Unbound Edition. Meaningful conversations about brand, from Davis Brand Capital.

Private Eye: An Investigation of Private Label Design

Everyone wants to be a designer!  Retailers are competing with the name brands on their shelves by focusing on private-label packaging. And some of them are simply doing it better. Last year, sales of private-label food and other consumer products jumped 10% to $82.9 billion, from $75 billion in 2007. Here are a few design standouts pushing those numbers higher:

WAL-MART: Great Value
Wal-Mart transformed its private label line, Great Value.  The new design has a clean, uncluttered appearance, and the white background lets the modernistic logo, graphics and photography tell the story.  Colored wording complements the products, like orange for orange juice, and illustrations on items like cereal boxes add an element of fun.  On the back, nutrition labels have been designed for quick reading.

Target introduced their ClearRx packaging to improve prescription filling and drug usage. The red bottle reinforces Target’s identity, stands upside down to highlight its label, and presents medical information on easy-to-read flat panels.  Color-coded rings help family members identify their medication, and drug name and dosage are set apart in larger, bold, highlighted type. Clarity and functionality are key elements in this smart design.

SAFEWAY: Eating Right
Safeway launched a line of healthy, nutritional alternatives under their private label brand ‘Eating Right’ to help shoppers make better choices.  The packaging is fresh and informative.  The green and white palette reiterates healthy living.  Color-coded dots cover the front and back, communicating specific dietary attributes, and delectable food imagery clearly reinforces what’s in the package.  Taking this concept one step further, Safeway teamed up with Warner Brothers Looney Tunes to create an engaging and entertaining sub-brand just for kids.

Publix, a southern grocery, took three years and 50 in-house creatives to redesign their private label brand.  There are several key elements of the redesign.  A perfectly placed Publix’s logo breaks a solid bar of color bleeding off the top or side, which immediately catches the eye. Simple, streamlined graphics allow images to stand out. Visuals can be clever and fun, like the cookie boxes where the die-cut creates animal shapes, adding unexpected whimsy.


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