IB Group—the UK’s largest distributor and wholesaler of confectionery products—sought to refresh the packaging design of its Mega Marshmallows brand to better align with the nostalgia associated with the classic treat. IB Group partnered with Manchester, England-based agency Brandon Consultants to develop the new identity and packaging design for the brand. Since British consumers associate extra-large marshmallows as being a great American tradition, IB Group wanted the brand refresh to reflect that retro Americana spirit.
The first challenge was making sure the Manchester-based design team could accurately capture the nuance of American culture. Another issue was working with a limited color pallet. The previous Mega Marshmallow identity and packaging already used bold, college sports’ typography with the red, white and blue color combination associated with the U.S. The new design would have to have those same colors but find another, more impactful way for the brand name to standout.
The first thing the team did was get input from its lead brand designer, Joe Bembridge, who recently visited Los Angeles. His impressions were used as a starting point to develop the design language. “The patriotism in the United States is unlike any other country. The stars and stripes of the flag could be seen fluttering in the wind at every turn.”
To maintain the brand familiarity and trust, Brandon retained the red, white and blue color theme and used it in combination with Bembridge’s story to create what looks like a fluttering American flag on the front of the package. “It felt natural that we use the deconstructed stripes of the American flag as the foundation of the design,” says Bembridge. “We took this inspiration to heart and simply wanted to fly the flag for Mega Marshmallows.”
The team chose three themes to symbolize classic Americana: baseball, classic movies and the flag. “We had the opportunity to have some fun and ramp up the American heritage that we all know and love. Our design inspiration was not only drawn from the U.S. national flag where we used the stars and stripes but also from the fun and playfulness of American sports typography. The type that you’d expect to see on the back of American Football jackets in the 1960s and ′70s. That Grease era we all know and love,” Brandon creative partner Abigail Taylor explains.
Instead of focusing on the limitations of the color pallet, Brandon concentrated on the typeface and reworked it into a three-dimensional form. The “MEGA” font was used to represent the squishy nature of marshmallows, and the “Marshmallows” font was, “born from the traditional Yankees and Dodgers baseball team’s wordmarks [logos], pointing to the sporty and fun nature of the brand,” Taylor explains. The final touch was a campfire icon that was added to further connect the brand to the American tradition of roasting marshmallows. “We simply amplified the brand assets and made them more relevant to the product and people’s love of great American traditions like marshmallows by the campfire.”