Strategies & Insights

Snapshots: Colorful packaging for food, beverage and more

Posted: May 19, 2014 by
Kara Dunford

Artful Anniversary
Mexican beer purveyor reaches out to community for grand celebration.

Inviting eclectic Mexican subcultures, the likes of beatniks and hipsters to express creative freedom, Cuauhtemoc Moctezuma Brewery desired labels that would embody the style and culture of its consumers for Cerveza Indio beer to celebrate the brand’s 120th anniversary. Engaging artists nationally, Cuauhtemoc Moctezuma Brewery formed a jury of specialists, from designers, creative agencies, digital agencies and brand team members to peruse through more than 5,000 submissions, ultimately selecting 120 of the best designs to be featured on Cerveza Indio’s anniversary promotional bottles.

An external design firm included and aligned all of the legal requirements on the consumer designed labels, and prepared them for printing, this being the only alteration to consumer submitted label designs. Label printer, Constantia’s Haendler & Natermann [H&N (], transformed the selected design concepts into reality, utilizing supplier to the beer and beverage industry, Spear’s ( pressure sensitive metalized labels. A gravure print process was applied, as H&N recreated vibrant label designs on the same run. Cuauhtemoc Moctezuma Brewery had no concern regarding pack consideration, due to the randomized grouping of bottles.

The anniversary package design also featured a special edition 6- and 12-pack, as well as a 16-oz. special-edition can. The limited-edition offering delivered a 22.38% increase in packaging evaluation, verse the previous quarter.


Sophistication en Español
Hair care manufacturer caters to Latina consumers.

Imágen Salon Formula, a line of salon quality hair care products designed specifically for the Latino consumer, recently launched at Target stores nationwide. Brainchild of The Stephan Co., Imágen aims to fill a void in the hair care market.

Susan Fahey, director of marketing at The Stephan Co. explains the company’s epiphany, “We’re constantly monitoring the changing needs of our customer base, which includes shifts in demographics. Latinos are the fastest growing ethnic group in the U.S. They spend 43% more on branded hair products than the average shopper. Latinas deserve a product that’s designed for them, which is why we created Imagén.” The Stephan Co. conducted focus groups to learn more. “We had 16 different versions of packaging,” explains Fahey. The focus group participants had an overwhelmingly positive response to the selected package design, created by 321 Creative Inc. ( Many Latinas comfortably alternate between speaking Spanish and English. This finding resulted in presenting bilingual copy on pack.

The focus groups also expressed a preference for the vertical brand name, verses typical horizontal placement. Beginning the journey of development, The Stephan Co. set sights to debut the Imágen salon hair care line at The Hair & Ethnic Efficient Program Planning Session (EPPS) to receive feedback from buyers in the ethnic and general hair care category.

Consisting of six salon quality hair care products: four of which are housed in white 12-oz. bottles. A shine spray and anti-frizz serum are offered in 3.4-oz. clear bottles.

 A few bottles were screen printed in the initial experimentation phase; this was ruled out because of distorting. A white waterproof label with vibrant copy graces the 3.4- and 12-oz. bottles.


Spirited Spherical
Mixed drink package design stirs up a buzz.

BuzzBallz, a ready-to-drink mixed spirit made with 100% juices and natural ingredients features 15% to 20% ALC by volume. The package design of BuzzBallz serves up between eight and 11 flavors seasonally in custom designed single-serve PET ‘cans,’ spherical in shape.

The BuzzBallz container is 100% recyclable and features additional perks; including buoyancy, so consumers do not have to fish around the bottom of an ice cold cooler to pull out the prized beverage; shatter resistance and a lightweight appeal, more conducive for shipping. BuzzBallz feature an aluminum pop-top lid, similar to a canned beverage. Brightly colored packaging fancies shelf appeal. Holland Colours Americas Inc. ( created the custom developed coloring specifically for BuzzBallz. 

Merrilee Kick, president of BuzzBallz, began the journey of researching plastics, discussing PET plastic properties with professors and seeking out her own CAD designers, chemists and food scientists. A CAD designer referenced Kick’s hand-drawn design to transform the vision to the computer, calculating the thickness of plastic edges and base, pressure tolerance and such refined details. Once a sample molded container was developed, Kick coordinated with retailers to discuss in-store display.  


Scented Sophistication
Fragrance line receives a timeless treatment.

