21. The Lovely Clinic
London-based creative agency SomeOne (opens in new tab) created this tactile packaging as part of its branding scheme The Lovely Clinic. Faced with the challenge of branding a beauty client, SomeOne decided it was time to challenge the industry norms. “The beauty sector is awash with images of impossibly beautiful women, who hint that if it wasn't for a particular brand, they would resemble the back of an elephant rather than a glowing example of perfection,” it points out on its website.
“We centred on the visual theme of paint – globally recognised as a way of either enhancing the existing – or a way of working with basic elements to create something astonishing,” adds senior designer Tom Myers.
US company Brandless (opens in new tab) has taken minimalism to the extreme by trademarking white space in its range of food and home items. Co-designed with Brooklyn agency Red Antler (opens in new tab), each product is made up of a single colour with the white box design dropped on top. The text in the boxes is effectively negative space, and is readable thanks to the colour underneath peeking through.
Interestingly, the lack of identity means that the range can dodge a fee known as Brand Tax, which means Brandless is able to sell all the products at a standard price of $3. Read more about the range here (opens in new tab).
After the huge success of its American Summer limited edition bottles, sparkling wine brand Chandon approached London-based agency Butterfly Canon (opens in new tab) to create a new series of limited edition branding. The sleek design retains the elegance and playfulness of the original concept whilst replacing the 'Americana' approach with a more globally recognised nautical theme. This way, European and other non-American customers will further relate to the brand.
24. Nike Air
Nike Air is arguably one of the most popular sneaker designs ever released. Not content with a regular old shoebox, Berlin-based agency Scholz & Friends (opens in new tab) came up with a brand new, reimagined packaging design for its favourite trainers.
Very much taking the 'Air' aspect into account, the team placed the sneakers in an air-tight plastic bag to give the illusion of floating trainers. Highlighting the Air cushioning of the brand, this design also reduces the risk of damage when shipping.
25. Onuma Honey
This offering from Japanese studio Akaoni Design (opens in new tab) is a bee-utiful example of 'less is more' when it comes to packaging. It consists of a small jar, simple stickers and classic brown paper, with an array of sweet coloured stamps to finish it all off. Art direction and design was taken care of by Motoki Koitabashi and it's clear he knows what's he doing when it comes to making a striking impact in the aisle.
26. Spine Vodka
German designer Johannes Schulz (opens in new tab) created this inspirational packaging for Spine Vodka. "It was a private project I started after my graduation of an international communication design school in Hamburg, Germany," he explains. "Spine is a high quality product just like the design, reduced and simple with a consciously 'twist' in his message and a memorable name fitting to the project."
Integrated the spine with the ribcage to communicate a product with a 'backbone', the uniqe 3D design approach sets it aside from its 2D counterparts. "The transparent glass material stands for a product that doesn't have to hide something," Schulz concludes.
27. Allsorts Black and White
Back in 2014, Liquorice Allsorts had a mini facelift from Bond Creative Agency (opens in new tab) for Cloetta (opens in new tab) – a leading confectionary company in the Nordic region. The new packaging took the traditional sweets' distinctive shapes and colours and used them as the basis for a more modern design.
The agency's recent update for Cloetta's Black and White edition follows the same theme, but with the colour stripped away. "The silver print and matt finishing give a tasty touch to the functional cardboard box," says Bond.
28. Cervecería Sagrada
While Corona is probably the most recognisable beer exported from Mexico, Cervecería Sagrada is a Mexican craft beer that captures the country's colourful history and spirit in its label. Designer José Guízar (opens in new tab) was inspired by Lucha Libre wrestlers, who wear bright masks and have equally colourful personalities.
During the 1950s Lucha Libre were considered folk heroes and starred not only in the wrestling ring, but also in comic books and movies in Mexico. Guízar’s labels recreate the masks of some of the most famous and recognisable wrestlers.
29. REN Skincare
Kangan Arora (opens in new tab) is a London-based designer with a particular flair for bold textiles and vivid prints. Global skincare brand REN brought Arora in to create Christmas gift packaging to go with the theme ‘little boxes of joy’. The studio created seven different abstract patterns inspired by traditional festive products such as wrapping paper, fairy lights and cosy textiles.
