Carter Wong rejuvenates Cornetto

Design consultancy Carter Wong has rebranded Unilever’s Cornetto ice cream, as part of the brand’s strategy to reposition itself in the market

Design consultancy Carter Wong has rebranded Unilever’s Cornetto ice cream, as part of the brand’s strategy to reposition itself in the market, giving it a more youthful appeal.

Carter Wong, which also designed Unilever’s Heartbrand heart logo for all their ice cream businesses back in 1996, was commissioned to redesign Cornetto to make it more appealing to the younger, 15-25-year-old consumer.

The original logo had been tweaked over the years, but it was felt that it was now looking rather tired and neglected (see previous design below), according to Carter Wong creative director Phil Carter.

The old Cornetto identity

The new marque emerged from the simple idea of creating a logo in the conical shape of the product itself. It now runs vertically up the ice cream cone, thus “owning the cone”, as Carter points out. “The new packaging has much stronger standout now, as the logo is so graphic, no matter how the cones sit in their individual freezer baskets.”

The logo was hand-drawn, undergoing numerous iterations, and morphs two typestyles (see below sketches) to create the final version. Carter worked closely with designer Martyn Garrod and master typographer Geoff Halpin on the eventual design.

Below, a few additional iterations of the conical idea

The brief was very far reaching, going beyond the logo and taking into account every application for the new identity, from global packaging to POS and events. The below branded illustration by Billie Jean, for example, will run across all collateral at a summer music festival Cornetto is running with MTV in Italy this year.

In addition, the consultancy designed numerous other elements, such as a variety of little graphic icons based around the cone shape (see below) that can be applied to different packaging and other collateral as and when is required in the future.

Carter also created a hand-drawn secondary typeface to accompany the logotype – “it took me an eternity to render, as Unilever being a global brand, I had to draw every language including cyrillic, for instance, but it was well worth it,” says Carter. The bespoke typeface was also used on its own on cones in multi-packs of Cornetto, giving them a distinctive look and therefore discouraging retailers from selling them individually – a neat design solution to a pesky problem.

The type-only design for cones sold in multi-packs (above), and sample of the secondary hand-drawn typeface (below)

Overall, the new brand identity aims to emphasise Cornetto as a family of products, and highlight the global reach of the brand – the idea being that the graphic nature of the word mark avoids language issues, says Carter. The complete rebrand will be rolled out throughout the year, and Carter Wong is already working on packaging for 2014…

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