The Tide of Change at Aldi?

It’s an interesting thing looking at changes to packaging at Aldi.  It’s kind of like watching the evolution of Banana trees – changes are so interesting because they’re asexual so there’s far less of the Darwinian things going on. Not that Aldi is asexual or sexual in any regard, but it is curious because it’s a place were no in-store competition happens, so there’s less of a drive to keep packaging up to date, as referenced by the package on the left. This is the prior work.

When you look at the prior work you can see it has that 80s-90s kind of gonzo-happy feel to it. A big image of a tasty sammich with text smeared all over it and drop shadows that scream hand-cut film. There’s also a smattering of blasters that point out details somewhat hap-hazzardly. I think you can see this sort of art in any number of groccery stores’ generic line. That’s the Aldi’s I know and love.

What do we have on the right? The new packaging.

Someone has done a fine job of cleaning and reorganizing. The logo has been retroed to a 50-60s serif face with the product name de-emphasized and placed in a color band. The call-outs have been re-positioned and organized into the top right corner where they pop much more.  The rest of the more mechanical details are contained in a white bar at the bottom of the package that also includes the UPC, as if it was supposed to be there.

Overall, I think it was a really nice job. It makes me think that Aldi might be thinking of trying to polish their image and shed that bargain-basement stigma. They may have also seen the light through their Fit & Active line which could look at home in a Target somewhere. Either way, this is a good step in the right direction, especially seeing that the call-outs are more relevant to what the current American shopper is interested in – or at least should be interested in – as well as making the stuff less scary to take out of the fridge when there’s company over.  I am excited to see what the rest of the remodeling will look like, if there is more !

WhiteOut

An excellent use of materials properties to create an interactive space without the need for a lot of electronic horsepower.

Mechanics aside, this installation creates an interesting dialog between person and space, allowing the person to create their environment.

Why Some Logos Work?

I think this comes down to why certain logos and infographics work and others do not. Obviously there can be other factors but thinking along these lines gives insight to the process, especially when you consider ‘symbol’ to mean ‘logo’, ‘ad’, ‘chart’, ‘UI’ or whatever else a graphic designer touches. Taken further, such findings could indicate at what point items cease to be read or interpreted and merely seen. Good stuff.

Touchin’ That Brand

It always amazes me when a company who has such tremendous ownership of a market segment decides to up and drastically change it’s trade dress – and this is exactly what Campbells is doing. It seems incredibly ballsy to upend the location of their brand mark and especially move it to the opposite end of the package. This is a poor move as most people in the US would immediately understand that a white can with just a red band on the top is Campbells Soup. There needn’t be a logo, an image of tasty soup or even the proper color of red. The color location is quite enough. Now, they are throwing that work away.

It seems suspect to me that the eye tracking had not come back with the same results with the red band at the bottom. I would guess that other factors are at work aside from the location of the band, probably the undulation of the wave and perhaps less red on the cans.

The second reason I have is that I think they forgot that a lot of times, these cans are sold as tray packs. These corrugate tray packs will do an excellent job of covering up the bottom-placed Campbells logo and the red wave thing ( that everyone has). So now, if you’re lucky you’re just selling ‘Classic Favorites’. Mmmm, sounds store-brand good! I made up a quick drawing to illustrate:

By the way, that wave looks a lot like the Target® in-store trade wave on it’s side or an upside-down Rubbermaid wave – just sayin’.

A Selection of Logos

I find this set an uncommonly diverse selection of logo handling yet they all have a good bit of restraint to them that really takes them the distance. It’s also nice to see a movement away from the past few years’ Web 2.0 look.

Almost Never Change If You Don’t Have To

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There are times where you really should mess with things. Most times, you should never mess with your brand, especially when you’ve got so much invested into it, like Holiday Inn did. When your look becomes an icon you shouldn’t change it, you should build on it. This is elegantly eluded to by Fast Company