Johnson Banks gives veganism a stylish boost

Branding for THIS featuring an item of food skewered on a fork

Design consultancy Johnson Banks has shaken up how to market plant-based food with its identity for THIS, a new brand of meat alternatives. Tapping into the emerging 'flexitarian' market, THIS promotes the benefits of vegetarian and vegan substitutes instead of shaming carnivores into giving up their preferred meals.

With a range of great tasting products to it name, THIS targets people who are looking to cut down on their meat consumption rather than quitting it completely. Unlike its competitors, who are generally identified with earthy greens and soothing neutral colours, THIS relies on a more disruptive monochrome palette.

Created to work across social media, merchandise and standout packaging designs (opens in new tab), the identity made by Johnson Banks (opens in new tab) centres around a dramatic typographic logo with plenty of mouth-watering variations.

Different iterations of the THIS logo

Is this edgy brand enough to tempt you away fro meat?

The consistent use of lettering in the brand name means THIS (opens in new tab) has room to spice things up and showcase its food at the same time. In the place of the letter "i", Johnson Banks features pieces of cutlery digging in to meat-free alternatives. This also ties into the provocative tone of the brand, which strives to point out that meat is no longer a necessity for a tasty meal.

In terms of timing, THIS couldn't have come along at a better time. In the UK, politicians have been making headlines for the need to cut back on meaty meals, and the actions of the Extinction Rebellion movement have pushed environmentally aware decisions to the top of the agenda.

The cry for sustainability is louder than ever, and THIS appears to have listened. Each of its products is housed in innovative packaging that claims to use 90% less plastic. On top of this, Johnson Banks has made the containers practical as well as ethical. Ready-to-eat meals are housed in predominantly black packaging, while ready-to-cook food is identified with a white palette.

Prospective Instagram page for THIS

The project launched on social media last year, with products rolling out in 2019

The decision to rely so heavily on the bold brand name was a conscious one, with Johnson Banks wanting to give THIS 'maximum shelf stand-out'. And given that the likes of Burger King are also finding new ways to promote meat free food with the launch of its vegan Impossible Whopper, it looks like this isn't the last we're going to see of challenging vegetarian branding.

Images via Johnson Banks (opens in new tab)

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Dom Carter is a freelance writer who specialises in art and design. Formerly a staff writer for Creative Bloq, his work has also appeared on Creative Boom and in the pages of ImagineFX, Computer Arts, 3D World, and .net. He has been a D&AD New Blood judge, and has a particular interest in picture books.