Schweppes Abbey Well is a British brand of mineral water, tapped from a source in Morpeth, Northumberland. Last month, an overhauled label design that celebrates the brand's British origin, reflecting the fact that Abbey Well is the official water of the London Olympics.
The brand is owned by Coca-Cola, who bought Abbey Well in 2008 as they sought to get back into the bottled water market after the failed launch of Dasani in 2004, which turned disastrous when authorities discovered that the product contained bromate. The same year as Coca-Cola's purchase, the product added Schweppes to its name and revealed a completely new package design, created by Coley Porter Bell. The package design was updated a few years later.
The new design was created by Kontrapunkt, one of Denmark's leading design agencies, and an interesting choice for a brand exercise aimed at promoting British heritage. The interpretation of Britishness is very literal with the Union Jack in the background and a red-white-blue colour scheme. The agency says it avioded more natural themes for something that is "urban, dynamic, powerful and contemporary". The Schweppes logo has been downscaled a turned single-colour, allowing Abbey Well to build its own identity.
Although the Olympics are heavily sponsored, the actual events are advertising-free zones. For the Olympic arenas, Kontrapunkt also designed a label with the words "Still Water" in a similar typeface, pushing the IOC limits somewhat.
|Abbey Well logo from 2008|
"The new design dials up the quintessentially British heritage of Schweppes Abbey Well, which to this day is taken from a single, naturally protected source in Northumberland. Adding a contemporary new feel, the packaging and POS support will create standout in-store across the brand’s range of still as well as sparkling water. - Coca-Cola press release
From Kontrapunkt's case study:
"The new design is urban, dynamic, powerful and contemporary and positions the British bottled water closer to the target group – young and active people living in the city. The Abbey Well water has been given an explosive and dynamic expression inspired by the life and energy of the city.Coca-Cola announced the rebrand with a press release on February 20.
But how can one communicate urbanity and cleanliness at the same time?
The answer lies in a traditional and gentlemen-like typeface on the label that is appealing to consumers, while a quirky and street art-typeface is reserved for other communication purposes enfolding around the product. Another interesting element on the bottle is the focus and centralization of the English flag referring to the water’s heritage. The colors are kept in red, blue and white creating a strong link to the water’s roots and national pride.
The new design clearly differentiates Abbey Well from other water brands by visually moving away from idyllic and romantic pictures of blue wells and green mountains.. The original Schweppes logo has also been downscaled by taking out the yellow color, and the text is made white to fit in with the colors of the Union Jack also unifying it beautifully with the Abbey Well logo. The latter has similarly been given a clear connection to the Schweppes logo through the twisted angle of the names. The result leaves Schweppes Abbey Well with a clear and strong identity."
Coca-Cola press release (archive)
Kontrapunkt news (archive)
Kontrapunkt case (archive)