1. Don Watt, the originator of ‘photo symbolism’, used photo images on packaging starting with Nestles coffee back in the 70s. He went on to help turn around Loblaw Supermarkets and to brand President’s Choice products in Canada. As his reputation grew he worked all over the world and photo symbolism was a mainstay whether for the Beer Store or WalMart.

  2. I really like them – they certainly catch the eye against the ‘busy’ designs and in a supermarket I’d pick up the package and have a look at the back for more info. Would be very suitable for ‘premium’ or ‘limited edition’ variations of the original product.
    The problem comes in where you get one minimalist design next to another – it’s harder to see at a glance what is what, and would make shopping very frustrating.
    Also, with the Red Bull example – I’d go the other way – no text or bull logo, focus purely on the red & blue design – they’ve spent so much on marketing worldwide it’s now instantly recognisable like the red & white coke can & turquoise of the Heinz beans tin and barely needs text.

  3. Do you know what? If I saw a box of cornflakes on a supermarket shelf like the example here, I’d buy it. I know what cornflakes look like, I don’t need a serving suggestion (they go in a bowl with milk and a spoon). If a brand has the confidence to tell it like it is, with no added marketing nonsense I think it deserves a place in my kitchen cupboard. But then I am a graphic designer who loves minimalist work, perhaps I’m biased…

  4. These are all amazing. As a graphic designer, I love them. Only problem is that in actual functionality, most of them would not do as you simply wouldn’t know what product you are buying.

  5. Honestly, I think it just looks pretentious. These brands are competing to stand out compared to their rivals and although the minimal designs make the product look unusual, they also remove all personality from the products and the brands. Although this current design trend of extremely simple sans-serif minimalism can look really sleek in some contexts, it does take a great designer to create simplicity out of complexity, which I think is the real challenge when it comes to product design. You have to preserve the brand image and inform your demographic of the personality behind the product while also keeping it simple and bold – much more challenging than just using a simple typeface.

  6. I don’t think the minimalism works as well on the food items. I like the first Toffifee candies box. I want to see what type of caramel candy I am buying. I think the exceptions are if the bottles are clear and you can see the food. Looking at a minimalist food box, doesn’t make me hungry. I need to see the product!

  7. These redesigns are actually quite effective and sophisticated. We are constantly bombarded by a plethora of different brands and products. Marketing research proves that the more choices available for the consumer, the less likely they are to make a purchase. Amidst a dizzying sea of colours, sizes, and shapes on a store shelf, ‘simple’ will always win. Nice work.

  8. Try doing the inverse process and you’ll find the “tacky” ones way better. I did. It wouldn’t be as fun to shop.

    1. Those are real products actually, “generic”. You used to be able to buy generic beer that was a white can that simply said “beer” on it.

  9. Nutella, Schweppes, and Durex are lovely. I think the main mood the minimalist design evokes is one of elegance, which works for those products (Nutella is way more elegant than, say, Hershey’s Chocolate Syrup, and far more pretentious than peanut butter). The other products though aren’t elegant at all. There is nothing refined about Corn Flakes or Pringles, which is fine and is also why the maximalist design works for those products. Also, target audience – foods like that, especially cereals, definitely market towards kids who don’t really care for “good design” but are attracted by bright, flashy colors and good-looking food.

    1. Kids are attracted to much more than that, according to market research. Bright flashy colors are the complete opposite of what minimalism actually is.

  10. I think the Red Bull change is destroying the logo, and some of them take away information consumers need to know. Otherwise, they are neat.

  11. I think this works well when the product shows through the packaging, as in the Schweppes and Nutella designs, but otherwise you lose a lot of the product’s identity.

  12. Very cool redesigns!

    I’ve noticed this advertising trend of “less is more” and it reminds me of the idea that distilling a thought, feeling, idea, etc down to it’s simplest form is the best way to sell it. The simplicity implies a direct question of whether to buy or not, while it leaves the potential value of the product nearly limitless by encouraging the consumer to imagine the possibilities instead of telling them the limitations. The problem is it takes more thought and effort to simplify something and still have it convey meaning than it does to just hype something up with volume, color, and excessive decorations. You do a great job at this and I hope your clients reward you well.


