A Royal Refresh
Beginning in October 2014, our QA Brand team looked deeply at our current packaging design, the designs of our competitors, and our commanding category leadership within the cordial cherry space and concluded that we had an opportunity to set ourselves apart from the pack. We gathered photos and clippings of products ranging from eye serum to barrel-aged balsamic vinegar in search attractive, thought-provoking designs. After many rounds of discussions leading to what felt like more questions than answers, we began our pursuit and development of a new look and feel.
The creative mission was to delicately balance a desire for increased visual appeal while remaining to honest to the Queen Anne brand heritage. The desire was centered on attracting a broader demographic of consumers shopping for gift box chocolate options during the Holiday season.
The only restriction was to ensure that the prominence of the Queen Anne brand, product, and flavor profile would not be compromised.
At the onset, we aimed at solving for a Milk Chocolate (MC) and Dark Chocolate (DC) design construct that balanced the legacy of Queen Anne with the desire to attract a younger, broader demographic. It would be critical not to distance the brand so far afield that we might jeopardize our loyal and enthusiastic consumer following.
It would be critical to identify, in detail, what didn’t we like about the previous design:
While the Gold font color was intended to imply luxury and prestige with the QA brand, however, against the primary red background it sacrificed contrast and legibility. Also, the serif font used for “Cordial Cherries” was woefully out-of-date.
The cordial photo, while impactful against the stark red, did not have a spatial relationship; floating cordials.
While we could not ignore the significance of the relationship between consumers and products and the color of their packaging, we also had confidence that with our storied brand history and categorical dominance, we could afford to change the tone of the red, but only if it made good sense to do so.
Sharing our team’s analysis of the current packaging with our designer led us to 13 initial concepts to review. Certainly there were fonts with modern sensibility, photography angles that were visually interesting, and design embellishments that caught our eye, unfortunately, there was no clear winner.
After five rounds of nipping & tucking of every space, angle, font, hue, size, pattern – we created this:
Increased contrast was achieved using a white font color with gray shadow to add depth and dimension.
Staying true to the heritage and success found in Red, we chose Pantone #7621 which provides a deeper, luxurious hue that allows the bright red cherry to emerge. We then layered a simple, tight plaid pattern to help add visual appeal and interest while the bone white bottom features a linen texture to help keep the Primary Display Panel clean and grounded.
The cordial cherry is unabashedly the hero in this layout and connects the product to an experience: serve and share this indulgent treat
Typeface (Gotham – Sans Serif):
A new, modern font that feels familiar. We chose this font for its clean lines and subtle sophistication.
Flavor Tab (Milk Chocolate):
This dark, contrasting element provides an intuitive cue to the flavor contained within the box and is adorned with a tasteful embellishment.
Tagline “classic good taste”:
Applied in lower-case to allow for the Brand/Product/Flavor to remain most prominent. We chose a warm grey font color that complements the deeper red, provides greater contrast for improved readability, as well as a more modern feel.
DC Design elements:
Employing a subtle contrasting element to the MC micro-pattern, we coupled with a dark brown flavor tab to create a subtle distinction for DC.
Our design team felt strongly that this design had met and in some ways perhaps even exceeded our expectations. The final design was not born out of an omniscient vision from the on-set. Instead, this design was born out of conscious reflection, discussion, and collaboration. A process that was fluid, abstract, and respectful to the 65-year brand tradition; a process whose only goal post was that it must meet our own self-imposed values for brand design.
Brimming with excitement, we were eager to share these designs with upper management to pitch the transition to these new designs. Fortunately, Eddie – WFC President & CEO – and the rest of his team agreed with our recommendation for design change and approved an immediate transition to begin hitting store-shelves in September 2015!
The next blog entry will bring you behind-the-scenes look at the development of our French Vanilla, Black Cherry Cola, and Blueberry designs.
Queen Anne Senior Marketing Manager since February 2014