered a growing consumer desire for more information about the products they consume. As successful as this approach has been though, not every brand has a consumer on the other side that cares for this level of information. What the election seems to have exposed is a stronger desire for transparency and a better understanding of what they are getting versus a narrative of authenticity. For brands, rather than serving up a story that helps consumers get to know them better, there seems to be an opportunity to tell consumers simply what they are getting and provide clarity.

Designing To, Not Up: Lessons in Visual Exclusivity
For publish on thedieline.com
Co-authored by Julia Hunter Rancone & Leslie Hacking


Pragmatic design, as an alternative design approach, is a visual reaction to the saturated use of authenticity and its design language of premium. It directly speaks to the need for a different design aesthetic that values honesty over storytelling. It is rooted in functionality and accessibility, and values what the consumer thinks is beautiful versus the designer. It conveys that “what you see is what you get” but creates small moments of relevance using fonts, surface textures, language, layout and propping materials that feel essential and familiar. Its core traits are function, style, and clarity and is designed, but not overpromising. At shelf, it feels accessible and not off-putting. 

Designing To, Not Up: Lessons in Visual Exclusivity
For publish on thedieline.com
Co-authored by Julia Hunter Rancone & Leslie Hacking

The three Rosso store brands above show the way in which pragmatic design can use the principles of good design without feeling highbrow (like the aspirational design) and the techniques of simplicity without feeling second rate (like the classic design). The pragmatic design leverages the jar shape and communication hierarchy of the Classic design, but uses food photography to set it apart and feel more thoughtful. Against the premium design, the pragmatic design doesn’t make lifestyle assumptions because it uses simple propping – the white plate, the separated garlic – to maintain a sense of believability. Font and language here play an important role to feel familiar and create a sense of accessibility. Ultimately, it offers itself as a “yes and” design option in a package design landscape that feels increasingly “either, or.”

Alternative Image, or one to end on? “What we’ve discovered is that what really defines the most successful brands, rather like our current batch of politicians, is their ability to ‘match’ their lovers on the values they hold dear. So in this age of uncertainty, maybe it’s time for brand owners to take a leaf from the politicians’ book and take a fresh look at whether their brand identity really does match up to their lovers’ expectations.”
–David Penn
Can Brands Learn from the Psychology of Voter Choice?
Warc, 5/22/17

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Behind the Operations for PLANT Apothecary Skincare Line

By: Margaret Andersen

Starting a business is easier said than done—from startup costs to finding suppliers and endless unexpected challenges. This week we’re chatting with Holly McWhorter, owner of PLANT Apothecary, to learn more about the nitty gritty of how she took the idea for the skincare company and turned it into a reality.

Read part 1 and part 2 of PLANT Apothecary’s journey.

Give us an idea of your timeline. When did you first get the idea for PLANT, start hiring people, line up suppliers, etc. all the way to having physical products to sell?

Holly: We got the idea for PLANT in 2011. The first bodywashes came out in 2012, so that’s when the apothecary line started. We had to line up suppliers right away, but I knew of a number of them from having been making these kinds of products for so long before we started the brand. We didn’t hire our first employee, an assistant, until 2015. We did, and still do, however, work with a workshop for disabled adults, which started when we first started getting more orders than we could fill in our kitchen—in late 2012. The workshop made all of our products themselves until we got into Target, and since then they’ve been helping with outer packaging, making samples, and shipping. It’s part of our mission to keep them involved.

Let’s talk startup costs. Can you provide a breakdown of what costs went into getting PLANT started?

Holly: Honestly, not much. We had to buy a domain and hosting, but built our own website and did all our own design work and copywriting. For the products, we only bought enough raw materials and packaging for very small batches at first. Once we sold those first products, we had enough money to buy more raw materials and packaging the next time. There were some filing fees of a few hundred dollars to register our LLC with the state, but we didn’t pay a lawyer to file them for us—we did it ourselves, with the help of the interwebs—so those business setup costs were pretty low.


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Did you have investors? If so, how did you work to line them up?

Holly: We’ve never had an investor. 

What was your biggest expense in founding PLANT? What ended up being way more affordable than you’d imagined?

