Storytelling is “the new black”. We all like stories — and all products have one. It’s a good designer’s job to always find and convey them, but -alas-, it’s rarely easy to do so. It can be done, nonetheless: and here we bring you a great example to prove it.
The Ippon Matsu is a Japanese beer that encompasses a whole tale on a few purposeful details, (that’s as minimal as you can go). It comes in two styles, with different tastes, colors, and ingredients, but the design remains unchanged. Two are the main and only elements: the label, and the logo. The handwritten label speaks craftsmanship on its sole strokes. The character of the beer is contained within them, and so is it on the logo itself: a single pine made up of three triangles, (supposedly signifying progress and future-mindedness), with a particularly interesting story.
Before the 2011 tsunami, Rikuzentakata was thought to be a place of “national scenic beauty”, with its some seventy thousand trees lined up on the shore. Once the waves came in, though, none remained — except for a single pine. The pine that stood still went on to symbolize strength and hope for the Japanese survivors, and here’s where its gets smart: “Ippon Matsu” actually stands for “One Pine Tree”. While the beer is still limited in production, all profits are donated to “the reconstruction efforts in Rikuzentakata, Japan”. Wow. How’s that for branding and marketing.
The craftsmen took a beautiful idea and turned it into an amazing product by designing its packaging with care and purpose. And that’s all that’s needed, really: a commitment to always see the hidden meaning and purpose of all things.
“The purpose of Ippon Matsu Beer is to spread the message of charity, raise awareness and help those living in the aftermath of the tsunami.”
This was just an example, but there’s many more. Good packaging strives only to respect the product as it’s presented; great packaging, on the other hand, tries hard to improve on it. To tell more; to engage, rather than to merely convince. Great stories lie within the products we wear and use. They’re somewhere below, above, around… they’re everywhere. Finding them is one part of the equation: the other one has to do with how to tell them correctly.
And, as with everything else, there are great ways to do so. Sometimes, a little logo is more than enough.