In debuting a new company look in December, indoor agriculture company Square Roots had a central goal in mind: be transparent.
From a visual standpoint, the new packaging for products like basil, dill and a spring mix is mostly clear sans a label. The idea, according to Square Roots design director Mariana Gorn, is to allow the consumer to literally see the product clearly before they buy it.
“It captures that vitality and crispness of our produce,” Gorn says of the new look. “There are a lot of constraints with packaging. We wanted to create this thinner label with our packaging, have this ‘less is more’ approach to our design. That was hard in determining the information hierarchy, deciding what’s most important, and so on. But that ends up being more of a blessing than a curse.”
Still, Gorn says the packaging also was designed with the intention of pulling in consumers with what she calls a “modern and sleek and striking” design. In comparison to their social media branding, where Gorn says the story being told is often more about the big picture, the look of the package has to catch someone’s eye and tell a story about that specific product.
That’s why, for instance, the name of the product (basil, for example) is enlarged on the package, with the Square Roots name set to its right and a ‘locally grown’ label placed underneath.
Also a key component, according to Gorn: designing the package so it grabs the consumer’s attention but isn’t so obtrusive that it blocks the price tag in front of it. And even if it’s not a conscious realization by the consumer, the idea is to draw them in with the look from 10 feet away and then, when they get up close to the product, teach them what the product is all about.
“Different consumer touch points exist,” Gorn says. “If we have an ad somewhere or we post something to social [media], it might be more expressive or aspirational. But when you get to retail, that tends to be more informational. That balance is key to us in explaining to customers what Square Roots is.”