Get Your Caffeine On With This Ukrainian Cold Brew

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As summer continues to rage on, our thirst continues as well. PLVNV from Ukraine has designed the bright packaging for this cold brew coffee. The design is atypical for what one might come to expect for a cold brew, but it reinforces a refreshing element nonetheless.

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“Packaging for cold brewed coffee. The main idea for this packaging is to show that coffee can be fresh and cool.”

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Designed By: PLVNV
Location: Ukraine
 

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Can Packaging Design Influence the Taste of Food and Drink?

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By: Adel Radwan

Packaging design aims to break from the noise on the shelf to capture our attention. It’s purpose is to create a “sensory” gap to incentivize us to:

  1. pick the product off the shelf and experience it up close, and if successful
  2. encourage us to try something new.

But what if packaging can do more than that? Would a beverage taste better if we purchased it in a glass versus a plastic bottle? Can food packaging and design influence our taste buds after we purchase the product?

Everyone shares an affinity to a particular food product or drink. A taste that transports us to a memorable place. Growing up, I remember dunking Marie tea biscuits in a warm cup of ruby red Ceylon tea. My grandmother always sweetened the tea with a ridiculous amount sugar, and when I bit off those soft, sweet, tea soaked cookies, I was instantly content.

The Marie tea biscuit is a product that crossed several cultural borders. A bright red cylindrical flow-pack wrapper. With the renowned “Marie” lettering embossed on the cookie. That cookie package reminded me of home. That was my visual cue for feeling at home in this new and unexplored space.

Food marketing has increasingly become a complex field of study that involves sophisticated sensory and psychological models. Gastrophysics* is a research area that explores the impact of various sensory faculty like holding, seeing and even smelling can have on our perceived taste, quality and value of the products we purchase. As we demand richer, more luxurious and other non-tangible features from products we consume, manufacturers turn to gastrophysics. They study how different labelling, packaging and other physical attributes incorporated in packaging design can influence the taste of a particular food item or drink.

In three independent studies, researchers examined the shape of beverage receptacles on consumers’ perception of taste, fragrance, and flavour. In one study, researchers gathered a group of participants to evaluate the flavor intensity of a cola drink when served in glass as opposed to a plastic bottle. Participants rated the beverage to be sweeter in a glass bottle. While participants given the plastic bottle rated the beverage to have a more carbonated taste. This study’s results though interesting, also noted that the weight of the bottle may have played a role in influencing the results.  

A second study examined the taste of beer among participants who consumed the beverage from glasses with varying degrees of curvature. On average, the flavor intensity of beer was reported to be around 6% higher in curved glasses than straight edged glasses. In a similar study, participants reported their wine to have a stronger flavor intensity in rounded wine glasses than angular alternates.

Lastly, a final experiment looked at the impact of the exterior texture of drinking receptacles on coffee drinkers. The results revealed that participants assigned a bitterness rating to their coffee on average 27% higher when served in an angular edge cup more than a smooth-edged cup.

These three studies present a compelling case for food and drink manufacturers to carefully study the physical and chemical composition of their packaging with respect to the consumer’s taste and environment. However, culture plays a significant role in how we consume and perceive a certain food and drink products. Our relationship with food is described by Dr. Rebecca West of North Dakota State University:

“Cuisines organize our food choices into cultural as well as familial menus…This is what cuisine does for individuals; for nations, it creates an identity as well as an economy.”**

Visuals, colors, information and context are all in play for a few seconds when Joe or Jane consumer decides to try a new product off a retail shelf. Food marketing professionals aim to achieve that kind of connection Marie biscuits has with many loyal customers. I for one will always dunk my tea biscuits in sweet tea every time I feel the need to journey back to my memorable place.

*Spence C, Van Doorn G. Does the Shape of the Drinking Receptacle Influence Taste/Flavour Perception? A Review. Beverages. 2017; 3(3):33.