Holly: There was never any big expense at the beginning. We were profitable from the start. And nothing turned out to be surprisingly affordable, either. We knew that it wouldn’t be a super-expensive endeavor, at least to start. That was a big part of what made it possible.

Has Brooklyn been a supportive or challenging city to start/run a business in?

Holly: Brooklyn has been very supportive! There are nonprofit agencies offering free business counseling, the SBA hosts entrepreneurship learning events, and there was even a super-hip store that showcased Brooklyn-made products, called By Brooklyn. There is definitely a supportive community for business owners. The only problem is office space. There are way too few small, simple, affordable workspaces in the city, and it’s something everyone in the small business community is aware of. The city wants to promote small business and light industry, but they don’t subsidize the cost of the kinds of spaces where that can happen, which makes no sense. It was an ongoing problem for us for years, until we found our current office.

BE GENTLE_IMG_0052.jpg

What has the experience been like working with BKLYN UNLTD to produce your products?

Holly: It’s been challenging, but also fantastic. They do an excellent job, and we’re happy to be able to provide work to a group of people (those with mental and physical disabilities) who are so often underemployed—especially in our current political climate. 

Can your business model of partnering with organizations like BKLYN UNLTD work for other small artisan companies?

Holly: Definitely! For most projects, there is always something a workshop for disabled adults can work with—especially as they get bigger. Putting finished products into boxes or tins, bottling, stuffing envelopes and gift bags, applying labels to things, gluing things together, sorting caps, shipping… There are tons of things that people who are differently abled can do that are useful to a business. The thing is, it takes on-site involvement to work with an organization like BKLYN UNLTD, and the business needs to be prepared for someone to spend time there not only setting up the workflow, but checking in on it, making sure supplies arrive on time and to the right place, etc. It’s a project in and of itself.

What resources were the most helpful in getting the business started—websites, magazines, software, etc.?

Holly: The internet for sourcing, research, and filing forms online; and software for design and business tasks.

How did you go about finding suppliers? Who did/do you work with?

Holly: We generally find suppliers online, and focus on having them be as local as possible.  

Who did you turn to for packaging your products?

Holly: We design all the packaging ourselves—it’s one of our two favorite parts of the process, along with formulating the products.

How do you feel that the packaging/branding for PLANT is successful in communicating the values and mission of your brand?

Holly: It’s clear, simple, and straightforward, like our formulas. Our products contain only ingredients that people can either easily recognize without looking them up, or understand what they are immediately if they do have to look them up. They’re extracted straight from plants and the earth, and that’s intentional—we want to move people away from thinking that only complex and potentially toxic chemicals can serve their needs effectively. And the packaging works the same way. The names say what the products are and at least hint at what they do for you, and when it’s feasible, even the bottle or jar is transparent, so you can see the product. And in true modernist style, we try to make sure form always follows function!

Margaret Andersen
Margaret is a freelance graphic designer and writer based in Los Angeles. She received her MFA in Graphic Design from the California Institute of the Arts. She writes for AIGA’s blog Eye on Design, and is currently designing futuristic things for USC’s World Building Media Lab.

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An Exercise in Trust is the Big Reason why Nourish Snacks Look So So Good

Snacking is usually put into two categories: “punishingly healthy or junk,” Tom Wilder of Collins said. So when faced with the challenge of designing Joy Bauer’s line of snacks, Nourish—which are both healthy and incredibly delicious—Collins wanted the packaging to reflect that. We spoke with CCO & Founder Brian Collins and Creative Director Tom Wilder to learn more about setting out to do something radically different, why they design with a mobile-first mentality, finding inspiration in new places, and more.

Can you walk us through the design process that you went through for this project?

Brian Collins: First, this food is amazing. We’ve been hooked since Joy Bauer first brought us over the newest recipe she whipped up in her kitchen. So, we believe in the product. In Nourish. And in Joy. That shaped everything from the start.

Tom Wilder: Yes. That exuberance she brings to The Today Show is real.

