I had this sent in a while back and was initially slow to post as I wanted to ask the guys behind this one some questions. So answers back today I’m bringing you a McCoys redesign concept from the folks over at BTL Brands.
Here’s the blurb:
McCoy’s potato chips have long been marketed as “man chips”, but to us they’ve never looked or felt particularly manly. We set out to change that with a branding update and packaging redesign. The challenge was to differentiate McCoy’s from other brands, and do so in a uniquely manly way.
The big idea wasn’t in the graphics, but in the actual structure of the packaging. We decided that the bag should open along its longest side, contrary to conventional chips bags. This means the bag remains exactly the same size, but the opening is extended by a whole two inches, so proper big-handed men can actually fit their hands into the bag.
Next we manned up the design by stripping away the clutter, simplifying the branding, replacing the usual reflective foilized plastic with matt foilized kraft paper, and printing in black ink only. Extravagant flavours like “Flame Grilled Steak” and “Thai Sweet Chicken” were renamed simply to “Beef” and “Thai”. As a final touch, the top and bottom were cut in a ridged line to reflect the ridge cut of the chips inside. The end result is simple and manly: The Real McCoy’s.
Upon asking Santeri Lohi (Creative Partner) told me that this was a concept that since release had received a lot of coverage and as such they were in talks with the client to look at the possibilities behind the design.
To start off the concept itself is great, a simple rotation and hey presto you have a man sized bag ready to go. Simple, effective and cleverly done. The graphics themselves keep within this vain and are a nice update that now show off a more man sized brand typeface complete with distressed effect, 1 colour print and a cleverly introduced ridge effect around the main holding device.
Normally Id stop there, say it was all great and send you over to the BTL brands website but seeing as this design has received so much coverage the commercial designer in me can’t help addressing some of the practical issues with the design as well.
First up most people probably aren’t aware that when changing the size or orientation of a product your probably asking the client to change every machine they have in place to accommodate (in this case) the new bag. This could cost them millions and as such work like this is likely to remain a concept for a long time to come (sad but true). I’m not saying that’s 100% the case here as I simply don’t know, but it’s definitely something worth keeping in mind.
Yes, yes but designers can’t always be contained by costs, sometimes we have to push the boundaries I hear you cry. Agreed, when presenting to clients I think its great to challenge the conventional in one or two routes and as such this is totally valid but so many blogs overlook this issue I thought I’d use this design to raise this simple but important point.
Then we move onto the graphics where we again find a few other real world issues.
The first and most glaring is the total lack of colour. It now becomes much more difficult to identify flavours and whilst it may look visually more pleasing this simply isn’t going to be practical in a real world situation. You couldn’t guarantee that single bags being sold in a supermarket would be correctly displayed, you’d most likely lose the product descriptor entirely and as such you’d have to address this issue.
Secondly there’s the changing of the name, Flame Grilled Steak now becomes beef, OK but what about Salt and Vinegar and Cheese and Onion ? So often in concept work copy is changed to suit the design but we have to be particle and address the worst case scenarios not just those that are easy to modify.
Lastly I’d also question the use of the craft paper with a 1 colour print, the use of this style of material with such a basic print could easily be perceived as a budget brand so as a client I’d be extremely nervous about implementing it. That said you could also argue the reverse and say it adds a more natural feeling to the product but seeing as this is all speculative I’ll leave that one up to you.
What I’m really saying is, whilst it may look more premium to those looking for a more minimalist stripped back approach it could easily come across in another way to the consumer and once again with concept work it’s easy to overlook these kind of potential issues.
So to conclude, although I really like the concept of this design and its ingenious take on a rather stale category we must never forget to question how such work would perform in the real world. With a few changes I think this work could really stand out in a category crowded by me too brands but I guess only time will tell if that will become a reality.
Lastly and as always make sure you get yourself over to the BTL brands website to check out more of their great work now.