**Natural Flavors: Rhetorical Stories of Food Labels – West, Rebecca. North Dakota State University, ProQuest Dissertations Publishing, 2017. 10286048.


Adel Radwan
Adel Radwan is an agribusiness and food marketing consultant helping commercial farms, food manufacturers, and FMCG brands develop strategic brand and market positioning, identify marketing communications priorities, and execute marketing plans to create successful product lines.

 

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We Love The Holographic Elements of Black & Bone

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Parámetro Studio designed the packaging for Black & Bone, a new it-place for young and edgy women’s wear. The overall design features a bold color scheme and in-your-face typography that commands attention.

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“A modern and fresh communication was created with a solid sans serif typeface which plays a very important role through the whole identity. Strong contrast is achieved by merging holographic foil with black and white, this creates perfect balance for all the campaigns and peripherals.”

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Designed By: Parámetro Studio
Location: Mexico

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What If You Were Given Hand Sanitizer Every Time You Flew With JetBlue?

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Today, brand experience is now more important than ever. Brands try to convey a unique sense of identity, and the very notion of that identity is deeply intertwined with the value the brand provides its customers.

But if you have a brand with a strong presence and a trusting consumer base, can that brand extend themselves to new places and create products we wouldn’t normally associate with them?

For instance, when we talk about Amazon, we don’t just think about books anymore. We think of them as a virtual department store or grocer, a destination where we can get everything under the sun.

We tasked a group of young and emerging designers with creating extensions of well-known brands by imagining that they’ve unveiled a line of personal care and cosmetic products.

And this wasn’t just any re-brand. Designers were to not only take the core characteristics of familiar brands and expanding them into a new line of products, but also consider the unique attributes of their consumers as well.

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For Paul Knipper’s ArtCenter Project, we couldn’t believe his toiletry kits weren’t an actual thing that you get whenever you fly with JetBlue. Complete with hand sanitizer, stain sticks, and tampons, it’s the perfect grab-and-go item when you’re on the move in the friendly skies.

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Designed By: Paul Knipper

School: ArtCenter College of Design

Instructors: Andrew Gibbs & Jessica Deseo

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Thriving in an In-House Environment

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Whether you’re just starting out in design or you’ve ping-ponged between gigs for as long as you can remember, there are many advantages to working in-house. Sure, with freelancing, you’re your own boss and you can set your office hours however you choose. There’s also that whole working in your pajamas thing we’ve heard so much about.

But what about the frequent all-nighters? The lack of health benefits? The deep feeling of disconnect and sadness that comes from only wearing pajamas all the time?

We spoke with four in-house designers and they gave us some valuable insight on the perks of having a steady gig.


What are some of the lesser-known benefits to working in-house and how do they affect your overall work/life happiness?

Ann Dang, Senior Graphic Designer, Barbie Brand Design at Mattel, Inc.: One of the biggest benefits being in-house is the consistency of working with a team I enjoy. I find it rewarding to collaborate with a design team and create something greater together than we could on our own. You also dive in deep and get to know the history of the brand and understand all dynamics of it. You become fiercely loyal because you get to steer the brand and see the full scope of things versus just working on an isolated project. 

Fernanda Amarante, Manager of Global Design at The Hershey Company: Working in-house can feel like what some might describe as an out-of-body experience. Designers spend a significant amount of time on the agency side wondering how decisions are made and how projects move forward or backward in a corporate organization. When working in-house, the crucial mindset shift that allows the work to thrive is to see yourself no longer as just a designer, but as a business partner with significant skin in the game.

Mike Peck, Creative Director of Design at Microsoft Office Creative Studio: The biggest benefit of working in-house is the access to information. We are in the business of creative designs that connect with consumers, and in order to do that you need to know as much as possible about what you’re trying to design and who will be using it in the end. Working directly at the source gives you nearly unlimited access to that information. At a briefing, there will be tech experts, analytics specialists, and often times strategists in the room. This way all you have to do is focus on being creative.

