Pack of the Month: B&B Studio Gives Border Biscuits a Bold, Modern Refresh
by Bill McCool on 07/01/2022 | 4 Minute Read
Since 1984, Border has been one of the leading biscuit brands in Scotland, but even they had to admit—their delectable treats were starting to look a little stale.
In launching a new chocolate-covered range of treats, they turned to B&B Studio to take a chainsaw to their existing identity and packaging and create a more unified, perfect biscuit brand. The new and improved wordmark, a single line under the letter “O” that says they’re all about the cookies, speaks to the overall theme of “crafted with care” and is the centerpiece of the refresh.
We spoke with Shaun Bowen, creative partner at B&B Studio, about helping the beloved brand break away from beige and creating a thoroughly modern biscuit with a refined identity.
Why did the brand choose to go with a redesign/rebrand? What wasn't working?
Border was founded in Lanark, Scotland, in 1984 by John Cunningham with a mission to make the tastiest biscuits imaginable. The quality of the product meant that Border Biscuits became loved across the UK. Border is Scotland’s number one premium biscuit brand, and the Dark Chocolate Gingers are famously rated the Nation’s favorite in the UK.
There was a real opportunity to leverage this existing reputation to become the UK’s number one premium accessible biscuit. The previous branding and packaging was inoffensive but also safe. It didn’t have the clout, clarity, or personality to compete in the premium accessible space. It wasn’t unique, and it was just a bit too beige! Similarly, it didn’t have a clear design system, stretch, or impact to allow for future brand growth.
Border realized they had an opportunity to step up and elevate their status in respect of their quality. The rebrand has been announced (by Border) as the "biggest move in the brand’s 38-year history."
Walk us through the design process that you went through for this project.
As Border has big ambitions, it was vital to broaden its horizons and set the foundations for future growth. We worked collaboratively with Border and their research team to reposition the brand in a way that would resonate with their target without alienating loyal consumers.
We then translated that positioning for design—understanding the behaviors of premium accessible brands across categories to ensure the new packaging would exude that sweet spot of everyday luxury within its competitive set.
It was also key that we helped Border meet its sustainable packaging objectives, and the new design means the packaging is completely recyclable.
Tell us about the new wordmark. What guided your choices there?
The wordmark is all about celebrating the quality of Border’s biscuits. A bold yet elegant logotype signifies the brand’s commitment to craftsmanship, while a characterful, underlined "O" represents how the brand puts its products on a pedestal. It’s a confident logo for a brand with a lot to be proud of.
The new wordmark captures its premium quality but avoids traditional and ornate premium cues. In this way, it maintains the inclusivity, honesty, and everyday family values at the heart of the Border business.
What was one of the biggest goals you set out to achieve with the Border packaging, and how did you accomplish it?
We wanted to elevate Border as an accessible premium brand. There are plenty of average everyday biscuits out there—and super-premium products—but Border had a great opportunity to own the space for everyday, special treats.
The design needed to challenge the existing category offering. Bold and crafted simplicity worked to elevate it among its competitors as the biscuit of choice for everyday special moments.
What was the most challenging part of this project?
At the crux of our brief was the desire to help Border own the accessible premium tier in the UK biscuit category, and we think the redesign hits this target perfectly. Navigating our way between the codes of everyday and luxury was a balancing act, and we’re delighted with the result.
Share one lesson that you learned while developing the finished product.
Winning at accessible premium is a unique challenge. Brands must use design to prove their quality without losing a sense of inclusivity and personality. Often, the brands that succeed in this space take a brave approach to design and are not afraid to challenge category conventions—pushing them forward as a result. Arguably, it's one of the most interesting spaces in food and beverage packaging design.
Images courtesy of B&B Studio.