    Please don’t be discouraged by the doubters in your comment thread. You will encounter them throughout every facet of life. Hopefully, there will be many more who appreciate the creativity and talent evident in your work and give you constructive feedback instead of just their cynical opinions.

  13. I think it’s perfect, not getting bogged down by pictures and advertisements: you see only the product and what it is, nothig more.

  14. As a design exercise, it’s academically interesting – nothing more.
    The worst mistake is this rebranding doesn’t take into account each particular product’s demographic. Nutella might look good, but it has no appeal to kids or their mothers, it doesn’t look fun or delicious. Wich ties to the second big mistake: it’s an identity lobotomy. Nutella looks as edible as shoe-polish. There’s no indication of what each product function is.
    You might aswell go the extra step and just present a unlabeled item.

    1. @lifemare

      I don’t think Antrepo overthought this as something more than a design exercise… and they probably didn’t run into the details of demographics and such.

      You might aswell go the extra step and just present a unlabeled item.

      I suggest you read this interesting interview with Rick Klotz (Freshjive) about brandless/logoless design

  15. You’ll have trouble trademarking a single color design. If this were to become successful, you’d soon see ten competitors switch to the same design. Then you have a store wall full of same color products. It wouldn’t matter if you’re established or not, customers would spend that much more time searching for your product, and likely choosing others.

    1. @Antti

      Yes… and no. e.g. Apple are still standing strong at the top of the mountain even if numerous brands are trying to emulate their design trademark and PR approach. It wouldn’t be the greatest idea for any brands, but like I said earlier, it would be an easy trick for Coca-Cola, Red Bull and Nestlé to pull this off in today’s market.

  16. Interesting, from a graphic art point of view, however in practice brands need to stand out (they are not alone in the market), communicate clearly what they offer and be exciting at the same time. And that doesn’t necessarly has anything to do with looking stylish all the time.

  17. Some designs have a lack of information, they do look great, but still need to have the nutritional table required by law, other brands do need pics.

  18. I really only seeing this working for Durex. Maybe RedBull, though the problem with RedBull is it’s logo really needs those colours (especially red!!). Durex doesn’t need pictures, other brands do. I wouldn’t buy those pringles, and I’d go for another drink over schweppes, the images tell me immediately what flavour it is. Similar point for the other food items. They have the images there to tell you WHAT the food is. If it’s just a blank logo, it really doesn’t tell you much at all. Only a few companies can get away with that, e.g. Coca Cola.

  19. I think material has a lot to do with the Aesthetic. Nutella, Schweppes and Red Bull all seem very elegant because aluminum and glass have a sheen that can carry some of the weight of the design. Nesquik and Pringles, being printed on Plastic and Cardboard respectively, are going to bring out that aspect of material…

    Interesting line, but I wonder if more consideration was given to the material if we’d be talking about whether or not it seemed cheap?

  20. I don’t think we give consumer enough credit.
    When it comes to brands that are “easily” identified within the marketplace and have an established brand that transcends the identity and is more about the product experience, these minimalist executions are successful.

    By pulling back on the products brand identity with these minimal translations, the consumer can now focus more on the product experience, such as the taste, smell, texture or to speak further memories…

    I’m not necessarily convinced this minimalist execution works with new, not established consumer brands. For example, I’ve never heard of “Mr. Muscle” because it’s not sold in my consumer location and because I’m not familiar with the product or the brand the minimalist execution comes off looking cheap, like it might be sold at a whole sale club as a knock off brand.

    I think there are a multitude of these subtleties that need to be identified on a product to product basis.

    Great work by the way.
    Thought provoking topic.


  21. @rinoboy

    I do tend to agree with your points but not the extent to which you seem to think the US consumer’s pride plays in it. If consumers were really that brand conscious that their egos deterred them form “being seen” buying the bargain brand, chains like Wal-Mart, Big Lots, and Dollar Tree would never have taken off. They certainly would not be thriving and, as far as retail goes, these are three examples of franchises that have proven recession proof, despite the often questionable products they stock.

