Think of the last time you travelled abroad. Of course, you visited the must-see attractions and landmarks, sampled the foreign food, and maybe tried a little bit of the language. You might have also wandered into a store or two, searching for souvenirs or snacks for a day out. Beyond the obvious language barrier, the packaging design itself can feel novel and different to the design culture of your home country.
We contacted 12 designers from 12 different countries, and challenged them to design a can for a new carbonated orange drink being released in their country. Each designer received the same brief, except for the country name and language of the brand name, and were encouraged to simply create something which would appeal to the mass market of their homeland.
The British take on this brief is humorous, and leans more into the human experience of the drink. Bright red and striking, this design competes well with the competitive drinks shelves.
United Arab Emirates
This clean, classic design from Dubai is reflective of the chilled out vibes enjoyed by beach-bumming tourists in this city.
The Nigerian design features realistic fruit imagery and shading, along with bright, attractive colours. Again, the focus is the fruit, rather than any artificial aspects.
This design from Canada is more clean-cut and grown-up than many of the other designs, making it stand out. The sharp black font on white, in particular, sets this design apart.
The Bulgarian design draws on the country’s traditional craft of weaving, as well as bright orange colours and striking typography.
Rather than red or stronger variations of orange, the Indonesia designer used paler, more yellow tones in their design. The typography can be likened to handwriting and completes the wholesome look.
The Spanish artists primarily uses green in this design, with blue and green typography. The orange fruit slices stand out as contrasting colours. The small splashes of orange and white give the design energy and movement.
The Norwegian design is cartoony and fun, with retro patterns and block colouring. The orange slice, in particular, is done with a minimalistic style, with overlapping shapes, to create interest.
This design from a Pakistani artist is bold and modern looking, with a glossy orange background and high-contrast highlights. Even the orange has a slick, high shine appeal to it.
The Brazilian take on the brief used bright orange and yellows to communicate the fresh fruit, while the contrasting green leaf refers back to the natural, non-colourants aspect of the product.
The NZ design is distinct with the textured yellow background and grassy lawn, referencing the all-natural aspect of the soda brand. The liquid is featured with bright droplets and real fruit.
The design from the Bahamas features a shining, orange sun, as well as sloshing liquid as a background, which does not look unlike the waves in the ocean.
Through this experiment, we have been able to see first-hand how cultural differences influence the design of packaging – something which we once thought to be levelled by the effects of globalisation and the internet. There are, of course, similarities in the use of fruit imagery and the colour orange, but each design contains distinctive elements, as well.