This blog is no longer maintained. Please visit our new blog.

Publix Redesign Revisited

Mary’s post on the Publix product redesign “Stark is Good” was so popular that I dug up another blog who’s sole purpose is the showcasing of the new designs Publix is putting out, Publix Packaging.

Here are all the images for your perusal:

carpops.jpg cheddarcheesy.jpg cheesetortellini.jpg chocolatechips.jpg
cookies_sandwich.jpg fishsticks.jpg flour.jpg grahamcrackers.jpg
lightbulbs.jpg sourcream1.jpg vanillawafers1.jpg veggies.jpg

Stark is Good


An article, in the May 7th issue of The New York Times Magazine, called Shelf Improvement discusses the emerging “private label” or “store brand” and its growth in popularity. These store brands used to mimic the look of famous name products, but now a grocery store chain called Publix is taking an opposite strategy.

PD.JF06_Page_08b.jpgI think the ideas celebrated in this article and in the many accolades that Publix designs have garnered are applicable to libraries. These include pieces in Package Design Magazine and Private Label Buyer and an award from the graphic design magazine HOW. Each time I walk into a library I find tons of design clutter. Every brochure looks different from one another. Sometimes there is a mixture of home grown objects and free things that libraries have received from vendors (which are slick, but hardly well designed). My point is there is no clarity, no continuity in any of the designs. It is hard to tell what the library is trying to say, where you are supposed to go etc.

PD.JF06_Page_12a.jpgSome of the design principals that helped Publix win such awards could help us:

  • “Instead of echoing brand-name designs, Publix’s products have their own look: clean, clever and — with lots of white space and simple but crisp typography…”
  • “Cox’s (Tim Cox, director of the company’s in-house creative-service department) department set out to create a style that would “separate itself from what else is happening on the shelf.” If most packaging screams “look at me” with bright, colorful, busy graphics, one response is to go the opposite way, with a spare look.
  • “The aluminum foil boxes… feature little animals (a turtle, a swan, a moose) made of foil. The image changes depending on the message for the category but gives the designers some flexibility, Cox says. “The tinfoil has been very popular,” he adds. “And the intent was for the customer to say, ‘Oh, I get it,‘ and they can stand there and smile. If you can engage with them on that level, it’s a different means of interaction.
An update to this article can be found here: