Jill Chase is an Art Director for Go Dog Design Group, a small studio dedicated to creating eye-popping graphics for the toy industry for over 15 years. She started her career in publishing where she learned paper engineering for pop-up books, which eventually developed into a unique perspective for designing product packaging. She has had the opportunity to apply her fresh approach to design and marketing to brands such as Power Rangers, Terminator and Family Guy.
Does your packaging feature Kewpie doll faced little girls in ruffles and bows or outdated fonts and color schemes? Unless you are going for a real retro look it may be time for a brand face lift. Done correctly, a brand can evolve with the times for many years. Whether you have one successful product on the shelf or you are lucky enough to have an evergreen brand, with time a package look can get stale. Highly successful brands such as Power Rangers, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Barbie have all evolved over the years without losing any brand equity. A well done revamp will give your brand new energy. Who doesn’t want their brand to have new heat?
Deciding what to retain is the first step. What is your brand’s essence? If you are Hot Wheels you probably want to keep the idea of flames, and if you are Barbie you wouldn’t dream of giving up pink. Once you have determined what the heart and soul of your property is, then the rest is up for discussion. How big a move you make depends on your comfort level. Do you need to update your logo, develop new textures, fonts and design elements or maybe simply rethink the proportions of existing packaging elements? Keep in mind that if you make only small design tweaks you will probably want to revisit your brand look more often. The evolution of an existing look should feel natural. People should still know at a glance that it’s your brand, but better! Remember too that this is an opportunity to make sure your packaging is really working as hard as it can to sell your product. Is this your chance to add cool action shots, or really show off a new feature? Now’s the time for that, too.
Also, the internet puts new demands on a brand to stay fresh. Consumers need new content constantly to keep interested. Developing a brand identity that has the flexibility to change elements easily within the character and color palette of your brand will help with this.
I know, sometimes it’s hard to let go of something that once upon a time you thought was great, but just like that outfit in the back of your closet you wouldn’t wear on a bet, sometimes it’s time to move on. A full exploration takes time and careful deliberation, but when done well the reward is a revitalized brand.