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20 Designs that Prove Products Can also Provide Social Connections

by Elizabeth Freeman on 05/18/2017 | 26 Minute Read

Customers today are shopping for something bigger. We not only patronize brands, we follow them, we listen to them, we talk to them. We connect with them because we want to connect with something bigger. And smart brands realize this—they build tribes not simply customer bases. This collection highlights 20 standout packaging designs that create a community and unify consumers with others.

Learn more about this trend and the other 12 prominent trends of 2017 in our free downloadable report.


The holidays are approaching and we all know what that means, the Starbucks red holiday cup is here! This year 13 cups will serve hot and even cold beverages. Starbucks approached the design of the cup with the customer in mind. Crowd sourced and designed by their very own customers, each cup was entered into a contest through instagram last winter and selected for this year's holiday cup. 

Via: Starbucks


Every spring, people make their way to Austin, Texas, for South By Southwest (SXSW), a festival that includes film, interactive media, and music. What began in the 80s as a small gathering of people discussing the future of entertainment and media has turned into the conference for anyone involved in film, music, comedy, or the entertainment industry. As the official beer sponsor for SXSW, Bud Light worked with artist Nate Duval for the second year in a row to create some truly memorable brews that capture the local culture Austin and the vibe of the city.

Via Bud Light


“Believe in a new beginning.” The Lunar New Year in Vietnam welcomes everyone to look towards better and brighter things, welcoming in new opportunities and accepting fresh beginnings. This special packaging designed by KI SaiGon is the Coca-Cola Tet 2017, inspired by this special holiday.

Designed by KI SaiGon

Country: Vietnam


PepsiCo has announced its brand-new product set to launch February 2017 in the United States. A premium bottled water called LIFEWTR “fuses creativity and design to serve as a source of inspiration, as well as hydration, to usher in a new era of thirst quenchers.” 

Its brand identity will serve as a blank canvas for labels designed by up and coming artists to provide exposure in a broad scale to the worlds of graphic design, photography, fine arts, and more. 

Designed by In-house Pepsico

Country: United States


They got soul. The Soulfull Project, a new PBC (a wholly owned subsidiary of Campbells), hired Soulsight to develop the Soulfull Project—a food brand that also gives back to the community and helps those in need.

Designed by Soulsight

Country: United States


On June 23rd of this year, Great Britain held a vote to leave the European Union. While most predicted that they would remain, the outcome was a 52%/48% split—in favor of leaving. Hornall Anderson decided to spin the divide into a bittersweet celebration, creating 52:48. The prosecco is made with 48% British sour grapes and 52% sweet grapes to reflect the EU Referendum, and the grape origins answer the growing interest and popularity of British-produced wine.

Designed by Hornall Anderson

Country: United Kingdom


“I’m with her.” Campaign buttons are created to help tell and spread the story of a candidate, but why should the candidate tell the story? To help tell Hillary Clinton’s story, 45 artists and graphic designers were invited to create button designs to show why it is they support Hillary. 

Via The Forty-Five Pin Project 


In honor of Gay Pride Month, Absolut has collaborated with a group of stylists, writers, fashion designers and artists to create a series of one of a kind bottles. Each are given a "blank canvas" to start, Absolut's classic bottle packaging embellished with a rainbow of triangles. Some artists chose to go the traditional route by painting over the bottle while others were inspired to dress the vodka in knitwear, fishnet fabric, and colored cellophane. The unique collection of 12 bottles will be auctioned off at a Givergy with all proceeds going directly to support Stonewall, the United Kingdom's leading LGBT equality charity. 

Via Absolut


Perhaps the main thing that people associate with Chile is delicious wine. To celebrate finding a special kind of grape there that has mostly been found in France, Top Winemakers created a wine for the occasion. DEO developed the packaging for this one-of-a-kind bottle of wine.

