Reading Response: Tropicana Re-design & What Should Food Look Like?

The two articles below discusses both ends of the packaging spectrum, from the designer to the consumer, and their influence on various products. The article, "What Should Food Look Like?" by Alexandra Lange focuses on the designer's role in packaging to promote healthier choices in regards to food. Lange tells us that where you shop, and the aesthetic of the products you purchase, can determine your class level and your relationship to food. If the packaging has the ability to shape and influence our decisions then how, as designers, can we design products that can help promote healthy living in the language and class of the consumer. One great example Lange discusses was the re-design of the baby carrots by Crispin Porter + Bogusky. Rather than a generic bag of carrots, they made the bag appear more approachable, and cheap like a bag of chips. This study sparks many interesting questions, which is very similar to our current re-design project in Visual Language. In the project we're forced to discern how to transform an existing product from one mode of appeal into another. In the example, they moved into a very specific pathos realm of childhood in one product and in elegant in another.

While Lange's article focuses on the designer's ability to shape packaging, Stuart Elliot's article on the Tropicana re-design is an example of how consumers can do the same. After the release of the Squeeze campaign, many loyal Tropicana consumers vocalized how the new packaging became more difficult to distinguish Tropicana alongside other orange juice brands. In relation to the previous step of our current project, during the auditing step we were asked to determine how our particular product held up in comparison to it's competitors within the environment. An understanding of the competition is important in designing a package that is clearly visible, engaging and evokes the consumer to interact with it. In addition, having a thorough understanding of the audience is crucial in order to cater to them and to avoid consumer outrage, not to say that designers should always listen to the consumer because they can't always be pleased or always know what's best for them.

Article Source:
Tropicana Re-design by Stuart Elliot
What Should Food Look Like? by Alexandra Lange

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