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Leeds-based de­sign agency Ro­bot Food de­cided on a game-chang­ing strat­egy when it came to the re­design of re­tailer The Co-op­er­a­tive’s own­brand beers, ciders and spir­its. “Most pri­vate la­bel beers, ciders and spir­its will fol­low a com­pa­ra­ble aes­thetic to the mar­ket leader, but of­ten end up look­ing like a poor al­ter­na­tive,” ex­plains se­nior de­signer Ben Brears. “We wanted to change the nar­ra­tive. The idea, in­stead, was to cre­ate a range that could, at the same time, hero the unique at­tributes of each prod­uct and sit con­fi­dently as a co­he­sive col­lec­tion; a cred­i­ble al­ter­na­tive with its own iden­tity.”

The new ty­po­graphic brand­ing uses a flex­i­ble sys­tem across the prod­ucts in each cat­e­gory, ty­ing them to­gether with an un­usual bright blue, black and white colour scheme, while dif­fer­en­ti­at­ing be­tween with a sur­prise twist in pat­tern, type or com­po­si­tion. “The most chal­leng­ing part was get­ting to grips with how much free­dom we could al­low our­selves in each of the de­signs,” says Brears. “Our ap­proach was to be eclec­tic, but pushed too far the range viewed in its en­tirety just felt chaotic. We had to find a bal­ance in the rules we set.”

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