Brands Explore the Darker, More Uncomfortable Side of their Identity

Brands Explore the Darker, More Uncomfortable Side of their Identity

May 9, 2016

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Brands are starting to explore the darker, more uncomfortable side of their personalities in order to be more distinctive and believable to consumers with their labels and packaging.

Over the last 35 years, the branding world has undergone a revolution. The once false, perma-smile perfection of beautiful people beaming at us from a fabricated place where the sun always shines and everyone is happy has been trumped by a darker, realistic, if more uncomfortable, truth. This truth is manifested in all corners of our culture – from the products we use to the docudramas we watch.

Brands are now toying with and exploring the darker side of their identity in order to be more distinctive, relevant and believable. Traditional notions of beauty have been subverted, imperfections are being celebrated, the taboo is becoming permissible. What was once deemed ugly, undesirable and unacceptable is now being used as a means of unlocking emotion and empathy in a way that consumers may truly relate.

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From the household goods aisle to store cupboards essentials, Mother-In-Law’s Kimchi is an exemplar of our often unspoken love/hate relationship with that other woman we inherited as family when we married our beloved. While Korean food is becoming increasingly popular, kimchi is still a befuddling food entity to mainstream America. As part of the process of popularizing the pickle and making it more accessible to the masses, the brand named its product after what many a TV sitcom and stand-up would call ‘your worst nightmare’ – your mother-in-law. Yes she’s annoying, tactless and blunt, and yes she knows exactly what to say to get your back up, but there’s no denying that she makes damn fine food. And it’s this very essence that manifests in the brand identity and on the final product pack design of Mother-In-Law’s Kimchi – bold black typography on a white background gives a brutal, unfiltered, say-it-how-it-is simplicity, just like your mother-in-law when she shows disapproval of your style of dress.

These are just two of many examples of brands which ‘embrace the shadows’, but the consensus is this: controversial and risqué campaigns resonate, live on and, by virtue of their controversy, almost achieve iconic status. While this contrary approach is mired by risks that threaten to damage a brand’s credibility, achieving a delicate balance of ‘wrong’ can be an effective way of driving engagement that repudiates ideals and perfections and speaks to consumers on a level that’s much more about real life. In this process of embracing the dark side, brands must ‘flip’ the unexpected.

 

Written by Ed Silk

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Admire Classic Art With Every Sip! Incredible Shrink Sleeve Design Receives Gold Pentaward

December 31, 2015

Screen Shot 2015-12-31 at 10.30.08 AMHeineken is a proud partner of the Rijksmuseum. The two have a shared history that goes back to the 19th century. To celebrate this partnership, Heineken asked dBOD to design the so-called ‘Amsterdam Originals shrink sleeve series’. Seven Heineken bottles have been transformed with unique classical shrink sleeve art design. Surprisingly showing images of world famous Rijksmuseum art pieces. If you put them together and turn them around the shrink sleeves beautifully show that iconic classics can still inspire new generations. “It’s a matter of daring to give it a fresh twist.”

At Associated Labels, we are committed to delivering innovative decorating and flexible packaging solutions that fit our customers and their products perfectly. That’s why we created our Flexible Packaging Division to handle the specialized requirements of specialty packaging and shrink sleeves; including offline lamination for all your laminating and slitting needs.

Please contact sales@associated-labels.com with any further questions

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Symbolism Speaks to the Beers Aging Potential, Unearth Your Label Design

December 28, 2015

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“In a dark and secret place, away from prying eyes and thirsty cellar hands, this dense, warming beer will mellow and become sherry-like with age. Unearth early for a more hop-forward experience. Others may be laid to rest – this one was born to wait.”

We’re quite a fan of the label work Hired Guns Creative does for Driftwood Brewing Company, and it’s certainly not the first time they have been featured for their label design. The latest from Driftwood is a barleywine with a stunning pressure sensitive label to match. Against a frosted amber bottle, the eerie illustration and dripping wax communicate the time and dedication put into aging each bottle of Old Cellar Dweller.

“For Driftwood Brewery’s Old Cellar Dweller barleywine, our task was to design a pressure sensitive label that showcases the strong character of the beer, while speaking to its aging potential. To these ends, we chose to illustrate our take on a grinning skull, favoring a bold, graphic approach. The dieline protrudes with ribs, teeth, and the long outjutting arm bones that create an excess of negative space, at once playful and decadent. Wax dip and gold foil lend the final touches and the spark of life to our skeleton in wait.”

Here at Associated Labels and Packaging, we are here for you at every step of the process in creating a label design that works for you and your brand. For more information please contact sales@associated-labels.com

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