Based mostly in what’s been optimistically named London’s ‘Design District’, New Style is a fairly youthful studio that’s racked up an impressively broad vary of tasks and shoppers in its quick life. Simply shy of two years outdated, the studio has up to now labored throughout fintech, a non-profit artwork organisation, a pub, a magnificence model, and a marketing campaign for Jamie Oliver Group-founded youth activist motion Chunk Again.
Such a wide-ranging miscellany of labor could possibly be dismissed as unfocused, however in New Style’s case, it’s fairly robust stuff throughout the board – maybe an company discovering its ft, relatively than one with out route. I’d argue that its strongest work to this point, nevertheless, is in good quaint FMCG – a traditional branding and packaging challenge that exhibits off the studio’s knack with deftly chosen typography, excellent illustration, daring color, punchy messaging and playfulness.
Stated challenge noticed New Style create the id for Chilli Bomba, a fairly unusual-sounding “gourmand” vary of sweet that’s billed as “equal components candy, spicy, and savoury,” and guarantees to interrupt “the monotony of the overtly candy candy-land”.
Based mostly in LA, the small-batch-produced candies are primarily aimed toward adults; and in accordance with New Style, the core of its technique “shortly grew to become” Sweet for rebels’.
Whereas the model is resolutely adult-focused (and it’s arduous to think about an unwitting candy-seeking child taking too kindly to an sudden whack of chilli), there’s a whiff of childlike-leanings within the model’s central mascot who, naturally, is known as Mr Bomba. Based on New Style, this “dangerously playful” character represents “the explosive mixture of candy and spice”. He’s received a supporting solid of sweet friends representing the assorted Chilli Bomba product flavours, too, which New Style says are “often called the ‘Scovillains’”. We’re significantly taken with this furious-looking tackle the ‘horny’ inexperienced M&M, who represents the Spicy Peach Rings variant – a curious mixture of Minnie Mouse gloves, racy crimson heels and a really furrowed forehead. Spicy certainly.
The illustrations are the standout component of Chilli Bomba’s branding: their slight fuzziness creates a way of texture that makes the thick, black linework and gaudy colors really feel that little bit totally different. The cartoonish, skateboard-sticker illustration model has definitely been doing the rounds currently – it’s been used on all the pieces from finance software program (The Collected Works’ Expensify) to hashish gummies (Robotic Meals’s id for Goldmine) to an influencer-founded espresso within the designs for High of the Mornin’ – however Chilli Bomba’s illustrations nonetheless really feel refreshing and related. There’s a way with these characters that they’ve been bedded in – they really feel like hardy perennials by some means –vmore a scruffy pair of Converse than the blinding white of field contemporary Nikes. They’re additionally, merely, cute; in addition to being a sensible versatile model asset that may flex on-line in each static and animated codecs, as 2D stickers, on billboards and different marketing campaign supplies and extra.
Alongside the illustrations, the opposite predominant characteristic that stands out is the typography. New Style opted to make use of a mixture of Brice by Typeeverything (which seems because the Chilli Bomba wordmark, in addition to on different headline sort), Adobe font Roc Grotesk, the deliciously shonky iII Hand by sort designer unwell Wookie, and eventually one other font that seemingly takes its identify from the identical bucket as many Soundcloud rappers, Lil Grotesk – a “quirky workhorse”, as New Style describes it, from foundry Noir Blanc Rouge.
New Style additionally designed the brand new Chilli Bomba e-commerce web site, which showcases essentially the most playful parts of the branding with candy little touches like a cartoonish white gloved hand cursor, and no scarcity of interactions with the characters that make the model come to life.
It’s no imply feat to create an id for a product that doesn’t (so far as I do know) have any actual friends or precedents: the branding has to do a good bit of legwork in truly speaking what it’s (right here, chilli/spice-packed sweeties), the place extra acquainted product ranges (issues like jelly sweets, gifting packing containers of candies) can let the ‘what’ take a backseat, and concentrate on the model itself.
That is one space that New Style hasn’t fairly nailed: a fast look on the packs and marketing campaign didn’t inform me what these merchandise had been, and it was solely on studying the case research that I totally grasped it. The person SKU names don’t assist – save for the on-pack illustrations, it’s not simple to decipher what ‘Rainbow Belts’ or ‘Mish-Mash Gummies’ are.
The one different questionable design resolution is extra an artwork route one. The images model is that relatively on-trend high-contrast, unflinching starkly detailed hipsterish look, which is all properly and good for the photographs of some dude utilizing a laptop computer emblazoned with Chilli Bomba stickers; however fairly horrible for taking pictures the precise product. Positive, it’s an sincere depiction of what the candies actually seem like, however to us a minimum of, a really off placing one. Except you recognize they’re sweets, the red-flecked nuggets seem like some type of raw meat, all sweaty and bacteria-laden and grim. They appear extra just like the type of factor that’s sat within the window of a late night time kebab store since 2003 than a small-batch “gourmand” vary of sweet.
Nevertheless, total, the work is nice. In addition to going through the ‘comparatively unknown product’ problem, New Style additionally needed to navigate balancing daring, putting and – dare we are saying it – disruptive, with gourmand and grownup, all of the whereas giving hints of artisanal foundations. That’s why New Style’s work is sensible: it’s all shouty wordmark, shiny colors, and brilliantly drawn, cheeky character design, however there’s completely nothing infantile about it.