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Package design 101

I love cereal. Breakfast cereal nears culinary perfection–appropriate for any meal, snack, or dessert. But certain situations do require certain cereals. Sometimes you need Froot Loops’ frivolity, austere moods demand bran flakes, and so on. The secret to eternal happiness may well lie in one’s ability to discern the right Cheerio for any given moment.

Imagine my frustration, then, with this pantry travesty:

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Hannaford, my local supermarket, uses one fixed template for their entire off-brand cereal line. And, whether by design or diabolical plan, my favorite varieties share this purply-blue hue. Every time I go to pour a bowl, I have to re-read the box labels–or risk substituting granola for raisin bran.

If your customers only recognize your packaging after a close inspection, something’s gone wrong. Make your product lines iconic, differentiated, unmistakable. Make them like this:

Ever grabbed Sprite when you meant to grab Coke? Yeah, me neither.

Ever grabbed Sprite when you meant to grab Coke? Yeah, me neither. Courtesy teachernz.