This is a very old entry — images are small, formatting is off.
While attending the International Balloon Race at the Indianapolis Speedway in 1921, as the story goes, Vice President of the Taggart Baking Company, Elmer Cline, came up with the name — which subsequently inspired the logo — of their soon-to-be-introduced loaf of bread as he was struck in wonder by the sight of the balloons in the sky. And for more than eighty years, Wonder Bread has been an icon of all things American, and, more yummily, of all things sandwich. Few things are as delicious as a peanut butter and jelly sandwich in classic white wonder bread as it sticks to the top of your mouth. Just don’t count the calories. But back on track: With an increasing number of products and SKUs that were growing inconsistent in their design, Wonder has just redesigned the complete line of packaging and has modified its logo. In charge of the redesign was Kansas City-based Willoughby Design, who was been working with Wonder since the late 1990s.
In 2008, after working through the needs of a changing market place, it was time for Wonder to evolve again for an older and more nutrition-conscious audience. Needing to recapture a #1 position in the market, Willoughby and Wonder Bread took a new look at the red, yellow and blue balloons, explored a more grown-up typeface, and dialed up the sophistication of the design system overall in order to broaden the brand’s reach to meet the growing demands of this older demographic.
— Willoughby Design
Contrast of old (above) and new (below) packaging.
With over sixty varieties of bread, buns and dinner roll products the redesign of the packaging certainly feels like it was much needed, and the result is undeniably pleasing and functional. Maybe a little too wavy, but what I have learned from mass consumer packaging is that straight lines or typography that isn’t on a curve or at an angle does not sell, so given the context it’s all well suited.
Changing the logo, however, seems completely unnecessary and the new logo is, unlike the packaging, neither pleasing nor functional. The flying balloons in the sky are harder to see, and have been weirdly relegated to the background, behind the crude, white stroke of the new Wonder typography, which is so awkward as well. It has too many quirks and peculiarities not worth introducing into the brand. The old typography was simple and had a great rhythm, while the new creates very irregular counterspaces. The old logo had also just been on the market for less than five years, having been designed by Willoughby as well, so it’s quite strange to see it change so soon and with little provocation.
Varieties of Wonder bread.
The new packaging may be nicer and easier to replicate among different styles of bread but, when coupled with the modernization of the logo, the whole brand feels decades away from its iconic visual status.