Crit* Migros BIO
by Richard Baird on 04/01/2013 | 5 Minute Read
Established in Zurich as a cooperative during 1925, Migros has grown to become Switzerland's largest retailer, supermarket and employer. Following the introduction of their M-Budget and Sélection own-brand lines, Migros has expanded into the bio market with an extensive 1000+ range of organic products produced from sustainable agricultural practices. The range’s packaging and visual identity, developed by graphic designer and art director Pascal Frey and Schneiter Meier, delivers an everyday accessibility to what has, in the recent past, been seen as an expensive lifestyle purchase through the merging of natural, high quality illustrations and images with simple layouts and plenty of space.
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Rather than ‘diverse cohesion’ Migos’ Bio range has a very clear sense of unwavering supermarket consistency - common within the own-brand category. Based around plenty of space, a linen-like cream backdrop, a light typographical choice and ingredient/product imagery - laid out with a straightforward top down hierarchical structure with an appropriate preference for image over type - it creates a light, natural and honest sensibility that avoids appearing basic or generic.
The images look great, confidently blending retouched photos and realistic computer illustration composed with a traditional/retro conventionalism that appears wholesome and reassuring. They have great sense of depth through the use of accurate shadows and highlights, detail and colour that help to enhance features such as the waxy gloss of the fruit, the scales of the fish and surface texture of the crisps. Detail that really helps the images stand out from the light and flat background whilst retaining their desirable organic qualities. These are underlined by a very light weight, green, sans serif typographical choice, so where the images deliver summary impact these provide the necessary information close up in a soft and familiar way.
This lightness of background colour and good use of space - especially across the larger products - work well to draw distinctive proprietary quality from the basic utility and off-the-shelf sensibilities of the structural choices while a matt varnish subtly lifts these with a tactile higher quality.
The logo - a leaf and slab serif set within a roundel - is expected but appropriately leverages established industry conventions to convey environmental, agricultural sustainability and the organic nature of the products. It sits well over the images with a craft-sticker, local market quality that, in conjunction with the large images, establishes the two basic propositions, product type and organic origin.
It isn’t ‘trendy’, it doesn’t go out of its way to create a quirky tone of voice or set a pseudo-rural, local industry, artisan sensibility. It’s clear that it is part of a supermarket rather than a small craft brand which helps to build in a sense of straightforward honesty and ‘purity’ of ingredients without the narrative that tends to come with organic products. Individually each piece of packaging appears consistently well designed and collectively share a simple, identifiable, affordable everyday aesthetic without appearing low quality.
Richard is a British freelance design consultant and writer who specialises in logos, branding and packaging. He has written for Brand New and Design Week, featured in Computer Arts magazine, Logology, Los Logos, Logolounge, The Big Book of Packaging and runs the blogs BP&O and Design Survival.
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