The first time I saw siggi’s yogurt in the store, I stopped in my tracks. It seemed to glow on the shelf, its simple design and non-shiny packaging setting it apart from all of the other, much uglier yogurt containers.
Now, I hate yogurt. Even though I am a friend to most dairy products (if by ‘friend’ you mean someone who wants to eat you), there is just something about yogurt I cannot get behind. It has a weird, slimy texture and I have yet to find a flavor that appeals to me. But I really, really wanted to buy this yogurt. That speaks for the appeal of a truly well designed product.
The packaging looks like a work of art. It has the name nice and bold, so it is easy to read from the aisle. There is a brief explanation, and it has a drawing of the flavor, so it’s very easy to distinguish. It has everything you need, and nothing else.
Here is a similar type of packaging, that is much more typical. Look at this guy. There is so much crap on this. It has some weird super photoshopped plastic strawberries, at least four different fonts, that crazy whips! which is competing with the yoplait logo, and there’s a ribbon? What is the deal with that strange swirling background? I don’t want to put that in my mouth.
I will bet you anything that there was a large group of people who decided on this packaging, and none of them could agree on what the most important part of the message should be. I bet that the designer was forced to add all of the extra flair, so it would ‘stand out on the shelf’. This yoplait container is an effective illustration of how if there is not an established visual hierarchy, and everything needs to stand out, nothing will. Adding miscellaneous crap to make it ‘pop’ is a bad idea. It clutters the design, and makes it harder for the user to get to the real information: What this is, and why you want to eat it.
Back to my friend siggi. He even has a beautiful back. Notice the nice type hierarchy, and it gives you a little more information about this mysteriously beautiful foreign yogurt. Please notice the pull tab to the left of the bar code. That is for recycling purposes. You can recycle the printed packaging. I think that’s so clever.
This is probably the last time I’ll ever be enthusiastic about a yogurt product, but I’ve been admiring siggi’s in the store for months now. I hope that other products will take note.