Packaging design is all about brand recognition. There’s a reason brands create their own identity early on and then maintain it. It means that customers become familiar with the brand and can easily find their favourites. While it’s one thing to nail branding when you have complete control of the packaging, it’s another to maintain two design identities at the same time. This is the challenge facing brands during a product collaboration. But it can be done well if both brands consider what makes them special.
Here are 10 examples of great collaboration packaging designs.
- Supreme and Pat McGrath
Iconic street culture brand Supreme has a lot of collaborations under its belt. Many are within sectors that aren’t necessarily an obvious fit but show just how versatile Supreme’s branding can be. Last year, Supreme moved into the beauty world for the first time with a collaboration with make-up brand Pat McGrath. The resulting design perfectly combined the key traits of both brands – the red and white colour scheme of Supreme with the instantly recognisable gold lip case detail of Pat McGrath. This same colour palette also carried over seamlessly to the outer packaging to create an eye-catching end product.
- Lisa Congdon and Method
This collaboration between US artist Lisa Congdon and Method, the naturally derived cleaning product company, is all about colour. Congdon has become internationally known for her bright and colourful designs. Method’s packaging also has become instantly recognisable thanks to its block colour approach. Method tapped Congdon to design two limited edition refillable bottles which featured new product scents to match. The special designs were exclusively available from Target in the US. Positivity and optimism were the inspiration behind the designs which not only stand out on store shelves but also in the home. By working with a professional artist, Method has increased the chance that the bottles will be kept for longer by consumers.
- Foo Fighters and Tatenokawa
A collaboration between Japanese sake brewer Tatenokawa and US rock band Foo Fighters presents an interesting case study in interpreting a brand via packaging. Created as part of the promotion for Foo Fighters’ new album, the limited-edition collaboration saw Tatenokawa create two different sakes and bottle designs. Each bottle was designed to reflect a different side of the band’s music – metallic blue for the pop elements and metallic silver for the rock side. The sake flavours also reflected this split. What sets the collaboration apart is the authenticity. The sake was only available in Japan. The label design made use of the letter F as a nod to the band, as well as using a traditional Japanese script influence for the typography.
- Takashi Murakami and Perrier
Another artist and brand collaboration that is making use of colour is bottled water brand Perrier and Japanese contemporary art icon Takashi Murakami. Perrier’s iconic green glass bottle is the perfect blank canvas for Murakami’s colourful cartoon flower designs and established Kaikai and Kiki characters. The screen-printed designs don’t mask Perrier’s recognisable brand but instantly draw the eye. The colourful pop art graphics help to expand the appeal of a bottle design that is over 120 years old enabling Perrier to reach new audiences.
- Bulgari and Dom Pérignon
This highly limited collaboration is all about luxury. Dom Pérignon is a leader in champagne while Bulgari is one of fashion’s biggest names in luxury goods. As such, this pairing makes perfect sense from the start. The two companies have, however, found a way to make this four-case collaboration more of a brand expression than just Bulgari’s name on the bottle. The bottle evokes the famous Bulgari Serpenti design, which first debuted in the 1940s, with Dom Pérignon’s green glass gaining scales. Meanwhile, Pérignon’s classic shield logo has been reimagined in rose gold. The real centrepiece is the matching rose gold Bulgari Serpenti bracelet that wraps itself around the bottle neck. That detail alone is enough to clue in the buyer to Bulgari’s involvement in the collaboration (and the matching high price tag).
- Cadbury and Goose Island
As part of its 50th birthday celebrations for its famous Crème Egg, chocolate manufacturer Cadbury teamed up with brewing company Goose Island to create a limited-edition beer. The can design is a great example of how to evoke a brand’s identity without using its name. As a beer product, Cadbury’s logo and name don’t actually appear on the can. Instead the packaging uses the iconic red, purple and yellow colour scheme of the Crème Egg’s foil wrapping. The yellow yolk splat is reimagined in the form of Goose Island’s goose mascot to hammer home the connection between the two companies.
- Vera Wang and Chopin Vodka
Boutique vodka manufacturer Chopin has launched a new collaboration with iconic fashion designer Vera Wang. The limited-edition collaboration makes use of the black and white colour scheme that is associated with both Chopin and Wang. Instead of Chopin’s usual clear frosted bottle and black typography, the design for the collaboration adopts a striking half black and half white approach. In addition, the bottle features Wang’s name and a poem written by Wang about her personal relationship with vodka, which highlights her high level of involvement in the collaboration.
- PEEPS and Pepsi
It’s not Easter in the US without PEEPS marshmallows. This year though, customers were able to get their marshmallow fix in a new way thanks to a limited-edition collaboration with Pepsi. Pepsi created a new marshmallow flavoured version of its iconic cola which was packaged in a set of three mini tins. The tins were coloured yellow, pink and blue in line with the PEEPS range and featured metallic outlines of the PEEPS chick and rabbit designs alongside the Pepsi logo. The yellow outer packaging is also a nod towards the standard PEEPS box. The result is a bright and fun take on two classic brands that still retains their individual essence.
- Coach and Sephora
Luxury design house Coach may not be the obvious collaboration partner for beauty retailer Sephora, but a recent partnership shows a different side to the brand. The limited-edition collaboration features a range of makeup brushes, palettes, lip glosses and more. The packaging makes use of Coach’s various mascots from a unicorn to a t-rex, as well as other design elements associated with the brand such as its Tea Rose flower. The colour palette and metallic elements also bring to mind Coach’s expertise in leathercraft. Sephora’s influence is felt in the playful details such as the use of glitter in the makeup brush handles. The collaboration lets Sephora’s audience access a touch of luxury at an affordable price, and perfectly illustrates the fun side of Coach.
- Homesick and Dunkin’
The success of Homesick’s candles lie in their evocative fragrances that are inspired by memories and places. The brand’s collaboration with Dunkin’ is all about recreating the smell of the latter’s two most popular products – coffee and doughnuts. The thing about scented candles is that you only get the benefits of the scent once you’ve lit it. This means that the packaging has to communicate a lot to the customer about what they’ll find inside. As such, while Homesick’s candles themselves have a minimal glass jar with white label design, its boxes feature bright graphics and colours relating to the fragrance. This helps customers identify what the scent is at a glance. In the case of Dunkin’, the packaging instantly brings the brand to mind with its use of doughnut graphics, the Dunkin’ logo and its orange and pink colour scheme. Customers can almost smell the coffee and doughnuts before they even light the candles.
By Cate Trotter, Head of Trends at Insider Trends