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An Exercise in Trust is the Big Reason why Nourish Snacks Look So So Good

by Theresa Christine Johnson on 06/28/2017 | 7 Minute Read

Snacking is usually put into two categories: “punishingly healthy or junk,” Tom Wilder of Collins said. So when faced with the challenge of designing Joy Bauer’s line of snacks, Nourish—which are both healthy and incredibly delicious—Collins wanted the packaging to reflect that. We spoke with CCO & Founder Brian Collins and Creative Director Tom Wilder to learn more about setting out to do something radically different, why they design with a mobile-first mentality, finding inspiration in new places, and more.

Can you walk us through the design process that you went through for this project?

Brian Collins: First, this food is amazing. We've been hooked since Joy Bauer first brought us over the newest recipe she whipped up in her kitchen. So, we believe in the product. In Nourish. And in Joy. That shaped everything from the start.

Tom Wilder: Yes. That exuberance she brings to The Today Show is real.

But like all our projects at COLLINS, we get nitty gritty fast. We always begin with a lot of research. Store visits,in-depth interviews with customers and retailers. Bryna Keenaghan, our Director of Strategy, wanted us to deepen our understanding of how people think about grabbing a snack—and why they are motivated to choose what they do. One thing we learned early on is that more people are seeking healthier food options, but hate it when they have to make sacrifices to do that. Our research drove us to go right at that conflict.

What was one of the biggest goals you set out to achieve with Nourish packaging and how did you accomplish it?

Tom: Most snack foods fall into one of two categories. Punishingly healthy or junk. So, it's a Raw Quinoa Broccoli Bar or...

Brian: ...or Double-Stuffed, Chocolate-Raspberry, Sugar-Frosted Caramel Bunny Bombs!

Tom: Yeah, those, too. Look, Joy Bauer is a nutritionist. She and her team found new ways to make healthy foods insanely more appealing by dramatically improving their flavor. With that solved, our job was to break the stigma that healthier food has to overcome—and that it can taste really good.

With Nourish Snacks’ new recipes and flavors, we now had to signal something very different on the package. The way we see it, Inside = Outside. Our new identity, packaging and website intertwine the surprising with the familiar. We borrowed from a whimsical, nostalgic language of snacking and flipped it to invite people to try something surprising, different and, we think, a whole lot better.

Customers and retailers who carry it say we've accomplished that.

Brian: It also helps when your name is, you know...NOURISH Snacks.

What was the most challenging part of this project?

Tom: The real challenge was crafting something new that people notice, understand, and want to buy. More important, we wanted something that people would love enough visually to bring out at their office or at home. Our bags are like big, colorful posters—so we don't want anyone to hide them in their desks.

We're lucky to have clients who really trust us and allow us to break the tropes of what design is "supposed" to look like. Most CPG design is incrementalism. The manipulation of convention. So, instead of following the grim rulebook of giant, corporate brands, we sought inspiration in new places—from moments when snacking was guilt-free and...crazy fun.

Brian: Carnivals. Baseball games. The circus. Popcorn, peanuts, cotton candy and ice cream cones. Red stripes. Blue stripes. Orange stripes. Color.

Tom: Exactly. All of those bold, eye-popping graphics held the promise of fun and delight. The way we see it, anticipation creates happiness.

Brian: Does the world really want more Artisanal Roasted Seaweed & Achaar Chia Toast Chips in brown paper bags covered with cursive handwriting? No. I mean, not unless you're going to a luau at Wes Anderson's house.

Tom: Ultimately, we wanted to capture a bright, exuberant spirit and balance it with healthy and purposeful information. That, and trying to keep everyone here from eating all the snacks Joy sent us. I think we went through fifty Nourish shipping boxes over the course of this project. It was embarrassing.

The packaging looks like it would jump off a shelf but also works incredibly well online. How did you balance this?

Tom: First, thank you. We now design our packaging projects with a mobile-first mentality. Sure, packaging needs to jump off a shelf in a store. However, with online grocery shopping and so many new digital avenues it's crucial that products jump off a small screen, too. Interestingly, we've found that the best answer for mobile turns out to be a great answer for shelf, too. So, mobile-first.

What elements were important to incorporate to express that Nourish is not just snacking, but healthy snacking?

Tom: The focus on the front of the pack was to deliver flavor, taste and delight. The patterns and colors create visual arrest. We wanted to be sure people know that Nourish is insanely tasty.

The back drives the more serious nutrition story. The mixed typefaces—inspired by old circus posters — calls attention to the ingredients. We created a clear contrast between the front and back to amplify the balance between our fun, indulgent values and our healthy ones.

If you could pick one aspect of the finished design that you like the most or feel especially proud of, what would it be and why?

Tom: I can't name just one piece as it all sort of works together. But one thing we try to do with all of our clients is to future proof our solutions so that they'll work for 5, 10, 20 or more years. We created a unique, modular system of patterns, color and typography for the brand so as Nourish expands to more sweet, savory, spicy, or tangy products they'll be able to adapt to that growth.

Brian: Easy. I like the website. In its redesign, we crafted a blunt new art direction style for Nourish that builds a strong brand story between shelf and screen.

Share one lesson that you learned while developing the finished product.

Tom: Real creative partnership is uncommon but so integral in building something new. The trust Nourish had in us—and vice versa—was important to the result.

When there is trust, like with our friends at Nourish who are willing to push, challenge and take creative risks, the design outcomes exemplify that partnership.

Brian: Shared respect with your client results in shared respect for their customers. It's transitive. People will sense that sincerity, that energy, that...love. It sounds soft but it's what makes the register ring.

The Nourish Team:
Tom Wilder
Jump Jirakaweekful
Thorbjorn Gudnason
Bryna Keenaghan
Michele Kim
Ian Aronson
Natalie Vartanian
Teemu Suviala
Gabe Benzur
Brian Collins
Fictive Kin

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