How Vanity Fair's New Napkins Indicate a Wider Packaging Design Shift
There is a discernible trend in current brand redesigns toward packaging that employs bolder, freer displays of text and imagery. Chobani, seeking to differentiate itself within the crowded Greek yogurt market, looked to the past for its new design. Ditching colored text backgrounds, hyper-realistic images of fruit, and sharp capital lettering, the brand sought to present a freer, more visually pleasing package for its product. In today’s design world, less is more—brands are looking to free up space on their packaging for only the essentials, as well as to utilize empty space in an effort to break up crowded designs.
Vanity Fair Paper Napkins, a longtime premium brand and household staple, is the most recent follower of this push for simplicity. In an effort to boost itself above a playing field drowning in imitators, the brand has chosen to shake up its recognizable packaging.
The most immediately noticeable changes are the lack of a red background on the bottom of the plastic packaging and a new, entirely lower-case font. The font also slants upward to the right, forgoing the old logo’s linear script in an attempt to make it seem handwritten.
While the brand went with larger depictions of food and utensils in the upper left hand corner of its packaging, it is immediately obvious that the rest of the package has been freed from almost all designs and imagery apart from text. The size of its logo is dramatically increased, with an emphasis on the signature “everyday” nature of the brand. This focus is meant to counteract a growing lack of interest in premium napkins and paper products, which many consumers continue to forego in favor of cheaper, off-brand offerings.
With this redesign, Vanity Fair is hoping to maintain its image as a premium brand, while also appealing to consumers looking for a casual product. The new packaging design, which deftly employs an interchange of text, open space and imagery without adhering to linearity, seems up to the task.
Other major brands seem to be adopting simplicity in both brand and logo redesigns. Just last week, Formula One decided to change its logo after 23 years with the same design, resulting in widespread backlash from fans and drivers alike. Despite the criticisms, there are some definite positives to the new logo, which is certainly bolder and simpler than its predecessor.
While there is inherent risk involved in any rebranding effort, it is clear that a new design can help to boost sales and increase brand recognition. Any change is likely to face criticism, even from the most loyal of consumers, but in order for a brand to grow and thrive in an ever-shifting market, sometimes change is the only option.