The Best Redesigns of 2022 (So Far)
by Rudy Sanchez on 07/04/2022 | 5 Minute Read
We’re already halfway through 2022, and we’ve had no lack of remarkable brand refreshes. So far, the best redesigns of the year are a diverse mix of brands, brand identities, and goals. Some refreshes include functional and sustainable packaging as well.
Longstanding brands refresh themselves every year, but we’ve seen a few great examples in the first half of this year, including Kraft Mac & Cheese and Barilla. We also saw newer projects already outgrowing their identities and undergoing a significant revamp, like upstart beverage brands Vina and Slug Club.
One trend that endures are brands flattening and minimizing their visual identity. Less continues to be more in branding, and flat design is popular to the point of being boring, but the rebrands below do a great job avoiding dullness and getting lost on the shelf. So while 2022 might not be as dramatic and plentiful as the previous year (thanks, supply chain), the redesigns are still rolling in and giving brand design nerds plenty of ammunition for their spiciest of takes.
Coca-Cola Company’s second-largest brand Sprite recently underwent an extensive brand refresh that’s as crisp and refreshing as the effervescent lemon-lime soda. Working with Turner Duckworth, Sprite also unified the brand identity globally, consolidating the different Visual Identity Systems (VIS) used across markets worldwide. The new wordmark is energetic, dynamic, and youthful. They also minimized the starburst that the brand has come to be associated with, pushing it away from the wordmark and using it as an emblem to introduce flavor variants. Plastic PET bottles also get a sustainability upgrade as Sprite moves from green plastic to more recyclable clear packaging.
Kraft Mac & Cheese
It’s been a rough few years, with dark economic clouds starting to move in, and consumers are embracing nostalgically-tinged classics, calories be damned. Kraft couldn’t have better timed its revamp of its Macaroni & Cheese—now just Mac & Cheese. JKR gave the pantry staple a new, modern look while retaining signature elements such as the signature blue. The new logo features a smile-shaped noodle with a decadent drop of cheese coming off the bottom.
Mars Wrigley’s M&M’s candy brand also received a facelift this year, and this one is definitely for the typography nerds. The JKR brand update focuses on the ampersand, emphasizing how the symbol brings things, and people, together. The new typeface makes excellent use of deep inkwells that infuse fun into the new identity, which is essential for a candy brand. The candy-coated mascots also got a makeover, giving each character a more defined personality and apparently some new, more comfortable footwear, kicking off plenty of controversy in the process.
Also—we haven't even seen the new packaging yet.
For 145 years, Barilla has been the world's leading pasta maker. The brand’s refresh, led by Robilant, includes an updated and simplified logo and wordmark and focuses on Barilla’s long history. The new packaging features detailed illustrations of pasta with dark red and deep blue boxes, and in some markets, Barilla even removed the plastic window. Unfortunately, in places like the US and Canada, the packaging will continue to have that little sliver of plastic. Nevertheless, Barilla estimates a reduction of 126 tons of plastic with the new packaging.
Maybe Barilla will make the windowless packaging universal sooner than later. Americans know what noodles look like by now.
Established in 1888, Squirrel Nuts has a long history of making giftable snacks. The brand worked with London-based design agency Straight Forward, which updated Squirrel Nuts’ logo with charming typography. Zip, the company’s adventuring rodent mascot, had been tweaked and changed for over 130 years, so Straight Forward delved into Squirrel Nuts’ brand archives to give Zip a restoration. The packaging offers customers a premium experience featuring the brand story, including exquisite illustrations and a free-roaming Zip.
When Seth Rogan’s premium cannabis and lifestyle brand Houseplant launched in Canada, it did so with impressive retro-inspired branding and packaging. Two years later, Houseplant readied for its entrance into the US market, specifically California, and turned to Pràctica and Ma-Ma to refresh the brand. Building on the previous branding, both studios created a new type based on the previous wordmark. Flower jars have a LEGO-like tab on the top, making them stackable and fun. Colors got a little louder as well, giving the new packaging a retro vibe (and kudos for being recyclable and something you can repurpose for other uses as they're just so darn cool looking).
Probiotic, better-for-you soda brand Vina recently reformulated its beverages and struck a distribution deal with Southern California Whole Foods and Erewhon stores. Vina saw an opportunity to refresh the branding and packaging, adding a striking shelf presence inspired by the Beverly Hills Hotel, painters Ellsworth Kelly and Kenneth Noland, street artist Basquiat, and DIY 80s punk show flyers. The result from their in-house team is a blend of chic and casual, indulgent yet healthy.
Argentine RTD kombucha Slug Club approached agency The Collected Works to refresh the brand for its less-saturated but emerging local market. The result is a wordmark using fun, chonky type inspired by sea slugs with a subdued monochromatic color palette that pairs well with the logo for the labels. The system is intelligent, and the brand identity is intriguing and approachable, with a clean and refreshing presentation.
Founded in 1936 by British engineer Donal Morphy and salesperson Charles Richards, the home appliance brand has since expanded globally with different brand identities in various markets. The brand tasked agency Otherway with unifying the brand with a new, clear worldview. Working with lettering artist Alec Tear, a duo of bespoke type forms the basis of the new wordmark, inspired by the engineer and sales sides of the founders. The dual nature extended throughout the brand refresh, including Morphy Richards’ new packaging.
Based in New Zealand, cheese brand Talbot Forest approached Onfire Design to refresh the brand and create new, resealable packaging, reducing waste and adding value. Onfire adds illustrations of lush and verdant plants to the label, while the new wordmark evokes craft and artisanship. Cheese descriptions and pairing suggestions get added to the front of the vessel without making the new labels feel crowded.