Wednesday, June 29, 2011

New logo/packaging: Rama, Blue Band and Planta (Unilever margarines)

The multinational consumer products company Unilever was founded in the 1930s as a merger between a soap producer and a margarine company. Although it has expanded into other foodstuffs and hygiene products, margarine is still a central part of the company. Today, Unilever owns dozens of margarine brands around the world, most of which can be fitted into three categories: high fat/cooking, blood cholesterol lowering and low-fat.

Although there are different names in different countries, Unilever often enforces a cohesive International packaging design, where only the name changes. A few months ago, a new common design for the high-fat margarines started appearing. Created by Design Bridge in London, the new packaging features hand-drawn flowers on a sunny meadow with new typography.

The new Rama logo.

Unilever's internal name for this product category happens to be "Family Goodness", and the brand is clearly aimed at families. The brand vision is "Growing Great Kids", suggesting that Unilever wants to stress the importance of high-fat margarine for growing children.
"Our hand-drawn flowers in a sunny meadow present a deceptively simple visual identity that has grown from a strong brand strategy. The new branding talks to all parents using cross-cultural visual language and symbolism. It communicates growth and health in a universally engaging way. It conveys warm, sunny optimism and inspires trust. It is also easily applied to any packaging format and detailed brand guidelines guarantee that promotional items, literature and print conform to a unified visual identity and a common brand positioning – anywhere in the world." - Design Bridge case study

Packaging, before and after. (It seems the South-African Rama packaging has sneaked in here instead of the old German one.)

The new design has been around at least since early April, when it was covered by the German design blog Designtagebuch, and I remember seeing it in stores around then. At that point, the new look had been introduced for Rama in the German-speaking countries, Blue Band in the Netherlands and Planta in Belgium. A quick look around local Unilever websites suggests that the new design hasn't yet been introduced in any other markets.

Previous Rama logo.

Previous Blue Band logo.

Previous Planta logo.
The new look is a major shake-up for the German Rama brand, which has abandoned the "Rama girl" which has been seen on packaging for a long time, and in ads even longer. Blue Band gets to keep a tiny version of its "blue band" symbol for some reason. Planta's previous identity was part of an International generic design from 2006.

Closeup on Rama packaging.

Different packaging.


The following rundown of Unilever's high-fat margarine brands worldwide should give you some scope of the staggering numbers of brand names and visual identities:

In the high-fat category, the latest European packaging design was introduced in 2006 and featured a lightburst and lots of silhouettes of healthy active people. It was used for, among others, Rama in Central Europe, Planta in Belgium, Tulipán in Spain, Planta in Portugal, Sana in Turkey, Milda in Sweden and Flora in Finland. Many brands in this category did however opt out of this common design, including Blue Band in the Netherlands, Rama in Germany, Planta Fin in France, Stork in the United Kingdom, Rama in South Africa and Vitam in Greece.

Furthermore, the Latin American high-fat margarines have a common design with a "hand-drawn" rising sun. Brand names using this design include Mirasol in El Salvador and Guatemala, La Perfecta in Panama, Doriana in Uruguay, Dorina in Chile, Primavera in Mexico and Bonella in Ecuador. In North America there's Imperial in Canada and County Crock in United States.

Design Bridge (archive)

1 comment:

  1. As we all are that to promote our brand the first and the foremost thing is to have good packaging criteria on a product as much attractive the product packaging will look the much more promotion a brand will have. After seeing a good packaging we like to buy it in other way we are making two progresses in a single beneath. So having a packaging of a particular brand product must be attractive.
    Food Packaging