But like all our projects at COLLINS, we get nitty gritty fast. We always begin with a lot of research. Store visits,in-depth interviews with customers and retailers. Bryna Keenaghan, our Director of Strategy, wanted us to deepen our understanding of how people think about grabbing a snack—and why they are motivated to choose what they do. One thing we learned early on is that more people are seeking healthier food options, but hate it when they have to make sacrifices to do that. Our research drove us to go right at that conflict.

What was one of the biggest goals you set out to achieve with Nourish packaging and how did you accomplish it?

Tom: Most snack foods fall into one of two categories. Punishingly healthy or junk. So, it’s a Raw Quinoa Broccoli Bar or…

Brian: …or Double-Stuffed, Chocolate-Raspberry, Sugar-Frosted Caramel Bunny Bombs!

Tom: Yeah, those, too. Look, Joy Bauer is a nutritionist. She and her team found new ways to make healthy foods insanely more appealing by dramatically improving their flavor. With that solved, our job was to break the stigma that healthier food has to overcome—and that it can taste really good.

With Nourish Snacks’ new recipes and flavors, we now had to signal something very different on the package. The way we see it, Inside = Outside. Our new identity, packaging and website intertwine the surprising with the familiar. We borrowed from a whimsical, nostalgic language of snacking and flipped it to invite people to try something surprising, different and, we think, a whole lot better.

Customers and retailers who carry it say we’ve accomplished that.

Brian: It also helps when your name is, you know…NOURISH Snacks.



What was the most challenging part of this project?

Tom: The real challenge was crafting something new that people notice, understand, and want to buy. More important, we wanted something that people would love enough visually to bring out at their office or at home. Our bags are like big, colorful posters—so we don’t want anyone to hide them in their desks.

We’re lucky to have clients who really trust us and allow us to break the tropes of what design is “supposed” to look like. Most CPG design is incrementalism. The manipulation of convention. So, instead of following the grim rulebook of giant, corporate brands, we sought inspiration in new places—from moments when snacking was guilt-free and…crazy fun.

Brian: Carnivals. Baseball games. The circus. Popcorn, peanuts, cotton candy and ice cream cones. Red stripes. Blue stripes. Orange stripes. Color.

Tom: Exactly. All of those bold, eye-popping graphics held the promise of fun and delight. The way we see it, anticipation creates happiness.

Brian: Does the world really want more Artisanal Roasted Seaweed & Achaar Chia Toast Chips in brown paper bags covered with cursive handwriting? No. I mean, not unless you’re going to a luau at Wes Anderson’s house.

Tom: Ultimately, we wanted to capture a bright, exuberant spirit and balance it with healthy and purposeful information. That, and trying to keep everyone here from eating all the snacks Joy sent us. I think we went through fifty Nourish shipping boxes over the course of this project. It was embarrassing.



The packaging looks like it would jump off a shelf but also works incredibly well online. How did you balance this?

Tom: First, thank you. We now design our packaging projects with a mobile-first mentality. Sure, packaging needs to jump off a shelf in a store. However, with online grocery shopping and so many new digital avenues it’s crucial that products jump off a small screen, too. Interestingly, we’ve found that the best answer for mobile turns out to be a great answer for shelf, too. So, mobile-first.

What elements were important to incorporate to express that Nourish is not just snacking, but healthy snacking?

Tom: The focus on the front of the pack was to deliver flavor, taste and delight. The patterns and colors create visual arrest. We wanted to be sure people know that Nourish is insanely tasty.

The back drives the more serious nutrition story. The mixed typefaces—inspired by old circus posters — calls attention to the ingredients. We created a clear contrast between the front and back to amplify the balance between our fun, indulgent values and our healthy ones.






If you could pick one aspect of the finished design that you like the most or feel especially proud of, what would it be and why?

Tom: I can’t name just one piece as it all sort of works together. But one thing we try to do with all of our clients is to future proof our solutions so that they’ll work for 5, 10, 20 or more years. We created a unique, modular system of patterns, color and typography for the brand so as Nourish expands to more sweet, savory, spicy, or tangy products they’ll be able to adapt to that growth.

Brian: Easy. I like the website. In its redesign, we crafted a blunt new art direction style for Nourish that builds a strong brand story between shelf and screen.

Share one lesson that you learned while developing the finished product.

