BVD’s decluttered identity refresh for smartwater brings clarity to the premium bottled water brand
Evolving the renowned brand, Stockholm-based strategic design agency BVD have refreshed the identity of premium bottled water company GLACÉAU smartwater, creating a slick graphic and packaging system. In doing so, smartwater’s rebrand streamlines its ever-growing varieties, revitalises its aesthetic, and establishes its elevated position in the beverage space. “It reflects the smartwater personality,” Design Director & Partner Rikard Ahlberg tells us, discussing the outcome as “unconventional, transparent and honest” – tonal principles that were established during their strategy and positioning work.
Led by their agency ethos, ‘Simplify to Clarify,’ BVD took to defining smartwater in as minimal terms as possible, beginning with bolstering and refining the brand’s renowned droplet. “We made tiny updates on the droplet shape that are not obvious,” Ahlberg explains, “it’s more how the droplet is treated and respected,” he adds. Beyond the droplet’s minutiae, BVD gave greater prominence to the mark by ‘decluttering’ the supporting graphic language, providing it the space to become even more distinctive. “And of course,” he continues, explaining the droplet’s evolution, “how the new wordmark interacts with the droplet is a new way of thinking,” becoming a vital element of the lock-up, rather than simply a background for it to sit upon. As such, the droplet has become both a distinctive mark and a variable device for showcasing the brand’s supporting elements, such as its flavour-inspired colour palette or a textural material element.
The new wordmark illustrates an expansive shift in the hierarchy of the brand and packaging, whereby the text – set in Commercial Type’s Graphik – places more emphasis on the ‘smart’ part of the name. “We believe in strong brand recognition,” Ahlberg states, “and that ‘smart’ together with the droplet intuitively reads as smartwater,” indicating the redundancy of ‘water’ in the context of the bottle. Together the combination of the clarified typographic arrangement and Graphik’s pragmatic and characterful construction leads to an ownable, prominent and proud visual language – one that treats its audience as ‘smart’ customers.