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Sunday, February 15, 2009

Tropicana design critique

I love beauty and goodness wherever I come across them, and I am repulsed when I see the grace of God mangled, so to speak. Amen.
- Pellegrino Artusi


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When I see an iconic brand or symbol destroyed or misaligned, I am repulsed. It was bad enough when Tropicana moved away from the Tropic-Ana girl [A] (truth be told - the execution on the packaging was not very good and I believe the constrained version in the circle like this is better than a full length Flintstones version) to the orange with the straw. I have recreated the Tropic-Ana girl from a foto that was on the side of a train car and placed it with the logo.

To me, this symbolizes all that is "good" with orange juice - a more wholesome time in Florida when Cuba was somewhere that could be visited legally, when a non-literal interpretation of a benefit was used in branding (think Morton girl). The fact that the little girl looks like Bai Ling also helps . Green and orange - not yellow - was used to heighten the visual tension - as anyone who knows how to use color will tell you that this is one of the most effective tools in the arsenal.

The orange with the straw [B] is brilliant - even more brilliant than the girl. It is an metaphor that can be used in a thousand ways - from print, web, to environmental - to giveaways (what kid - or adult - wouldn't want to drink from a cup that looked like this?) That said, the fact that they used a serif font for 100% pure and for pure premium is a disappointment. The Futura font - very 1960's - on NO PULP is the way to go with this. The fact that they had a tiny, little tropic-ana on the back was nice. So, this is successful - but could of even been better.

[C] Now, what is going on here? If this were a generic store brand, I would say this is "fine." But, it's not. The fact that they used something that looks like Avante Garde font is an alarm bell. The brand is not even recognizable. THE FONT FOR THE LOGO AND ALL THE OTHER TYPE IS THE SAME! I tell designers that work for me never to do this - in rare instances it works - but Tropicana already had a logo. This is off the rails. Completely.

The color tension is now gone, replaced with something very geriatric-looking (it is yellow- we KNOW orange juice is yellow - but don't remind us!) - even the mention of Florida is gone (although I think that was gone a long time ago.)

Dear CMO/Brand Manager from Tropicana - I apologize for being so critical - but as the CMO of Coca-Cola says in the new Microsoft spot "brands are owned by the people who love them - forget that and you will lose your way" is true.

My team and I are here to help. We can do this the right way. You need help. Your friends and family love you.

Original here

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