Established in 1890, Bartell Drugs is self-described as the oldest family-owned drugstore chain in the U.S. with the founder’s grandson currently serving as chairman and CEO. Bartell Drugs has over 60 locations around the Puget Sound with the majority of them in Seattle, WA. Last year, the pharmacy introduced a private label brand, Emerald & Spruce, starting with a range of ice creams and now growing into vitamin supplements and dog treats — an eclectic range of products, for sure. The identity and packaging have been designed by Seattle-based Hornall Anderson.
Taking a cue from the local surroundings, the new brand name Emerald & Spruce evokes the landscape and spirit of the beloved Pacific Northwest and its vibrant, eclectic blend of people. It’s a juxtaposition of rugged natural environment with a polished crown jewel.
A colorful, modern-day patchwork pattern epitomizes the wide range of unique offerings and different flavors, tastes, and sounds of the Pacific Northwest. This unmistakable brand cue creates recognition in aisle, ties the packages together as a cohesive family of products, and breaks through the clutter on shelf in a memorable and recognizable way.
Through tone of voice and flavor names, the Emerald & Spruce ice cream line offers a touch of whimsy and fun, drawing upon much-loved locations around the Greater Seattle area. The result: A design flexible enough to maintain the integrity of a variety of brand extensions including vitamins, dog treats, and beyond.
Hornall Anderson provided text
I appreciate the idea of the logo — an abstract tree ring (either that or it’s an iceberg lettuce cut in half, so I’m leaning towards tree ring) — but the execution is underwhelming. It feels overly vectorized and not nature-y at all. The typography isn’t very engaging either; even the flourish ampersand feels like it’s trying too hard. Luckily, the packaging is quite nice and makes the logo a little more convincing.
I get the sense that the logo was done before the packaging because they are operating on two very different spectrums. If they had used the same typography from the packaging on the logo it would have improved by the scoopful. The main attraction on the packaging is a diamond-based quilt pattern that’s always anchored at the bottom of the product. The simple, hand-drawn patterns within the quilt pattern provide a fantastic texture and the color palettes for each product are attractively in synch. Like most private label brands, the products have a heavy white background and colorful typography and both traits have been very well handled here.
The packaging certainly reaches the desired perception from the provided text, giving the brand a unique Washington-State-ian look and feel, if there is such a thing. Overall, while the packaging is precious like an emerald, the logo could use a spruce up.