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What I Learned About Packaging Design from a Bottle of Izze Soda


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What I Learned About Packaging Design from a Bottle of Izze Soda


"IZZE Soda" by Jake Spurlock, available under a Creative Commons License.

I remember when I first ordered an Izze sparkling juice a year ago, I made my decision based solely on the way the bottle looked and what it told me about the product. That’s it – I did not know about Izze until I saw a bottle of it call to me from inside the cooler of a gelato shop in Denver last summer.

Apparently I am not the only one to be seduced by Izze’s minimalist design. According to typeface retailer FontShop, Izze’s sales grew 450% per year over the first two years without any TV, print, or online advertising. I agree with FontShop that Izze’s bottle design is largely responsible for its success.

Although I was conscious at the time that my decision to purchase that first bottle of Izze was based on the way the bottle looked, it is only now that I realize what exactly it was about the bottle design that was so attractive to me. Clearly branded with Trade Gothic™ capital letters, a Caslon™ asterisk, and a simple graphic that depicts a cross-section of the fruit the beverage is made from, the Izze bottle proves that less is more when it comes to effective packaging design. People are on information overload today, and they expect to be able to determine exactly what your product is and why it’s so great in a single glance.

The Izze bottle’s design also respects the fact that readability, not content, is King. Content is important because it tells consumers what about the product inside the packaging and why they should buy it. Readability, however, is even more important because it makes the content visible.

And finally, Izze’s design adheres to the principal that effective product designs use a maximum of three fonts. Anything more looks busy and is difficult to read. The Izze bottle only uses one font (two if you count the asterisk). I challenge you to design your next product label with only one or two fonts. Izze’s did it, and so can you!