Thursday, October 28, 2010

A Canadian Brand Proves Generic Packaging Can Be Beautiful

"No Name (or Sans Nom, this is Canada), the private label of the Toronto-based grocery chain Loblaw, has found a way to both stand out on shelves and provide a service to smart shoppers with simple, clean design that hardly anyone could quibble about." (GOOD newsletter Oct.)

While this new design has proved to be effective in increasing sales and creating brand recognition among Canadian consumers, I am not quite sure that I agree that this packaging is "beautiful". The packaging definitely stands out, making it easy to find and it seems to scream "generic and affordable" which is helpful to someone who wants to get in and out of the grocery store without spending too much money. I am just not sure I want my food packaging to scream out to me or practically glow in the dark from my pantry.

I really do like the use of Helvetica and the layout of the type. The clean and simple design is attractive but that radio active yellow is what I find disturbing. It's actually making my stomach churn. I want to think that I am eating something somewhat healthy even if it is generic and cheap. Perhaps a different color could achieve the same effect without being so in your face.

When I think of successful and appealing food packaging for generic and affordable products, Publix grocery stores come to mind. The packaging is clean, creative, simple and fun. It is easily recognizable, good price and I feel like I am getting a decent product. Look for yourself.

What are your thoughts? Do you think that Loblaw's packaging is beautiful? What other examples of good generic packaging do you know of?

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Viktoria Harrison of charity: water Quenches Her Thirst for Philanthropy

I found this article in Fast Company's newsletter on charity: water and Viktoria Harrison, who is responsible for the branding and design of the organization. I find her work and desire to help others as an inspiration!

Viktoria Harrison of charity: water Quenches Her Thirst for Philanthropy

"About Viktoria Harrison: Born in Russia to artist parents, Viktoria moved to Brooklyn as a child. The design darling took a leap of faith by leaving the School of Visual Arts before graduating to work at a Manhattan design house, working for clients like Coke and American Express. Tired of fueling retail desire, Vik joined charity: water and now leads design and branding for the innovative organization."

charity: water

While I was in NY over the summer attending SVA for the Impact! Design for Social Change program, we had the amazing opportunity to visit the charity:water offices. Scott Harrison, the founder of charity:water, told us the story of how this organization got started and why. I was both shocked and amazed when I learned about how scarce water is in several parts of the world and the extent to which it affects people's lives. Amazed by the efforts and results charity:water has made.

Basically 1 out of 8 people do not have clean and safe drinking water. This means that they are exposed to all types of diseases that can eventually lead to death. Imagine if you were one of those 8!

Scott and his team do a much better job of explaining the urgent need for water as well as show you the impact that having water has on the people who need it the most. Check out the videos and information throughout the charity:water site.

In the meantime, a big birthday is coming up for me and I could not think of a better way to celebrate it than by helping others. I really have no need for gifts, especially if I end up moving, (more stuff to pack) except for maybe a "happy birthday" and a donation to this cause.

So, I guess I am a little ambitious trying to raise 5,000 from the start, but that is what it takes to build a well for a village. Any donation is welcome. $20 can give one person clean water for 20 years! 

Start donating now! Not for me but for the one out of eight that don't have water.

Thanks for your contributions.