Fernanda Amarante: The corporate environment is much more forgiving to work/life balance than freelance or agency life. You’ll still have long hours or crazy deadlines, but the all-nighters and Friday 5:30 pm client calls are gone for the most part. Corporations are also often able to offer competitive benefits that smaller shops are not built to offer their employees.
 

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When you have a particularly challenging day, what sort of things help you push through your work?

Mike Peck: I like to think in the back of my head that we’re building something mid-flight. Our group is less than two years old, so the idea of using an in-house creative team is still a bit tough for some clients and there’s still a two-steps-forward-one-step-back mentality. We always want to do amazing work, but we need to bring our business partners along for the ride, and it can be a bit bumpy for them. The difference between in-house and agency life is that the journey is a shared one. We are all owners in the company and have a shared interest in its success, so the struggles are far less transactional.

Fernanda Amarante: The corporate world is dynamic and brand/marketing team members often rotate internally – being promoted, moving into new roles or joining new companies in search of different opportunities. Design can become the one continuing function that retains the brand identity knowledge pool.  

Michael Gluzman, Design Lead for Sprite + Flavors: I’ll go for a little walk outside or around the building. Sometimes I wander along and run into someone who isn’t a designer – this is very likely – and end up speaking about one of their projects, or they tell me about something completely unrelated to my work and that is when the adjacent possible train of thought can begin. That’s a really good move for your brain.

 

How can designers utilize an in-house environment to grow rather than to feel limited or stifled by it?

Michael Gluzman:  Growing your ability to communicate with non-designers is quite possibly one of the greatest ways to grow as a designer. Get good at listening to inform your design. Get good at presenting to sell your design. I also recommend thinking about your access to agency partners. Realistically, design talent will always be drawn to agencies but it doesn’t mean you’re lesser-than. You can become a super-node of design awareness if you play your cards right. A good product with a strong brand can attract some of the best of the best to come play with you. There’s a huge opportunity to collaborate, learn, and network with outside partners. I’ve been able to call or email people whose work I’ve admired and get responses that turned into working partnerships all thanks to where I worked. Having a big company behind you can open some doors and email inboxes.

Ann Dang: The networking opportunities that present themselves working for a corporation like Mattel are amazing. There is always an event happening where you get to meet new colleagues and fellow designers. As a designer, it’s crucial to see what else is out there and what your peers are creating. Being in-house makes it easier to naturally network and gives you a chance to build upon those relationships.

Mike Peck: For in-house designers, they need to utilize the HR term knows as the ‘lateral move.’ If you’re a senior designer on the brand team, look for opportunities in another department or group. If the company is large sometimes that can even mean moving between sub-brands. At Microsoft, if you get bored on Office, you can move fairly easily to the Xbox team. You can have a long diverse career without ever leaving the company.

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What would be your best piece of advice for someone who is struggling to adjust to an in-house environment?

Michael Gluzman: If you’re struggling to adjust, outline the situation. Try a design process to figure out the context of what you’re dealing with and make sense of your chaos to inform your next move. Is the company culture good? Is there a path to grow for you? Is the brand or product something you like working with or have an opportunity to change? There’s very little benefit to staying where you are if most of your answers are no. If you mostly answered yes, try to identify how the work you’re doing is directly improving your career, personal life, or skills. And then see how it checks against your goals. 

Ann Dang: The hardest part of my job is also one of the most rewarding parts. As an in-house designer, I’m constantly getting projects that are out of my comfort zone. The projects that challenge you are the ones that push your limits and ultimately force you to learn new skills. Take these opportunities when they come. Getting out of my comfort zone helps me grow as a creative and keeps me on my toes. It’s such a satisfying moment when all the hard work pays off and I created something I’m proud of.

Mike Peck: Know that the people you are most likely dealing with day to day are not creative people like you. In an agency you are surrounded by creatives, whether they are account managers or writers, they chose the creative field. If you are in-house often times your coworkers are not focused on the creative in a way you are. Help them understand why you make the choices you make in your work. Help them understand the value of the brand in the work, not just the monetary return for the work.

