July 13, 2011



From color scheme to font, companies place great importance on compelling package design for their brands. Now, one of the most overlooked parts of a package—the barcode—is getting an artful makeover.

Consumers are influenced by the entire experience of a product. That experience begins with packaging. A package is more than just a container. It is an asset that can motivate a purchase, making the outside just as important as what’s inside.

“Little clever barcodes seem to be all the rage across a variety of products in the consumer packaging world,” said Nick Irwin, Senior Graphic Designer at Addison Whitney. “Although, I do see it as a superfluous and trendy, it’s good to see these quaint design elements because each barcode is individualistic and can really fortify a brand message if done right.”

Form meets function as traditional black and white lines and numbers are taking the shape of famous buildings, blades of wheat and bubbles. According to the Wall Street Journal, the trend is popular with smaller companies, but one of the world’s largest food companies, Nestle SA, is even trying out vanity barcodes on some of its brands. For example, Nestle’s Juicy Juice Sparkling Fruit Juice Beverage has bubbles rising up from its barcodes, and its Skinny Cow low-calorie dessert line features barcodes shaped like a cow’s spot. Consumer-goods companies hope these vanity barcodes will better connect with customers and help their product stand out in a crowded marketplace.

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