Tom: Real creative partnership is uncommon but so integral in building something new. The trust Nourish had in us—and vice versa—was important to the result.

When there is trust, like with our friends at Nourish who are willing to push, challenge and take creative risks, the design outcomes exemplify that partnership.

Brian: Shared respect with your client results in shared respect for their customers. It’s transitive. People will sense that sincerity, that energy, that…love. It sounds soft but it’s what makes the register ring.

The Nourish Team:
Tom Wilder
Jump Jirakaweekful
Thorbjorn Gudnason
Bryna Keenaghan
Michele Kim
Ian Aronson
Natalie Vartanian
Teemu Suviala
Gabe Benzur
Brian Collins
Fictive Kin

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Sustainable Packaging: 3 Ways to Make it a Holistic, Collaborative Design Challenge


By: Bryan Shova

There are many opportunities for the design industry to play a bigger part in product sustainability. Case in point: Many of the technological advancements in sustainable packaging suffer from issues that could be tackled through partnership with strong design thinkers. The design industry can also help to bring the conversation about sustainable packaging design further upstream. Here are three important things to consider when it comes to designing for sustainability.

1. Collaboration is key

Scientists, packaging developers, materials suppliers and manufacturers neither control demand generation nor the consumer experience, which are a result of the positioning, opening ceremony, branding and graphics. These are the responsibilities of marketing and design.

In the same vein, collaboration is a theme often discussed at design conferences. It is typically laced with suggestions on how to forge design into boardroom and business conversations. Sustainable packaging design is an opportunity for the design industry to further prove itself to the business world.

Some of the organizations at the forefront of sustainability have amazing ideas, but it is going to take collaboration with designers and marketers to succeed. Marketers have control over budgets and the dialogue with consumers. And designers have the ability to reinterpret sustainable technology packaging into actual packages that signal something new to consumers; they have a responsibility to proactively inform themselves and bring that information to the table.

2. Design with intent

There are many opportunities to improve the sustainability of packaging, so it is critical to understand the full product lifecycle when doing so. Whether improvements come in the form of the reducing packaging materials to optimize the product-to-packaging ratio, using recyclable materials, enhancing distribution and palletization efficiency, or allowing for an easy end-of-life recycling stream, it is absolutely vital to design all packaging components in unison.

Much can be done to increase the sustainability of the package ecosystem through efficiency and operations but at the end of the day, it is most important to do what is right for the brand, and every decision should be made through the lens of the brand equity. The goal is to create a win for the brand, a win for the consumer, and a win for the manufacturing stream.  

3. Think about end-of-life recovery at the beginning

The sustainability payoff for some of these technologies has more to do with end-of-life recovery than actual materials, so the consumer would ultimately need to understand his or her role in recycling or composting. These are big communication challenges that, in many cases, will need to be told on pack—clearly and simply—and supported across an integrated marketing campaign. The How2Recylce campaign is a program marketers and manufacturers can utilize to support sustainable packaging design.

A lot of consumers would be disappointed to know that numerous items they’ve attempted to recycle or compost actually get diverted to landfills. The reason: Many recyclable and compostable products and packages look too similar to non-sustainable items and can’t easily be differentiated by workers sorting the recycling streams — think flexible packaging and compostable flatware. As a result, recycling and composting centers work under the premise of ‘when in doubt, throw it out.’ Some regional policymakers have even banned some sustainable materials from recycling and compost streams.

As sustainable packaging developers create new materials, they are utilizing existing product and packaging forms to prove them out. Zealaform is a great example—it looks and feels like polystyrene, and does the same job as polystyrene, but it’s bio-based and can be disposed of through industrial composting. But how do you expect someone at a composting center to distinguish between the two?

Sounds like a great design challenge, and it is definitely something that design industry professionals needs to consider when it comes to the creative brief for packaging design.

Bryan Shova

Kaleidoscope is a brand innovation and realization firm headquartered in Chicago. Bryan leads the industrial design team, which is responsible for brand-led product development and structural packaging. He emphasizes the use of consumer insight and prototyping as part of a strategic approach to design.

