Center go all-in on minimalism with their confident packaging design for United Sodas of America
United Sodas of America approached Brooklyn-based design studio Center with a seemingly simple but potentially complex brief: “create a modern soda brand that represents the new America.” In a country that, for so long, has just seen red and blue, United Sodas believe that variety can trigger unity.
The resulting packaging design is minimalism at its finest, with a powerful, pared-back typographic approach and a flurry of vibrant colours unifying the brand’s 12 unusual soda flavours – which range from ‘Toasted Coconut’ to ‘Blackberry Jam’. “We knew we wanted the design system to have an unbranded approach to it,” studio founder Alex Center explains, so the typeface “had to be a simple do-it-all grotesk that we could use for everything.” This thinking led the studio to Klim Type Foundry’s sans serif Founders Grotesk, with which they utilised a multitude of its weights to create a distinct hierarchy between the logotype, flavour names and supporting details.
“It didn’t take a tonne of convincing,” Center tells us of United Sodas’ willingness to go with the chosen visual approach. “We showed them four vastly visual directions in the first presentation, knowing that this one was the riskiest, but definitely our favourite,” he continues, “I’m pretty sure we started to sell in this direction with a Dieter Rams quote, maybe that could have helped?” After a weekend soaking it all in, the United Sodas’ team decided “they wanted to go all-in on the boldest, yet most minimal direction” due to a feeling that it successfully represents every American – regardless of which facet of the political spectrum they choose to reside.