4 ArtCenter Students Redesign Brands With Racist Iconography

by Jessica Deseo on 02/22/2021 | 6 Minute Read

Chances are, you took one look at Aunt Jemima rebranding as the Pearl Milling Company and wondered, well, is that all there is?

Brands play an enormous role in our society. Whether you love them or not, they are a part of the social fabric. After the fatal death of George Floyd getting murdered by Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, those horrifying 8 minutes and 46 seconds, a world erupted where black voices not only needed to be heard loud and clear but acknowledged at long last. Many of us are now listening and, so it seems, are brands.

ArtCenter students enrolled in Packaging 2 were challenged to redesign a notably racist brand. They could choose from Eskimo Pie, Aunt Jemima, Darlie Toothpaste, Uncle Ben's, and Mrs. Buttersworth. The challenge was to completely rethink the racist connotation while still incorporating aspects of the brand's heritage. 

The results are new concepts that truly make the brand feel reinvented. Take a look.


Eskimo Pie Redesigned To Cosmo Pie

Designer: Anqi Qiao / Instagram: @anqi_qaq

Concept: Parallel Universe Eskimo Pie in a Parallel Universe - Cosmo Pie

Cosmo Pie is a complete reinvention of the Eskimo Pie brand. My concept, Future & Space, bridges the gap between the history of the brand, the needs of today’s consumers, and looks towards a hopeful future. Cosmo Pie now consists of a series of nutrient-rich ice cream products that provide the consumer with an experimental ice cream eating experience.

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Aunt Jemima Redesigned to Kindred 

Designer: Hailey Warsaw / @haileyjdesign

Family in all Forms Rebrand Concept 

The concept of Family in all forms touches the core of why Aunt Jemima works—the feeling of care, nurturing, and togetherness of Aunt Jemima’s character. However, the definition of Family has evolved over Aunt Jemima’s 130-year history, broadening the ways we experience connection. Now, Aunt Jemima must grow too and embody what it means to be a family today, not in its racist past. As Aunt Jemima evolves their outlook to uplift and represents the modern Family, one thing that won’t change is the nostalgia, warmth, and happiness that breakfast means to so many. The moments before a busy workday, the Saturday morning meals, the celebratory breakfasts in bed, and so much more. 

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Darlie Toothpaste Redesigned to Glo

Evelyn Luu / @evelyn.luu

My concept, purity, focuses on the feeling and cleanliness of teeth. 

Playing off the slang term “pearly white,” the pearl symbolizes purity and luxury. With the sense of pure and white teeth, this notion empowers your smile. The concept takes the brand online with Darlie’s known history with white teeth and eco-friendly toothbrushes. By becoming an internet brand, we aim to expand our market to millennials and enforce sustainability. This concept offers refillable products and options to customize your products online.

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Darlie Toothpaste Redesigned to Harmony

Milton Hwang / @milton.hwang

With discrimination a rampant issue worldwide, Darlie is a beacon in eliminating prejudice with their products by promoting harmony. Initially, as a company accused of having racist ties, Darlie is taking a step forward to bridge cultures and create balance through a monochromatic and sustainable theme. Modeling how nature can live in solidarity together and how the night is as important as day, Darlie envisions a future where humanity is united.

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