Pack of the Month: EZZ Drinks' Packaging Goes Down Nice and Smooth
by Bill McCool on 05/02/2022 | 4 Minute Read
I like functional beverages that tell you exactly what they are, particularly beverages whose job is to give you some much-needed chill—think Recess or Daydream. Soothing colors and ethereal gradients are put to work to do all of the heavy lifting, telling you that, yes, you are about to calm the fuck down.
EZZ Drinks does pretty much the same thing. Designed by Belgian studio Quatre Mains with a psychedelic gradient and soft, pillowy letters, EZZ Drinks’ design goes down just as smooth as a yacht rock playlist. It’s no surprise that it was also Dieline’s most popular project of April. We spoke with Quatre Mains Creative Director Joseph Robinson about the inspiration behind the packaging design and how “calm is the new busy.”
First off, can you tell us a little about your studio?
Quatre Mains is a small but mighty Belgian brand and packaging design agency located somewhere in the fields of Flanders whose passion is punching above our weight in the world of creative packaging design. Born 30 years ago as the brainchild of Els Goethals and Patrick De Grande, this love affair with one another, design, brands, products, and packs has grown into a business culture that celebrates creativity, diversity, and a really caring approach to everything we do. We're proud of our independent spirit, ultimate togetherness, and not taking everything too seriously—we’re an agency hungry to shake things up, or at least give it our best shot.
Walk us through the design process that you went through for this project.
Our focus for EZZ was to trigger intrigue and interest through their product-related paradigm shift that promotes "calm is the new busy." Like many beverage innovations on the market today, any new product dynamic that looks to shake up the status quo needs a clear explanation, or is required to signalize—powerfully—that something is going on. Our approach was to reflect the calmness of the product vibe by not overloading the pack with noise but concentrating on the branding and what the brand name wants to communicate.
What was one of the biggest goals you set out to achieve with EZZ Drinks packaging, and how did you accomplish it?
Our goal with EZZ was to try and zig while everyone else zags. Not exactly reinventing the wheel here, of course, and we’re not alone in this sentiment, but still, we committed to removing everything from our design that was surplus to requirement. While most clients ask us to add more icons and make the logo bigger, we relished this opportunity to keep things simple and embrace the breath of fresh air a stripped-down brand design brings.
The logotype on the can is a definite mood. How did you get those calm letterforms down, and what inspired you?
Knowing we wanted to zero in on the brand and what the brand name emotes, it was obvious that a typographic exercise was required to evoke the ease in EZZ. Inspired by the rippling of waves and a sun setting over a horizon, we looked to create a fluid movement that flows from top to bottom. That coupled with a super soft color gradation that diffused feeling invites us to sit back and relax.
What was the most challenging part of this project?
In terms of project challenges, we’re always concerned that our design strategy and execution prove to be a successful business choice for our clients. Often the hard work isn’t in the design itself but everything surrounding the development, positioning, and launch of a new product. We care deeply about the success of the brands we design for—if our client wins, we win too.
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?
We’re super proud of the EZZ branding and how it supports what this brand promises. It’s not every day you get a vertical logo approved by a client. To be honest, I think it’s our first.