Featured image for Pack of the Month: Seachange's HeyHey Has Our Full Attention

Pack of the Month: Seachange's HeyHey Has Our Full Attention

by Bill McCool on 03/31/2022 | 4 Minute Read

Sometimes, all you need to stand out on the shelf is a can that says, “hey.”

And that’s what New Zealand design studio Seachange did precisely with the identity and branding they created for the ready-to-drink cocktail HeyHey. Utilizing a familiar colloquialism in how New Zealanders commonly greet one another, it was the perfect summation of the brand's ethos of good hangs and coming together. That duality gets extended throughout the brand’s playful but minimal assets.

For Dieline's March Pack of the Month, we spoke with Seachange creative director Tim Donaldson about the inspiration behind the packaging design and why they chose to eschew illustrations and opt for something they thought was more timeless.

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Walk us through the design process that you went through for this project.

Our positioning idea with these ready-to-drink cocktails in a can was relatively simple; to celebrate the flavor and the social side of life—the coming together of friends and acquaintances. The process started with naming; after a very long, long list, we narrowed it down to a very short, short list before we settled on HeyHey. The name is a play on kiwi colloquialism of how two people greet each other "Hey" and "Hey." It perfectly summed up the brand idea of people coming together playfully and memorably.

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From there, we developed the visual identity, packaging, and comms, which all explored this idea of duality and meeting up. Color palettes were driven by the flavor SKUs, playing into the key ingredients but in an unexpected manner. We're lucky that we have a great relationship and a lot of trust with our client, so the process was actually quite streamlined and didn't involve round after round of iterations.

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You mentioned that you wanted to avoid a heavily illustrated piece of packaging. Why did you opt to go so type-heavy?

In the New Zealand market, the key competitors lead with illustration-heavy designs. To distance ourselves from them, we decided to go for a more timeless typographic design that would appeal to a slightly more sophisticated and discerning drinker. We liked playing with the idea that "HeyHey" becomes an endless repeat, and the full name only reveals itself with two cans doing "cheers" or sitting side by side. 

Wrapping the HeyHey mark around the can also created a more intriguing design by ignoring the idea of a traditional front and back. The carton boxes become mini billboards on the shelf, so the strong typographic design helps create stand-out and recognition.

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

The biggest goal was to create a packaging design that struck a balance between being timeless and classic but with just the right amount of personality and flavor cues. Given our target audience, hitting the right tone—while still looking like a tasty drink—was the biggest challenge.

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What type did you use for the branding and identity? Why?

The wordmark is custom. Like most of the wordmarks we create at Seachange, the mark is bespoke. We trialed so many type treatments before settling on this one. We felt it had the right amount of sophistication and celebrated the name successfully. It's slightly more feminine and has a classic modernity to it, which we think will be a strong asset for the brand moving forward.

The supporting typeface is Suisse Int'l, a wonderfully hard-working sans serif that nicely compliments and contrasts the serif wordmark.

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What was the most challenging part of this project?

Doing "virtual press passes" to sign off colors and printing during one of New Zealand's strict covid lockdowns! We had to do it over Zoom, which definitely was not the same as seeing actual samples in person.

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

I think the logo take-over on the cans and ignoring a traditional "front label." A close second would be the carefully considered color palettes that work super hard on the shelf (sorry, that's two).

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

Can printing isn't perfect! 

We're total perfectionists, but with printing onto cans, there are inherent imperfections and technical restraints due to the process—a few caught us by surprise. But there's always the opportunity to improve and address things on subsequent print runs.

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