Timeless, a masstige brand introduced by Spanish cosmetic company, Cristian Lay’s prestigious Miguel Angel Leal label recently joined the famed fragrance family. The clock stopping design is available in two variants: blue for men, with oriental woody notes and pink for women, featuring floral tones. Keen on delivering a premium look to the market, within a target price range Cristian Lay consulted Quadpack (

Cristian Lay presented a package design concept to Quadpack, which transformed the design into reality. “When we showed our design to Quadpack, they recommended using a shrink sleeve, to ensure the vivid colors were faithfully reproduced,” says Sonia Calzado, head of perfumery at Cristian Lay’s cosmetic division. “We saw the truth of it when they delivered the finished product. The vibrancy of the colors leaps out at you.”

The vibrant PET sleeve is rotogravure printed; Marta Albanell, glass product specialist at Quadpack explains the beauty of this production decision, “It is perfect for intricate designs and bold colors. It is the most visually effective form of labeling, offering wraparound graphics, turning the whole bottle into an artist’s canvas.” Allowing printing in full color onto a flat sheet of thin high-shrink PET, Albanell describes the rotogravure printing process as yielding nearly flawless results, as no angles or rounded surfaces must be considered. Because of cost parameters a 100-mL. standard glass bottle was selected collaboratively, by the Cristian Lay and Quadpack teams.

The closure is a double-wall cap with a PP inner and acrylonitrile butadiene styrene outer. Featuring an external varnish and weighted for a more luxurious feel. Looking inward for design inspiration, as Cristian Lay’s business foundation is in jewelry, the Timeless bottle is adorned with charms to exude a premium standing.


Warm Wraparounds
Dog food enhancer packaging receives 360-deg design.

Wexford Farms Pet Food, a team of veterans in the pet care industry convened to create a smaller, privately owned company that aims to deliver the freshest of ingredients to your pet’s bowl. Warm Ups! offers a holistic alternative to the traditional feeding experience for your dog, that involves heating an oatmeal-based product made with all-natural ingredients and essential vitamins and minerals with hot water, to then pour over your pet’s dry food to enhance the meal and encourage appetite. Such an innovative product deserves an equally unique packaging system, elevated from the standard multiwall paper bag or metal can, enter Printpack (

Taking cue from various human food markets, a rigid PP cup with peel-off adhesive lid is utilized to deliver Warm Ups! in a lightweight, portable, easy to use rigid plastic packaging system. Designed to withstand the hot temperatures required for preparation, the rigid cup does not warp or lose its structure. The package allows for a 360-deg image area on the high-gloss flexible shrink label and additional lid space for showcasing graphics.

Satara King, marketing specialist at Printpack details the graphic impact afforded by the high-gloss flexible shrink sleeve label, “This product pops out as something new on the pet food aisle,” she explains. “Images of dog breeds that are similar to the pets of the company founders and recognized by pet owners across the U.S. are pictured on the package. With oven mitts in mouth, the dogs look happy to have a ‘home-cooked meal.’”

The design directive involved creating the impression of warmth. “Everything from the font, color, and steam was designed to give a feeling of warmth.” explains Wexford Farms CEO Rich Rothamel. A custom typeface was chosen to depict the allusion of steam rising from warm food. Color bars were chosen to distinguish the four flavor/health benefit varieties on pack, for consumers to easily identify on shelf. The package design project, a collaboration among Wexford Farms, Printpack and outside designer, Dave Plowed utilized Printpack’s Colorpack technology to achieve a bold graphical presence.


Technical Tactics
Salon formulation inspires technical meets feminine design.

Brandimage (  collaborated with the KAO Group, to redeploy the overall graphic style of Goldwell, a German professional hair care brand. A new graphic identity was desired to highlight the benefits of Goldwell’s premium Kerasilk range, a formula combining the benefits of Japanese silk protein and Keratin to combat damaged or unruly hair.

The Kerasilk range includes a professional salon service treatment delivered at home via two intensities, rich and ultra rich, to maintain salon care at home. The two levels of hair care treatment are distinguished by coloring; rich copy appears in a dark grey and ultra rich in a red silk-screened application.

Working both on structural and graphic design, the Brandimage team aims to introduce codes of luxury with a minimalistic layout and gold coloring. “The objective of the structural design, as well as the graphic design was to combine a very high level technology, which is really the core value of Goldwell. It’s a brand very famous for the performance of its ingredients,” explains Marine Guillou, senior brand strategist at Brandimage. “The objective was to highlight the high performance of the product, but to combine a cosmetic approach,” Guillou describes the Kerasilk package design as, “rather simple and elegant, both technical and cosmetic.”

The polyurethane gold bottle with clean lines is silk-screen printed with pearl and gold particulates for added luxury. The luxe Kerasilk bottle features two typefaces. A monogram in gold, featuring “KS” exudes beauty combined with copy in a clean, elegant typeface, to balance technology and a premium standing.