A2591 Minimizes The Effects of Overt Branding

The folks over at A2591 took on a lovely project of trying to simplify the branding of some major products. I’m sure a lot of you feel like packaging these days can get a bit out of hand, A5291 uses the great example of the Microsoft iPod packaging video that went around a couple years ago. What they’ve done is shown the original packaging and then began removing elements until getting it to it’s most minimal.

I’ve picked my three favorite designs which I think do the best job of proving and dismissing the need for simplifying packaging. The first is Nutella which in my opinion is the most successful of the bunch. The packaging when stripped down to it’s bare minimum is simply a showcase for the delicious contents inside. I don’t want to the ingredients or that I can spread Nutella on bread, the Nutella itself is enough to sell me.

Second is Mr. Muscle, which for this one I feel like the second one is best. When stripped of all it’s branding I feel like it’s a mystery bottle of green liquid. As cheesy as the packaging is I feel like that bit of context is necessary to really get a sense of what the bottle should be used for.

Last is Nestle’s Corn Flakes, which I feel needs a version between the original and the first revision. Yet again I think this is another good example of having context. Is the packaging a bit over the top? Sure. But at least you can see what kind of corn flakes they are, you can imagine how they might taste.

I think this was a great idea by A5291 and the examples are perfectly executed as well. To see hi-res versions of each of these products click here.


4 Comments A2591 Minimizes The Effects of Overt Branding

  1. Riley December 20, 2010 at 5:33 PM

    While I always admire the aesthetics of minimalist packaging, I don’t think that taking away product shots without somehow visually alluding to the contents of a package is good design. They just made it harder for somebody who doesn’t already know what this is to purchase it. Also, having a visual affirmation of a product gives you a better sense of what you’re buying.

    Nutella’s the best example. If you don’t already know what this is, than what is Nutella other than a little container full of brown goo?

    To me, good design is about making something more accessible, hopefully by increasing the intrigue somebody has, grabbing their attention, and letting them know what they’re buying. I don’t see any of that happening here.

  2. Nuno December 21, 2010 at 8:14 AM

    I agree with the above comment, but these example work because we already know what the products are, and already have some connection to them.

    As much as these are (mostly) pleasing to the eye, i think mainstream america is put off by such minimalism.

    Cool post.

  3. Jah December 21, 2010 at 4:22 PM

    call me crazy but it really rubs me the wrong way when brand aesthetics are combined with consumer sentiment. Design is one aspect that in my opinion doesnt have to directly relate to a product’s consumer appeal. For instance. The aesthetics of the corn flakes box are minimal and calm compared to the chaotic and overwhelming initial box. End.

  4. Brandon January 4, 2011 at 11:18 AM

    I supposed I land somewhere in between all of the above. I love the design of the minimalized packaging. I would be much more inclined to purchase all of the above if they looked like the end results.

    I can imagine some people would be confused by the packaging if this were a practical, day to day, work, though I think the context of the grocery store and the products that surround these items (as well as their ubiquitous nature) would clarify their purpose.

    But mostly, I think the project is made as a conceptual study more than a practical application. To that end, I think it opens a few doors for new approaches in consumer packaging (such as the yogurt package in the latest post).

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