America’s least favourite fish gets a rebrand

The invasive Asian carp has been renamed the Copi, as Span Studio mounts a rebranding campaign to get people eating the fish – which is overrunning waterways in America’s Midwest

Asian carp Copie rebrand Span Studio

Ever heard of Patagonian toothfish? Slimehead? Peekytoe crab? All of these none-too-delicious-sounding fish have been the subjects of successful rebranding campaigns, becoming Chilean sea bass, Orange roughy, and mud crab, in a bid to get people eating them.

Chicago-based practice Span Studio is hoping it can work some similar magic on Asian Carp – an invented, catch-all name for various types of carp which escaped from fish farm retention ponds in the 1970s, and have since taken over the Illinois River. The fish have impacted biodiversity and ecosystems, and there are fears they will go on to damage America’s Great Lakes.

Asian carp Copie rebrand Span Studio
Asian carp Copie rebrand Span Studio
Asian carp Copie rebrand Span Studio

A press release from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources says that up to 50 million pounds of the fish could be harvested from the Illinois River alone every year – not taking into account the millions more in waterways across the Midwest.

It was this abundance of fish that inspired the new name, Copi – which is drawn from the word copious. Span Studio – commissioned by water and environmental engineering firm Tetra Tech – has also designed a Copi logotype, with stencil-style letters and a stylised fish-shaped O.

Asian carp Copie rebrand Span Studio
Asian carp Copie rebrand Span Studio
Asian carp Copie rebrand Span Studio
Asian carp Copie rebrand Span Studio

“The heaviness of the logo aligns with the physical qualities of these fish that can weigh over 100 pounds, reach five feet in length, and each lay over a million eggs per year,” says Span Studio.

The logo appears on a set of concept packaging designs, which envision how Copi might be sold – all emphasising the locally caught aspect. The ‘Eat well, do good’ tagline is the final element, with the rebrand designed to get people buying the fish at the supermarket, or ordering it from restaurant menus.

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