Over the last 13 years, Bryan has partnered with Coca-Cola, Procter & Gamble, World Kitchen, Chiquita, Bosch, MeadWestvaco, Fellowes, Hospira, Motorola and others. He is passionate about bettering the consumer¹s experience and uncovering opportunities for manufacturing efficiency.

A graduate of the Cleveland Institute of Art, Bryan believes in the importance of mentoring and stays actively involved with the Industrial Design Society of America. He resides in Chicago.

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Vitoru is the Cold Pressed Juice for the Modern Design Lover

Signe Stjarnqvist designed this beautiful conceptual packaging for a cold pressed juice brand, Vitoru.

“Vitae (Meaning life if Latin) + ビートル Bītoru (Japanese translation) 
Vitoru is a premium cold pressed juice brand that is aimed for the design lovers, through the combination of modern typography and a slick wooden lid to create a sense of modern design.”



“An unconventional glass bottle with white strips at the bottom was chosen to distinct Vitoru from other juice brands. Using a transparent label with a combination of both white and black ink to create a harmonised hierarchy. The typography is designed using one simple typeface but with different styles to distinguish the context. For the final touch and what makes this packaging stand out, a customised wooden lid with engraving on top. That is meant to bring forth the security that the juice is organic and healthy.”


Designed By: Signe Stjarnqvist
School: RMIT University
Wooden lid and engraving: Auburn Woodturning
Printer: Classic Colour Copy
Location: Melbourne, Australia

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This Packaging Was Inspired By the Surrealists of the 20s

TSMGO (The show must go on) designed the whimsical packaging for Easy-Mixers, a line of cocktail mixes. The designs feature a variety of animals with mixed and matched features, giving it a playful overall feeling.

“We turned to the beginnings of cocktail-making, linked to digestive medicinal concoctions which helped to balance overindulgence, heavily associated with pharmacists and healing properties. From this ‘medicinal’ facet, we incorporated a pharmaceutical presentation through the bottle.”


“During the 1920s, due to Prohibition in the USA, a time of peak clandestine fabrication, cocktail-making developed to camouflage the alcoholic flavour of destillates, a fact which allows us to take advantage of the aesthetics of the time. 
Meanwhile, in the Old World, the Europe of 1925, a group of dreamers (the surrealists) recovered an old game they had once used to create new images easily. A drawing was started on a piece of paper and then was folded and continued by someone else who had no idea of what the previous person had drawn. This ended up producing surprising results. This technique was called cadavre exquis – ‘exquisite cadaver’. We included this technique in the visual narrative of the project.”











“This way, our own particular Easy-Mixers pharmacist/alchemist starts a cocktail which will then be finished by a barman, wherever they may be found in the world, in the simplest of ways. 
We favour applying the divine 2/3 rule (essential in cocktail-making): two units of pre-mix (non-alcoholic elements) plus one of alcohol. Faithful to this rule, with Easy-Mixers we go a step further and we make it our (educational) seal.”





Studio: TSMGO | The show must go on 
Client: Easy-Mixers
Director: Ricardo Moreno Rodríguez
Art & Design Management: Marta Terrazas y José Luis Casao
Photography: DclickEstudio! 
Country: Spain

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These Canned Tomatoes Definitely Pop

Nju:comunicazione designed the bright eye-catching packaging for Pop Tomato, a line of canned tomatoes.

“For Italianavera we designed a new line of cans that contain a selection of her tomatoes Spunzillo, Corbarino, San Marzano DOP and other varieties of Campania. The packaging is coordinated to give liveliness and vivacity to an overall vision. The final result is a POP tomato.”


Agency: Nju:comunicazione
Creative Director: Mario Cavallaro
Designers: Annamaria Varallo, Stefano Marra, Simonetta Pagliuca
Location: Italy

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Avanaa is Bean-To-Bar Chocolate That Stands Out

Studio Caserne designed the warm and inviting packaging for Avanaa, a chocolate company that prides itself in its bean-to-bar chocolate.