 

Jumping back into the magical realm of offices, water coolers, and a structured schedule can be a huge leap for anyone that’s been living the life of a freelancer. But no matter where you are in your career, this last bit of advice from Michael Gluzman rings true.

“Good design is everywhere,” he says, “but so is bad design. No matter where you work, if you enjoy it, bring good design there. That’s hugely admirable.”

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Carl Nas Associates Follows the Golden Ratio for Winsor & Newton Packaging

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UK-based Carl Nas Associates recently helmed the redesign of Winsor & Newton’s new watercolor papers, and they did so with the “fine artist in mind.” 

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“The same golden ratio grid, found on our recent canvas project, guaranteed the same information hierarchy, proportions, and scale across all 32 SKUs. Sizes vary from 22×30 inches down to 4×6 inches post card formats.”

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“The white wrap, which includes the most vital information in store, can easily be removed by the artist, revealing an exclusively engraved cover with foiled silver details. Seen here is the Professional 100% cotton range in three different surfaces — Hot press, Cold Press and Rough grain.”

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Designed By: Carl Nas Associates
Creative Director: Carl Nas
Designers: James Cotton, Nuno Silva

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Sleek Packaging For Products Created Especially for the Urban Man

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Brazilian-based Kalil Macedo Creative Studio has created the sleek packaging for Farmaervas, a special line of natural products created especially for men.

“Farmaervas is a pioneer in the development of natural products, present in the market since 1940. It began its activities with the planning and manipulation of herbs, elaborating products for natural medicine, phytotherapy and phytocosmetics. It owns the Tracta brand, a reference in the cosmetics market with a line of makeup and dermocosmetic facial treatment.”

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“In this project we are launching the new men’s line, Urban Men. These are cosmetic products created for basic care of hair and beards. We made all the product visualization and mockups scenes in CGI.”

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3D Studio: Kalil Macedo Creative Studio
Package Design: Tamiris Lima
Client: Farmaervas
Location: Brazil

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Start Your Morning Off Right With a Cup of Oneda Coffee

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One beautiful way to wake up is with a delicious coffee. Uva Studio designed the Oneda coffee packaging, a brand that offers its product from the mountains of Ecuador to the world.

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At Uva Studio, we designed the whole identity of Oneda, and also the packaging of the brand. This is definitely an innovative brand that wants to transmit the craftsmanship and elegance of its first line of coffee products. The product is grown at 1400-1900 meters above sea level, producing fresh and roasted coffee beans that go straight to your table with a pleasant aroma, and crispy beans that will delight any coffee lover.

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Designed By: Uva Studio

Location: Ecuador

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Wicked Barrel Brewery Has a Jaw Dropping IPA With a Fun Label

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Stefan Andries has designed the packaging for Jaw Drop, a colorful IPA that comes with a fun design.

“Jaw Drop is a brand new IPA made by Wicked Barrel Brewery – and as the name says, your jaws will drop because of the hoppiness & flavour of this beer! Jaw Drop is available to buy online and in various pubs in cities throughout Romania (Bucharest, Iasi, Timisoara, Cluj and of course the hometown of Bicaz).”

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“Having previously designed the Wicked Barrel logo & identity, I wanted to design something that would stand out but without overpowering the logo. 

When the reversed jaw dropping faces idea came to me I focused on creating simplified features of the faces that could work both ways – the teeth act as hair for the opposite face or the eyebrows that act as dark circles under the opposite eyes.”
 

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Designer/Art Director: Stefan Andries
Client: Wicked Barrel Brewery
Location: Bucharest, Romania

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Casa Boquera Wine is Inspired By Its Surroundings

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Spanish agency Estudio Maba have designed the packaging for Casa Boquera wine. The design features a beautifully die-cut label that reflects the surroundings in which the wine was created.