  22. There’s no way Nesquik would do that to their products, it’s the chocolate on the outside that sells it. Same with Corn Flakes, it’s the picture on the box that does the selling.

    1. It’s a point of view, but I couldn’t agree less.

      New brands can rely on nifty packaging and extensive PR operations to eventually grow their market into something relevant but Nestlé, Coca-Cola or Red Bull are well-established brands and they have quite the power to go for a “minimal feeling” as seen in Antrepo’s work.

  23. I think nutella solution is the best. Looks great and I love we can see chocolate inside 🙂
    Moreover, no waste of paper!

  24. I don’t understand the point of this exercise. If you are trying to save production costs and environmental impact through innovative, well crafted packaging design, simply putting less graphics on a printed box or label does not “save” or “reduce” anything. In truth, the only changes show here that would save production costs, or have any less of an environmental impact on this list would be the ones that print using a single color ink, or that print directly onto the container (pad printing), and those represent a small percentage of the concepts presented here.

    I suspect that the concept here might actually be (intentionally or otherwise) to create the illusion of of being “Environmentally Responsible” or “Cost Conscious” without regard for the real impact on production costs or the environment. But we, the American consumer are programmed to fall for this kind of product manipulation.

    Recycled paper:
    “Must be good for the environment, right?” Even though the chemicals involved in recycling that paper is very harmful to the environment, more that most realize, anyway.

    Nuclear Energy:
    “Clean, almost limitless power. Cool.” Even though we have huge (and growing at a frightening pace) stockpiles of nuclear waste that we can neither dispose of, nor store safely.

    Organic Foods:
    “It’s better for your health, because it doesn’t have any of those horrible pesticides” Even though a fair number of people don’t even realize that the only difference between the two, is the label that says “Organic”, since there is no established standard for the term (really! Look it up.). It’s just a marketing term, meant to sell to a broader consumer base.

    If you truly want to be responsible with your packaging, you would focus on the real issues, like no printing at all. Simply emboss the branding directly into (or onto) the packaging. And use only biodegradable packaging materials in their manufacture. But, as they say in the business: Nothing sells like color!

    The fully indoctrinated American consumers would not even give true environmentally and fiscally responsible packaging a second look. Regardless of the actual product, they would not want to be seen buying what might be perceived by their peers as a “Bargain Brand”. What would they say? What would they say, indeed.

    1. Our last project is about simplicity and we try to find alternate simple version for some package samples of the international brands. We think almost every product needs some review for minimal feeling.

      – Antrepo


      As you can see, they clearly state that the one and only goal was to simplify existing brand design by giving them a minimal feeling. They were not trying (I suppose) to reinvent the way all these packaging are crafted…

      Regarding your last paragraph, things will eventually change and I hope to see some of those well-designed and “Environmentally Responsible/Cost Conscious” products on the shelves sooner than later.

  25. Agree with above, nutella: great, red bull and schweppes also, durex ok…Strange effect, some look better and some look cheap…

  26. @Shannon

    It’s a point of view and I fully respect it, but like I said earlier, Ferrero Rocher (Nutella), Red Bull, Coca-Cola (Schweppes), Nestlé (Corn Flakes, Nesquik), Procter & Gamble (Pringles) could easily pull this off as they’re all world-renowned brands and they don’t really need to display what it’s all about anymore.

    However, I’m less familiar with Lindt & Sprüngli AG, August Storck KG. (Toffifee), SSL international plc (Durex) and SC Johnson (Mr Muscle) and I don’t know if these brands are available all around the world and if this design treatment would benefit them on a leverage standpoint.

  27. Not a fan. I don’t know what every one of these products are, and if (for example) a friend asked for some toffee candy when I went to the store, I’d probably pick the brand that doesn’t think it’s too cool to tell me what it is.

  28. Nutella, Red Bull & Schweppes are definetely the most well executed design in the “Minimalist effect in maximalist market” project.

  29. nutella, red bull and schweppes work great. durex at least looks better. but i don’t think the rest would work with normal customers.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *