Sometimes the most appealing products are not those that are priced the most reasonably, but the ones whose packaging goes beyond functionality and crosses over to the artistic. Alberto Alessi said it best when he described his reason for his own aesthetic designs:
“More and more people buy objects for intellectual and spiritual nourishment. People do not buy my coffee makers, kettles and lemon squeezers because they need to make coffee, to boil water, or to squeeze lemons, but for other reasons.”
Some of the most aestheically pleasing packages and products rely heavily on excellent typography. At times, the perfect font is all that is needed to take a design beyond the ordinary, and very often a great font can stand alone with no other graphics or design gimmicks added to it.
The following collection of products and packages all have one design element in common: they all boast the use of fantastic typography. Take a look at some of the methods and reasoning behind these designer’s packaging projects and let each one inspire you to excellence in your own product and packaging designs.
Bzzz (Custom Font)
This packaging for Natural Armenian Honey not only includes a box shaped like a honeycomb, but the custom-made font for the title stunningly combines the flight of bees and a honey dipper. Bzzz packaging was designed by Backbone Creative, a design company from Armenia.
Indian Stretchable Time, the “Ish Watch”
Designed by Hyphen Brands from India, this packaging for the “Ish Watch” was designed with the Indian culture’s view of time. In India, when someone says to arrive at 3:00pm, they expect the arrival at any time after 3:00, hence “3-ish.” The typography includes several different Italic font versions. In another humorous twist, the three hour marks are listed as “12-ish”, “3-ish”, and so on with no other numbers included.
Acushla Organic Olive Oil
The custom-made font used for the title of this olive oil package at the same time matches and contrasts the logo graphic. Like the graphic, the letters have an organic flow to them, which fits nicely with an organic brand. The green color of the font is reminiscent of green vines as well. Yet unlike the graphic which flows together seamlessly, the tags and flags of the letters point in different directions, almost like wild branches of vines that someone attempted somewhat unsuccessfully to prune into perfection.
Parish Brewing Co.
The idea behind this captivating package design by Cargo Collective was to capture the southern feel of the Louisiana start-up brand. The custom font gives the bottles an authentic vintage look and feel. Notice how the text on the box and labels appears partially faded, imitating painted letters on a weathered wooden sign.
Proof – Scotch complimentary kit
This label for the complimentary kit of the scotch tasting app were each hand-stamped (both the label and the app were designed by Zeus Jones). The fonts are a blend of the custom designed Proof typography as well as a script logo taken from the Zeus Jones cycling jerseys. The % on the lids were created by hand-dipping each one in wax and stamping the wax using the stamp from the Proof typography.
Adams & Harlow
Designers Anonymous created the identity, website, and packaging for the Adams & Harlow brand of pork pies. Adams and Harlow is owned by two sisters and they named the company in keeping with the rivalry between their grandfathers’ pork pie companies in the early 1900s. The typography is based on a sans-serif font from the 1900s with some unique touches added in. For instance, the designers created the “S” to look like a butcher’s hook.
The Cloud Factory
This whimsical wine label designed by Alastair Duckworth and Ross Hamilton, both of Biles Inc., needed to stand out on shelves while also representing the unique story of this New Zealand brand. To create a look that reflected the “land of the long white cloud,” the designers created a hand-rendered typography with cleverly original lettering. The “T”, “C”, and “F” have a very old-fashioned feel to them, and almost remind one of the typography from the posters for the World’s Fair events in the early 1900s.
Kayhan Baspinar created an entire font design specifically for this brand. The lettering is both sophisticated and indicative of the shape of pasta at the same time. The extended lines of the letters and the dramatic shape of the upper curves of a few of the letters, such as the “C” and lowercase “m” and “n” are just a few of the unique touches that make this font stand out.
The Manual Co.
If you peruse the popular package design submission sites, then you may remember this one from the past. Created by Peter Gregson, this packaging for boots, bags, and other accessories has custom white hand-lettering set on a black background. The unique typography looks a bit like artistic chalk typography on a chalkboard and really gives it a high-end, artistic look and feel.
Jacques Prevert, CHOSES ET AUTRES
This beautiful font was created specifically for the cover of Jacques Prevert’s book, CHOSES ET AUTRES. Marijana Zaric did an excellent job of designing this typeface full of bold lettering and rounded edges. The hand-colored look gives it even more depth and character.
The custom font designed for these fruit flavored carbonated beverages looks “fizzy” and fun, and leaps off of the label. The bubbles rising from the two “i”s in the logo and the evaporating lettering makes it appear as if the text is floating underwater.
This custom designed font seems like a cross between the Ark Doomsday Light font and the Priori Sans OT Regular font. The best part of this font design? Along with the dripping chocolate graphics , it looks delicious enough to make anyone crave chocolate, even if chocolate isn’t your forte.