30. Stranger & Stranger Spirit No. 13
Beverage bottle branding guru Stranger & Stranger (opens in new tab) designed this limited edition holiday give-away liquor that features one of the most detailed labels you will ever see. The Spirit No 13 label just screams vintage and consists of over 500 words. To top it all off, the bottle is presented wrapped in a specially printed piece of newspaper that gives it what they call a 'moonshine' feel.
When planning the packaging design for spice blend range TIQLD, Alphabet (opens in new tab) used humorous illustrations to convey a playful, confident brand identity. The pouches each feature a split design capturing an unexpected combination of objects.
“We wanted to bring the idea of making meals more bold and adventurous into the brand imagery. The structure of the illustrations combines the base ingredient that the spice works with (either meat, fish or veggies) and juxtaposes this with an unexpected abstract element that visualises the story that accompanies the spice blend,” explains Alphabet. “The stories not only represent the bold personality of the brand but also the bold flavours that they create.”
32. Fuego Spice Co.
Upon realising that its products were being slightly misunderstood, hot sauce makers Fuego Spice Co. called on Robot Food (opens in new tab) to help it better communicate that its range of sauces are more about elevating flavours than being excessively spicy.
“These sauces aren’t scrambling for the top spot on the heat scale; the range focuses on flavour over fire, so the design needed to move away from the gimmicky style of the category,” says Chris Shuttleworth, senior designer at Robot Food. “We decided to look outside of hot sauce at more premium lifestyle products to pull some unexpected sophistication in a category where novelty normally rules.
“To establish Fuego’s hot sauces as a legitimate premium option, bold abstract lettering identifies each sauce and metallic foils are set off by a matte white background. We initiated more of a hierarchy, giving prominence to the master brand and filtering the information down to flavour profiles.”
33. Poilu paintbrushes
This excellent example of packaging design comes from Simon Laliberté (opens in new tab) and offers the function of assembling two paintbrushes together with only one cardboard piece, which is printed on both sides. The natural hairs of some paintbrushes have been dyed to give the illusion of the moustache and beard combos. The font at the top of the handle is also noteworthy.
34. Montgomery and Evelyn
Studio Makgill (opens in new tab) created the visual identity and packaging design for Montgomery and Evelyn, a company offering food supplements for mental wellbeing. “Working closely with the company’s founder, Evie Montgomery, our brief was to create an identity that was not only empowering but also pioneering in its approach, while offering the simplest synergetic supplement support,” says creative director Hamish Makgill.
“Our strategy was to match the clarity in Evie’s approach with an identity and packaging based on a system of balance, structure and order, with a scientific undertone that’s disrupted by molecules that reference the benefit of each product.”
35. Mighty Nuts(opens in new tab)
This incredible pistachio packaging design was created by student Maija Rozenfelde (opens in new tab), when she was still completing her degree in packaging design at Pratt Institute. She says of the design: "A crucial part of the thought process was to focus on user experience and second function of the package. The main intention was to create graphics that depict the crunchiness of pistachios, that’s where the hand-made type treatment comes in."
Helvetimart is a Swiss shop that sells specialty food products. For its packaging design, branding heavyweight Anagrama (opens in new tab) took inspiration from the regional flags of the country's 26 sovereign states.
"We simplified these flags to create a homogeneous language, using representative elements and colours to develop the labels for the brand’s products and the signage within the store to ease its navigation," the agency explains.
37. Utopick Chocolates
Based in Valencia, Spain, Lavernia & Cienfuegos (opens in new tab) is a multidisciplinary design studio specialising in graphic, product and packaging design. When master chocolatier Paco Llopis required a new design and packaging for his products, the team pulled out all the stops. Llopis already had an icon: a ship, to represent the spirit of adventure and hint at the long journey cocoa pods must make to reach the chocolatier.
Lavernia & Cienfuegos opted for an origami version of the ship, a decision that led the theme for the rest of the packaging design. "Utopick package their batches by hand so we created a unique way of folding the paper to wrap the bars," explains the team. "The paper folds to create two triangles on the front of the design, each with their own colour and texture, personalising every bar."
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