QNY Creative | New York, NY
Recognizing that NOW Foods is a category leader, QNY took an approach that its strategy director Anna Urban describes as more of a restyling versus a makeover. In some ways, this approach was more challenging because the firm had to find a way to make existing brand elements feel fresh.
This starts with NOW’s trademark orange. “Historically, this color is a nightmare for the graphic designer,” QNY’s founder and creative director Ezio Burani explains. “This orange presents chromatic and graphic problems.”
These problems multiply, Burani explains, when the orange is paired with NOW Foods’ purple. So the firm kept the original orange but updated the contrast color from a purple to an ultramarine blue. This update is close enough to NOW’s purple to help existing customers recognize the product on the shelf but provides a more harmonious contrast.
The firm also introduced a healthy dose of white, to create a cleaner backdrop. White, Urban explains, has positive associations for the consumer with the concepts of natural, clean and health-conscious. “It also breaks the rules a little bit,” Burani says. “Because the cut of white and the logo on the left are not parts of the classic center logo placement.”
This rebellious cut of white is one of the elements that endears QNY’s design to NOW’s product marketing manager Jim Ritcheske. “It uses kind of a sweeping design on the front, with the orange in there and the NOW logo offset to the left,” Ritcheske says. “The layout reads nicely with the NOW logo visible but not overpowering.”
The pairing of orange and white also lays the foundation for a message hierarchy that resonates with Ritcheske. “You see the name of the product and you can easily identify it,” he remarks. “Then the function claims that we have on some of the labels are prominently shown. QNY has nice positioning of the required copy that we have to have on a label, such as tablet or capsule count and whether it’s vegetarian or not.”
The design works well because the firm made an extra effort to get to know the brand and incorporate NOW’s needs. “When QNY presented initial concepts, we emailed back comments about the designs and suggested some changes,” he remarks. “I wasn’t specific in saying, ‘Do exactly this.’ It was, ‘We don’t like this; this doesn’t work the way you’ve got it; and we don’t like this color.’ Within a day, QNY created a new presentation that incorporated the changes that we had talked about. We had commented about what we wanted done, but I wasn’t quite sure how they were going to do it. QNY executed the revisions well.”
And QNY was creative within the parameters set by the brand and itself. The cut of white isn’t just the white of a common solid bleached sulfate board. Instead the paper white comes from Hazen Paper’s Shimmer-E in Neutral Ice, finished with an aqueous coating. The logo uses the same font. But the sunrise image within the “o” is updated to a simpler graphic that reproduces better and carries dual meanings.
“We simplified the sun and its rays so it’s perfectly centered in the sphere,” Burani explains. “It’s also more like an explosion of energy.”
The visual metaphor to an explosion of energy speaks to the performance of NOW products and contributes overall to a design, which Burani and Urban describes as honest, modern, reliable and clear.
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