London-based design agency Deuce Studio recently collaborated with Budweiser to create a limited-edition can for its 2021 Labor Day campaign, in celebration of "hard-working Americans". We spoke to Jonny Aldrich, co-founder and Managing Director of Deuce, to get his take on the project as well as challengess and opportunities around pack personalisation.
What were the challenges Deuce had to address around this particular project – and, in general, what are important factors to bear in mind when it comes to packaging design and personalisation?
The classic challenge is working with US clients while you are based in the UK, we have worked with a variety of client across the globe and the process is no different, as long as you do enough research into the topic area you can’t go wrong, that’s why our campaign is much rooted in American culture, American people, how hard they work to keep the country running and of course never forgetting about Labor Day itself and all its history, it’s an important holiday in America and paying tribute to this was key. In terms of personalisation that wasn’t too much that could go wrong, the most important factor was displaying their name prominently on the can, while creating a design that celebrated Labor Day, of course the length of each persons name on the front, catering for different lengths and special characters if needed was also important to get right and lastly their job title and story on the back of pack conforming to the right length and style. It was fairly simple process, we purposely didn’t overcomplicate it by creating a system that could flex for different names without hindering the overall design.
How do you see on-pack personalisation developing in the coming years? What potential do you see when it comes to linking up the physical and the digital world?
On-pack personalisation is a great way of connecting with consumers, take the Coca-cola campaign, ’share a coke with’ and the huge success that had and all they did was print every name possible on a coke bottle, easily done with a traditional label, less easy when it comes to directly printing on aluminium cans, but still its super simple and an effective way to connect with consumers in a personal way, seeing their name in conjunction with the brands they love, it just feels right. Of course all of this is made easier with the advances in print technology, like short run printing such as flow wrap or labels on cans, has seen a huge rise with craft breweries doing limited edition flavours and big brands can do similar things to.
Are there any other examples of personalisation projects that you worked on and would like to talk about?
This is actually our first personalisation style packaging project, but we did do a personal project to create customised website links for a campaign and packaging project we did called Mask Mints, we created one piece of packaging, a tin of mints to help you freshen your breath underneath your mask on your commute to work, and we sent these out in the post to potentially clients, along with a mysterious postcard to visit a personalised website link with their name on, a little bit creepy, but all in good fun, we actually used a handwriting robot so each postcard felt handwritten. It's the little touches that go a long way and we got tonnes of replies, so it worked too.
Editor of Touchpoints magazine, writer for Packaging Europe magazine and design enthusiast!