Put On A Happy Face

If you design for consumer brands, you should be reading the Iconoculture newsletter. If you haven’t checked it out, here’s a snip from today’s email about putting a happy face on products through packaging design.

While the Great Recession retreats at a funeral’s pace (let’s bury it already!), we’re seeing signs of happiness all around us as leading companies try to brighten consumers’ lives.  Kraft Foods created a smiley logo for their new Hello Jell-O campaign and is putting it on special-edition boxes of the jiggly treat. Hungry Jack made a funny face on the inside of their syrup cap. The design gives pourers of any age more dispensing control — and an upbeat start to their day. Coca-Cola’s redesigned Minute Maid juice packaging shows an appealing photo of two full oranges with a “smiling” wedge on top. For Frito-Lay’s “Happiness Exhibit,” fans can submit pics of their happy moments for a digital collage. A few lucky photos will also be selected to adorn future Lay’s potato chip bags (Media Post News: Marketing Daily 3.16.10). Seattle’s Best Coffee redesigned their logo “to match our optimistic outlook” (Brand New 5.12.10). Little doses of happy are a big deal for people these days. The value is something that they can control (think happy and you’ll be happy) and spontaneously share with friends and family. The other lesson: Packaging is the face of a brand. What expression is yours wearing? And does it make consumers want to “pay it forward”?