First brewed in 1962, Strongbow is a dry cider owned by Heineken. The name (and logo) are based on Richard de Clare, described (by Strongbow Gold) as “a powerful, and often ruthless, 12th Century Norman warlord who earned his nickname ‘Strongbow’ for his expertise with a bow that was feared throughout the land.” Dude died of a foot infection. Popular in the UK and Australia, Strongbow is reportedly the number one selling cider in the world. Strongbow recently introduced a new logo and packaging designed by London-based Bulletproof.
The duality of the brand marque represents both the crisp cut-through product taste and brand heritage via the crafted arrowhead, confident archer and tension in the bow. Simple yet powerful; the archer stands with pride, creating impact through the strong black and gold colorways. The embellished version of the arrow device, with exploding fruit photography, works to create impact and standout, whilst strongly reinforcing refreshment cues on secondary packaging and brand communications.
— Tony Connor, Design Director at Bulletproof
The previous logo was a strong, minimalist rendition of an archer; I liked its stance and position, ready to make it rain with pain. I also liked the old typography — bold, tight, and condensed. The application on the packaging wasn’t terribly inspiring, but anything with black backgrounds gets my vote. The new logo is a little strange. The icon has an interesting idea of making an arrowhead figure from the combination of the archer and his bow. It almost works, but the bow feels too exaggerated and the torso of the archer is way too strange and disproportionately drawn. The bevels and gradients also don’t feel quite figured out. The one positive of the logo is that looks much stronger small. The typography is a good improvement on the old, with the chiseled, arrow-ier stems but the shading, again, is slightly awkward. On the packaging, the logo does pretty much the same thing as the old one, just filling up the label, which is a fine thing to do. The 12-pack reveals the holding shape of the logo on the bottle, which is another arrow, piercing through a perfectly sliced apple. Not too convincing, but the effect on the shelves probably makes up for it. Overall, even though I’m not keen on many of the details, the redesign does feel well targeted to having a stronger shelf presence.