Seattle Cider Seasonal Packaging

5 weeks | Student Project
Introduction
Seattle Cider Co. makes small-batch craft cider in Washington State with locally sourced ingredients and an emphasis on quality flavor and stewardship-focused business practices. Their primary retail product falls into two categories: year-round staples, like Dry and Semi-Sweet, and rotating seasonal flavors like Oaked Maple and Berry Rosé. The release of seasonal flavors is an opportunity to engage consumers with unique cider varieties and capitalize on the scarcity mindset of limited availability.

Task

Redesign the packaging for Seattle Cider Co.’s seasonal flavors to differentiate it from their year-round offerings and engage new customers.

Roles
Designer
Illustrator
Art Director
Problem
The packaging for Seattle Cider's seasonal flavors is nearly identical to that of their year-round ciders and is easily overlooked in a crowded grocery store aisle. With every seasonal release, the brand is missing an opportunity to delight existing fans and connect with new customers who would be interested in more unique flavors but are simply not aware that anything new is being offered.

My Solution


By creating a new visual identity for their seasonal cans, Seattle Cider will attract more attention to their rotating flavors and engage new customers who favor more unique cider varieties. The new cans fit seamlessly within Seattle Cider's existing brand vernacular while also being distinct enough to show obvious differentiation and announce the arrival of something new and noteworthy.
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Strategic Design


For the new can to remain easily identifiable as a Seattle Cider product, I leaned heavily on existing elements from their packaging. By shuffling these elements and representing them in new ways, the new can manages to be simultaneously familiar and new.

Standing Out While Fitting In


The new can makes a bold statement in the Seattle Cider lineup, and it’s unlikely anyone would mistake it for one of the year-round offerings. The enlarged company tagline “Not Your Standard Cider” becomes doubly meaningful, as it announces the arrival of a seasonal — and thus non-standard — flavor. 

Secondary Packaging


To house the new cans, I created a four-pack of secondary packaging. Once again I relied heavily on Seattle Cider's existing visual identity to create a design that is familiar and identifiable.

Supporting Material: Coasters


To complement the seasonal four-pack release, I designed a coaster for the tasting room that Seattle Cider Co. shares with Two Beers Brewing in Seattle’s SoDo neighborhood, as well as for distribution to bars that serve Seattle Cider.

The coasters are an affordable and effective way to drive awareness of the new flavors and further enhance the visibility of Seattle Cider Co.’s new four-pack product.

Process


This project involved a lot of printing, cutting, and assembling physical mockups to test design elements and readability in a physical space. I disassembled a number of boxes and cans from Seattle Cider Co. packs purchased from the store.

The biggest hangup I had was on the front-of-box design because I needed to show that this box was a variety pack, but I wanted to stick to Seattle Cider's minimalist one-can-per-side design. In the end, I relied on the top of the box to communicate that there were four flavors inside, and put one flavor on each vertical side of the box.

Project Summary


Because this was a school project I don’t have any real-world metrics to point to for success, but I’d argue that I solved the problem identified in the brief by creating packaging that is visually distinctive enough to draw the attention of new customers but in-brand enough to be intuitively recognizable as a Seattle Cider product.

In a real-world scenario I would love to compare sales data from the first two weeks following a seasonal release from before and after the launch of the new packaging. I also would have loved the opportunity to receive more feedback throughout the process from a Seattle Cider creative director, as I’m sure the final execution would look different if it had been a more collaborative process.

As with all my consumer-facing design work, I really enjoyed the process of diving into the mind of a customer and figuring out what visual executions will be most effective at communicating the particular brand message outlined in the project brief.

More Work
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