“We had mad sugar cravings. We were in luck. Avanaa is a bean-to-bar type of chocolate manufacturer. In having a hand at every step of the way, from fermentation of the cocoa to tempering passing by roasting, they manage to manufacture a product of an unquestionable quality. The typography layout follows an intuitive logic which allows the consumer to take notice of the origin, the weight, and the concentration indication of the cocoa. We had teamed up with an illustrator Cécile Gariépy in order to pay homage to the noble and meticulous work of the growers. The logo and the visual identity take their inspiration from the fragments of a broken chocolate bar. The colour and the composition of the packaging give the product an unique and pronounced energy. Gloire au cacao!”






Designed By: Studio Caserne
Location: Montreal, Canada

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This Japanese Restaurant Branding and Packaging is Mesmerizing

BrightHead Studio designed the mesmerizing packaging and branding for Toko Restaurant.

“The Toko restaurant is widely known worldwide as one of the best Japanese restaurants in Sydney. The second restaurant was opened in Dubai at the beginning of 2014, which is located on the first floor of magnificent hotel Vida Downtown – several minutes walking distance from the highest building of Dubai, The Burj Khalifa.”





“Our task was to develop a new visual image and concept for the famous restaurant, which has emphasized the high status of the institution and its visitors. At the same time, the style should not be arrogant, but rather sophisticated, thus bright and easily recognizable. We conducted researches of the Japanese culture, painting and modern art in search of the golden mean. Having attentively studied traditional painting of Japan, we paid attention to the “marbling” paper technique (floating ink). With its help we received patterns, unique in texture. They also formed the basis of the entire visual identity of the restaurant. The modern subculture of Japan is allocated with bright colors, mad dresses and is the complete antithesis to the developed foundations and traditions. By combining these two strands of Japanese culture – traditional painting techniques and modern subculture – we were able to create truly modern, bright and rich visuals.”






Designed By: BrightHead Studio

Location: Russia

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SONIC® Packaging Invites Fans to Explore Customizability At The Drive-In

Sullivan Higdon & Sink is illustrating SONIC® Drive-In variety with its most recent packaging design. The 24 unique illustrations use core brand colors, Ben-Day dots and bold line work yielding simplified graphical representations that evoke a sense of crave-ability. The look is clean and simple, with iconic brand elements — SONIC’s red button, core menu products and SONIC’s playful voice — interspersed throughout.

“Working on a new family of packaging was an exciting opportunity. One of the primary challenges was coming up with an engaging concept that would carry SONIC’s story and could adapt to the vast production variables in a project with so many elements of different sizes, shapes and materials,” said Creative Director Jon Kowing. “Our creative team designed a smart solution that worked across all elements. Bold, yet simple illustrations of iconic SONIC offerings are paired with brief, witty anecdotes to reinforce the unique experience of grabbing something to eat or drink at SONIC. All of this is done in a way we hope brings a smile or a chuckle.”
Each illustration is paired with a story to help immerse the customer in the SONIC brand. In tandem, the illustrations and product stories invite customers to explore SONIC’s variety and customizability. Customers who engage with the packaging are rewarded with tidbits of the brand story hidden under flaps on bags, on the bottom of tot cartons and sprinkled in with the legal copy.



“Because of its unique drive-in experience, many people enjoy their SONIC drinks, ice cream and food while sitting in their car, which means they spend a little more time with the packaging. By wrapping the message around cups and bags, we’re encouraging customers to view the entire message,” Kowing said. “And for those who are hooked, we’ve included small ‘Bite-Sized Wisdoms’ we hope they enjoy discovering along the edges and undersides of elements. Lastly, we may have added a few extra comments in the legal copy that SONIC’s legal department didn’t actually require us to include. It’s our way of thanking anyone who spends time with us.”
This invitation for customers to dive deeper into the packaging doubles as an invitation to explore the wide range of customizable menu products. The concept puts the customizability of SONIC’s menu front and center — from Chili Cheese Tots to adding vanilla to a classic Cherry Limeade — and inspires fans to discover a new favorite each time they SONIC.


Agency: Sullivan Higdon & Sink
Client: SONIC® Drive-In
Creative Director(s): Jon Kowing & Parc Masterson
Art Director & Illustrator: Jerad Nun
Copywriter: Matt Stacks
Photographer: Brian Yates
Launched: Spring 2017

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