Askul Garbage Bag
An amazingly creative design for such a common household item, this garbage bag packaging was designed by Stockholm Design Lab. The letters falling into a “trash pile” at the bottom of the box are all from the good ole’ font family Helvetica.
Peter Wetzer Wines
Wetzer commissioned designer Laszlo Mihaly Naske to create a calligraphic label for his wine collection, in keeping with a “homemade” theme. Naske explains that his original idea was to go with a more bold approach in the design of the hand-crafted letters, but Wetzer wanted something more simple, traditional, and straightforward. The winemaker chose well – the handwritten font is quite stunning alone and may have been overlooked if too much more was included in the design.
This redesign by jkr of Billington’s sugar packaging adds much more personality than the previous design. The colorful font graphic front and center capture attention quickly, and the faded font used for the company name adds to the traditional look and feel, an element of the design that was very important to the client. The main font used looks similar to Bebas Neae or a popular Gothic font family.
Look closely and you’ll see that Good Creative designed the headlines/titles of the different types of ales each with a different font that matches the name. The Maverick font includes only flags and tags on certain letters – the “A”, “R”, and “K”. In contrast, the Piper’s Gold font is very fancy with a decidedly western look and feel.
Another great design by Good Creative, this redesign for IQ, a hair product brand, is quite staggering when you see the before and after pictures together. The idea from the brand letters came from strands of hair, especially on the hook of the “Q”.
This illustrated font was created by Fabien Barral, a phenomenal illustrator and graphic designer. The shape of the font looks similar to Helvetica or another type of simple sans serif font, which gave Barral lots of room for creativity within the illustrations themselves.
Designed by Brand Ever with the label illustrated by Dana Tanamachi, this wine brand was started by a corporate man with a long-time dream he never could ignore, hence the name Nagging Doubt. Tanamachi drew the entire label by hand on a chalkboard, in a font style similar to grape vines for the Voigner label. The Pull label still resembles branches a bit with the “pulled” lines of the letters “N” and “G” but is much more crisp and clean of a font. Each label comes with a QR code that leads to the Nagging Doubt website on which visiters can view a stop motion film of Tanamachi’s illustration process.
Stave and Hoop
Force & Form created the labels for this brand of strong wines, keeping in mind that this wine is intended to be a gentleman’s alternative to whiskey or beer. The typography layout and fonts look similar to the labels found on tonics from the days of the wild west.
This simply delicious typographical project was created by Dynamo to use as Christmas gifts for clients, friends, and family. Each chocolate bar is engraved with a different daily mantra written with a completely original font design. Decorative font styles grace the face of most of the bars, but one also includes a light sans serif font design.
Princess Bride Custom Wine for Alamo Drafthouse Cinema
Every year, the Helms Workshop creates a new design for the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema’s wine collection, always with a certain movie in mind. This year, they chose The Princess Bride in honor of the film’s 25th anniversary. The brand name is Bottle of Wits done appropriately in a bold sans serif font. On the side of the box packaging are phrases from the movie on which various font styles (all sans serif) are combined with graphics to illustrate the term. In this design, a more plain font was certainly the better choice as it allowed for more creativity with graphics, font layout, and other stylistic features that illustrate favorites from the film.
This simple yet elegant design for a sweet, white wine from Wein-Bauer, Inc was created by Kaleidoscope. Obviously, the target audience is younger women, and the font certainly portrays this focus. The light, script font similar to a Vivaldi or Edwardian Style Script typeface is airy, flowing, and feminine.
Each one of these quite original wine labels were created by Hans Renzler along with Brace.at on an actual typewriter. Each wine bottle number is handwritten by the winemaker himself, giving these wine bottles a very “collector’s item” sense.
The typography on these wine bottles created by Public Creative look like the font stamps from an old letterpress printing press. The title of the wine is in silver while the rest of the letters are charcoal black, which makes the title stand out but also gives the “stamps” for the title a never-been-used appearance.
This Argentinian wine from Budeguer was designed by Guillo Milia. The designers tried to keep the wide variety of cultures in mind in this design, blending a variation of bright colors and font styles to give this impression. The main heading font style is similar to a calligraphic font such as Zocalo. In fact, various script fonts are used but so is a plain serif font, along with a very stylized, medieval-like font used for the brand name.
The font style of the brand name fits perfectly for this boxed wine aimed at millenials and designed by Force & Form. The packages have a video game look with the 8-bit characters, limited colors, cubed font, and tagline “Surrender your corkscrew.” One side of the box invites interaction with a list on which customers can write their favorite wines, done with a mixture of a clean sans serif font and a script font to emphasize a single word in each line of text.
All For Now
But that doesn’t mean that the discussion is done. Quite the opposite, it is just getting started. Now it is your turn. What were some of your favorites from the showcase? Do you know any other products and packages that have that fantastic typography touch? Take a moment and tell us about them in the comment section.