Designed by DEO

Country: Chile


Now here is a political party that I can really support wholeheartedly! Washington, D.C. chocolate maker Harper Macaw has teamed up with Design Army to create a “wildly delectable, highly electable” line of political party chocolate. The six varieties in the Election Year collection each display a patriotic red, white, and blue design, intended to put a positive spin on the world of politics and shine a spotlight on D.C.’s lesser-known creative side.

Designed by Design Army

County: USA


In an effort to bring awareness to the declining population of bees, Honey Nut Cherrios Canada is removing the iconic and beloved mascot Buzz on their packaging. Removing Buzz from the packaging for a limited time brings awareness to the consumer in a strong visual and impactful way.

Via: Adweek


Emojis aren’t just for your text messages anymore. Pepsi has announced their “Say it with Pepsi” campaign, which is set to launch in 100 markets around the world this summer and will feature a number of emojis on bottles and cans. PepsiCo Design has developed hundreds of PepsiMoji designs, both for global markets and more local ones.

Designed by PepsiCo Design

Country: United States


In an uniquely fresh social campaign, Diet Coke tapped acclaimed designers from around the world to reimagine the iconic look of the brand to surprise its biggest fans. Over the past few months, more than 50 fan tweets were transformed into bespoke pieces of offline artwork in a playful twist on the marketing standard of retweeting fan comments on Twitter. 

Via: Coca-Cola


For those stockng up for this Sunday's Superbowl, you might want to grab a case or two of Bud Lights NFL beer. Designed by Pearlfisher, the Superbowl's official beer sponsor gets dressed from head to toe in football teams' colors and mascot logo. 

Designed by Pearlfisher

Country: United States


Sprite's "Obey Your Verse" continues to grow with a new set of cans featuring lyrics from 2PAC, Missy Elliott and J.Cole. A few months back we featured the first set that Sprite released and we are really excited to see what other artists are to come. Each can is emblazoned with custom fonts, created by Erik Marinovich, that represent the style of both the artist and lyric.

Designed by Turner Duckworth, Golden

Country: United States, United Kingdom


For many twitter users, the Olympic Medal packaging was mistaken for a makeup compact, but for Olympians, it's seen as a symbol for all their hard work and dedication. 

From around the world, the best of the best flock to Rio for a chance to win one of the highest achievements imaginable– a Gold, Silver, or Bronze Medal. And this year, not only are the medals worth talking about but the packaging is quite remarkable too.

Via Forest Stewardship Council


Even though the Summer Olympics just ended, celebrations are still going on. So grab a limited edition coke can and hit an Olympics-themed party in honor of the 558 athletes who completed in Rio! 

Wrapped in a ribbon of the games colors, each can tributes an individual sport with a silhouette of an athlete above the iconic Coca-Cola logo. Representing the 46 gold and 37 silver medals the United States has won, diet coke is packaged in silver and gold cans alongside the standard red and black cans for Coca-Cola and Coca-Cola Zero. 

Designed by Coca-Cola

Country: United States


Every October, countless campaigns talk to us about the awareness and detection of breast cancer. But what do you say to someone who has just been diagnosed? That’s the insight behind Rethink Breast Cancer’s latest initiative that recognizes the communication gap between women with breast cancer and the people who care about them. So, rather than try to fill that gap with flowers and greeting cards, Rethink Breast Cancer set out to give them the care and understanding they really need. 

Designed by Lg2

Country: Canada


Having clean drinking water has become more of an issue this past year than ever before with states in the US like Michigan unable to maintain health conditions due to contaminated water. Knowing such a devastating matter was effecting thousands of lives, 120WaterAudit wanted to help. In collaboration with Co-motion Studio, they created and packaged a water testing kit for businesses and consumers. The kit provides a convenient way to frequently test your water for unhealthy contaminants. 

Designed by Co-motion Studio

Country: United States


Are YOU registered to vote? This year's presidential elections have never been more important and to encourage the younger generation to vote, Frito-Lay's Dorito brand has teamed up with Rock the Vote to stress its priority. 

Designed by Frito-Lays

Country: United States

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