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“A synthesis exercise for the design of a label that aspires to become the identity of the winery and its small hotel. A wine that communicates with the silence, which defends the micro-reserve from which comes its grape. A tribute to a place at 708 meters above sea, the valley between the mountains of the Sierra del Carche, the profile that draws the nature around it.

Pure, simple, no tricks.”

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Agency: Estudio Maba
Client: Casa Boquera
Concept and Design: Manel Quílez
Creative Assistance: Adrián Marzal, Beatríz Suárez, Miguel Ángel del Baño
Design Assistance: José Lorente
Location: Murcia, Spain

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Rhythm 108’s Ooh-la-la Tea Biscuit Will Have Your Garden Saying More, Please

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By: Bill McCool

Looking for a new biscuit to go with that steaming, hot cup of tea this fall?

Look no further than Rhythm 108’s Ooh-la-la Tea Biscuits. Made from whole grain oats and coconut oil they come in four different flavors – lemon and ginger, chocolate hazelnut, almond biscotti, and coconut cookie.

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Launched in 2012 by Siddhi Mehta, Rhythm 108 specializes in wholesome treats that are made using just 8 common household ingredients. Not only are they GMO-free, they’re also gluten free and vegan.

But Mehta’s biscuits aren’t just good for you, they’re good for the environment as well. Teaming up with Parkside Flexibles, each bag of the Ooh-la-la Tea Biscuits is made from biodegradable materials and can be composted in your personal garden when you’re through.

The packaging consists of compostable multilayer film barrier laminates, a technology that was four years in the making for Parkside Flexibles. One of the layers of laminate used in the packaging is NatureFlex, a bio-based cellulose that has been sustainably sourced from eucalyptus trees. Natureflex also happens to be marine degradable, so if your wrapper somehow ends up lost at sea (and we really hope that wasn’t your fault), it can still eventually break down. The packaging itself has even received a gold stamp of approval from Vincotte OK Compost.

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More and more consumers are seeking out biodegradable packaging, and healthy snack-makers, in particular, seem to want to align themselves with sustainably-minded shoppers in particular. It’s an ethical marriage that speaks to a brand like Rhythm 108’s eco-friendly core.

Be on the lookout for Rhythm 108’s tasty treats and don’t forget to throw the bag in the compost bin when you’re all done.


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Bill McCool
Bill McCool is a freelance writer based out of Los Angeles. Though new to the world of design, he has always been a storyteller by trade and he seeks to inspire and cultivate a sense of awe with the work and artists he profiles. When he’s not winning over his daughters with the art of the Dad joke, he is usually working on a pilot, watching the Phillies, or cooking an elaborate meal for his wife.

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This Striking Gin Was Inspired By The Industrial Revolution

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Check out the mysterious and striking design for this gin. Green Chameleon has created the packaging for Bramley & Gage’s 6 O’Clock Gin by taking inspiration from the Industrial Revolution.

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“On the back of our acclaimed redesigns for Bramley & Gage’s 6 O’Clock Gin and Liqueurs range, they returned to Green Chameleon to ask us to design a special edition bottle celebrating Bristol’s proud heritage. Isambard Kingdom Brunel is a character synonymous with Bristol, a key figure of the Industrial Revolution whose influence can be felt in the city’s architecture, character and notable landmarks such as the Clifton Suspension Bridge and SS Great Britain. Taking inspiration from this famous figure, Bramley & Gage sought to celebrate Bristol and their own heritage with a limited edition gin complete with standout packaging.”


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“We wanted this new product to look premium and sit well with the rest of the 6 O’Clock gin family. To achieve this, we paired the black bottle – a colour we selected because of its relation to the coal that had powered the SS Great Britain – with a vibrant copper foil that helps create an eye-catching, contemporary bottle with roots in Bristol’s history of innovation.

The resulting bottle presented here hits all the marks that we and the client were aiming for, creating a standout piece of packaging!”

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Designed By: Green Chameleon
Location: Bristol, UK

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