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The controversial Tropicana redesign is rolling back to its previous design after an onslaught of negative feedback.

A tipster tells us that Pentagram principal, Paula Scher, states in her Facebook status update:

“Paula Scher thinks that the Tropicana recall will be the worst thing that happened to graphic design since focus testing.”

Unfortunately, we would have to agree.

(This is an update to an earlier post)

Update: Some great comments on Brand New


Add your dialogue below. Simple html (‹b›‹i›‹em›‹strong›) is OK, but make sure to preview your comment first! Oh, and please be nice!


 
 

Karen Horton said on February 25, 2009

The dialogue about Tropicana's backwards redesign continues to become more thought provoking. Pentagram partners add to the growing conversation and challenge Armin Vit's mention of "a branding Yom Kipper" on Brand New. Paula Scher and Michael Bierut seem to be in the minority with their views at the moment. However, their words should not be dismissed. I'll admit that when I first heard of PepsiCo's decision to revert to their older design, the first word that popped in my mind was victory (specifically for some of my brave peers who participated in a facebook group rallying against the new juice box design.) But soon after, I began to question what kind of precedent this decision would have. How costly was this decision for PepsiCo, and did any lose their jobs as a result? How many additional jobs could potentially be lost in the future as a result of more companies being hesitant towards change?

In a comment on the Brand New blog, Michael Bierut writes: "Enjoy the schadenfreude while you can. Then watch as every other client in the world — already scared by the recession — uses this case as an excuse to error on the side of caution whenever faced with a challenging design option. Sigh."

Paula Scher also writes, "If we persuade a largescale client to make change and we fail, our whole industry fails. The failure will not be blamed on the specific design, or the specific design firm. It will be blamed on the graphic design profession and the graphic design community. And it will cause all clients to be fearful of change..."

Does anyone think that a marriage between the old and new (in the future, not as a recall) would've been a better and more efficient compromise — rather than just taking steps directly to the past? For example, many consumers responded very positively to the new cap design and seemed specifically wed only to the iconic straw in orange imagery ...
 
 

Joshua Wentz said on February 25, 2009

Designers are always complaining when someone doesn't like their work; nothing new there. I never think to questioning a client's "bravery" if they decide to revert to a more comfortable design. This always felt like a bit of an experiment, and seeing the new ones on the shelf has been jarring. Know when to hold 'em, know when to fold 'em, I say. Tropicana was right in calling "I'm out" on this design. Paula and Pentagram have put forth more than their fair share of clunkers in the last few years, so I'm not shocked by their reaction to the recall. They love to say that when the mass public doesn't like something it is because "they don't get it". Yeah, that's what it is. ;) Ultimately, no one is going to see any new orange juice box designs if Tropicana files for Chapter 11 because everyone hates the look of their product. Back to the drawing board, the masses have spoken.
 
 

Matt Sung said on February 25, 2009

I really think that there could be a happier medium for this. I would expect that going back to their old design may be more of a swap out of the juice glass image for the orange + straw. Personally, I like the new cap. As for all the design conversations this has started, people still need their OJ, and Tropicana has always been a strong brand in my mind. An orange is still an orange after all!
 
 

Kyle Kesterson said on February 25, 2009

I still stick by my rebrand. For a fresh face lift, they just needed to implement a bit of character advertising. Kids and adults alike would've been drawn (pun) to their new image.

I really wish Tropicana took it seriously.

My version: Click for bigger
 
 

Rob Kristie said on February 26, 2009

In a way I am ecstatic about this and in a way I am scared.....let me explain I have a web design company named webOrange. When this design came out I was shocked that it looked like it was an extension of my brand. Then anger came about, and some of it just seemed too similar to have been coincidence. Of course I might have been just a little paranoid, but I actually went through the process of slightly redesigning my brand so it was not a carbon copy of this new packaging. The color values were so close to identical that I was sure they had seen my website in some search for orange design or something. I had the same font, same minimlist layout, etc... and I was worried since Tropicana is obviously such a large brand that new customers would think I stole all my ideas from them. (I felt a lot like that band who says Coldplay stole their song from them.) I ended up changing the green I used and redesigning my logo a bit with a gradient, just to differentiate myself. So, thinking about it that way, thank god they want back. Now, I am scared because their was so much negative reaction to their change, lol. I have got nothing but compliments since I have been in business, but if so many people hated that branding maybe I should rethink mine? LOL. At least Tropicana doesn't have packaging that looks like it was stolen off my website anymore.
 
 

Joshua Wentz said on February 26, 2009

Rob, I would suggest that since you are not an orange juice distributor, the graphics might be more relevant to your web design business. I was never down on the actual look of the graphic design work on the new Tropicana stuff... I just thought that it had no place on US grocery shelves.
 
 

Marie Hoyt-Pariury said on February 26, 2009

I agree. I even commented on this on a LinkedIn blog. I like the new design, it's very clean, and modern. But, I literally did a triple-take when I saw it on the shelf, I didn't know what I was looking at. Was this the juice I came in to buy? I like the new bottle design, but the graphics... yes, back tot the drawing board.
 

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