Launched in 2009, Bulletproof is a range of coffee, supplements, and snacks created by Silicon Valley denizen Dave Asprey. What makes the coffee different from other coffees is its claim to “help people perform better, think faster, and live better” by combining its specially-treated coffee beans with grass-fed butter and “Brain Octane oil” that are blended into a frothy drink. (So that you don’t have to, here is what drinking Bulletproof for two weeks feels like.) Their signature coffee has led to a range of products that include other supplements, nutrition bars, a cookbook, and a diet plan. Late last year, Bulletproof Coffee started rolling out a new look — with new packaging being produced every 2 to 4 weeks — designed by Seattle, WA-based Emblem.
Bulletproof pioneered the unconventional process of starting your day by blending grass-fed butter into your coffee. Bulletproof is much more than just coffee however, they created an entire line of supplements, foods and technologies to help you perform better, think faster and kick more ass! We were able to reimagine their primary logo, 86 different packaging SKUs, a versatile hexagon visual language, website, conference materials, and everything in-between.
If we were playing a game of random-word association I would have never said “dove” in response to “coffee” but that’s what the icon for the brand is. The old one had the coloring of a hummingbird so it was hard to grasp exactly what it was; it could be said it was a good dove drawing — perhaps even Charlie Harper-esque — but I wouldn’t say that. I can definitely say the old type was whack with that poor “U” and “R” trying to look sharp. The new logo is a nice evolution, abstracting the icon into a single color and making it look more technical, science-y, and more like a dove. The wordmark holds on to the condensed structure and fixes the “U” and “R” but allows the “O”s to keep suffering with their squared top-right corner.
The main identity element to complement the logo is a hex pattern because science. It’s a slightly cliché graphic but it undoubtedly gets the point across. (I guess that’s the what a cliché does best.)
The old packaging looked like really bad high school science textbook covers with tacky illustrations of science hard at work. The typography and visual hierarchy of the labels were pretty bad but to its credit they all stuck to the white arrow device on the top.
The new packaging has a more effective combination of aesthetics: coffee-ish with a dose of GNC. While that may sound like a slight putdown, it’s not entirely, as it’s now clear that this isn’t coffee (or protein bars) meant to be enjoyed by the window as it gently rains outside while you look longingly out thinking about life. This is coffee meant to be pounded in the morning and expecting for it to deliver a boost. Graphically, the system is pretty strong, with a heavy use of angles that help display information and product names efficiently and consistently. The color coding is effective and the typography is solid. It could totally exist without the hex patterns but then, no science.
As mentioned in the intro; packaging is still being rolled out, so it’s mostly renders but the nutrition bars look pretty convincing.
The ads and banners are effective and well balanced, building on the angles of the packaging. Again, the hex patterns are the one thing that make me cringe a little bit but, again, I can see how they help the cause. Overall, while not my, um, cup of tea, this is a strong evolution and a decided improvement in the packaging.
Plans are in development for coming back to Europe in Spring of 2018 with the current top contender host city of Barcelona.