Spotlight on an Evolving Evolution

Posted: June 11, 2010

All-natural juice company Evolution Fresh is an independent and family owned company run by chefs and master juice makers. The 98 SKUs for the Evolution brand and its mirrored private label Harvest brand are currently sold in over 500 stores along the West Coast, including Whole Foods, Pavilions, and Gelsons.

Geyrhalter Design, in Santa Monica, CA, has been Evolution’s design agency for nearly a decade, nurturing the brand through consistent print collateral, website design, in-store marketing, truck graphics, and advertisements. Recently, Geyrhalter Design and Evolution took on the challenge of reviving all the SKUs for the first time since the start of the company. A fresh and clean new look was created to make the product more shopable while staying true to the company’s independent and free spirited roots.

The evolution of Evolution
“For an update, it became a fairly major project,” says Fabian Geyrhalter, founder of Geyrhalter Design. Early on, both Evolution and Geyrhalter realized that there was a lot of work to be done. Evolution was not presented as a unified brand as the Evolution logo itself even came in several different colors, and the ’80s style layout was boxed up and too colorful for modern, health-conscious sensibilities.

The story of the Evolution brand is an interesting one, to say the least. The founder of the brand, Jimmy Rosenberg, is also the founder of the Naked Juice brand. After Rosenberg sold Naked Juice, he was disappointed in the corporate direction it took. He also knew he could take the concept of all-natural juices even further. While he waited for a no-compete clause to run out, he built the Evolution concept on fresh-squeezed and fresh-pressed fruit and vegetable juices that are minimally pasteurized. The company's commitment to the freshest juices possible means limited distribution for the products, all bottled at a single location in San Bernadino, CA.

The rebranding effort was focused on creating a consistent brand image and increasing shopability. Introducing a revised red brand identity and all-red bottle caps enabled Evolution to stand out from direct competitors such as Naked Juice and Odwalla. The new matte-finish label stock creates a semimetallic effect in a manner that, when refrigerated, adds to the fresh feel that Evolution seeks.

In addition to creating a uniform look, specific colors were selected to complement each juice, giving it a visual flavor and making it easier for the customer to identify a specific juice on the crowded market shelves. The whimsical illustrations were carried over from the original design to make it easy for long-term customers to recognize their product and keep the home-made feel that is so important to the product.

To create a personal connection, Geyrhalter reintroduced the owner, Jimmy, into the brand by featuring a personal statement and his signature on one side panel. The other side panel features the “fruits-per-bottle” count and bullet benefits to remind users of each product’s freshness and nutritional value.

“I feel we made it more shopable,” says Geyrhalter. The redesign features more descriptive copy on the front panel, so the type got smaller. The head-tilting vertical type is gone, and the product name was promoted to the top. The product sub-category name lies on top of the illustration with a drop shadow, and value-add fields advertise “100% Freshest” or “100% Refresh.”

Streamlining shopability Billie Thein, director of marketing at Evolution, said the company researched how consumers “read” label systems in-store in the blink of an eye. An overarching goal was to make the labels make better sense.

With the new design, Thein explains, the shopper notices the red caps and red logos, as they create bands of lines of red on the shelf. “Now our brand is staked out,” he says. There’s a “progression of awareness,” that goes: 1) notice the brand and the red; 2) notice sub-family with color background; and 3) identify the product name at the top.

“It’s sort of a drill-down as you approach the set,” Thein explains.

Geyrhalter explains that the choice of typeface for the front panel was based on a fresh approach that was very readable in smaller size. “The type has a nice personality to it, a nice roundness to it,” says Geyrhalter. The consistent information hierarchy makes shopping easier for consumers, bolstered by light color fields that complement the primary juice ingredient instead of being “literal” representations.

The directive for the refreshed package design was to stay away from trite commoditized imagery that borders on immaturity. Thein explains a secondary goal as: “Don’t throw our loyal customers out of the saddle. It has to look like an Evolution package, only better.” The illustrations remain for continuity, and the back panel retained the typewriter fonts as another carryover from the previous design. “The design is really coming out of closely held ethos about freshness and artisanal craft,” Thein concludes.