Launched in 2014, Exo has an interesting claim: being the market leader in insect-based protein. Using all-natural cricket-flour — that has been flash-frozen, roasted, and milled — Exo makes protein bars with natural ingredients in flavors like Blueberry Vanilla, Apple Cinnamon, Peanut Butter & Jelly, Cocoa Nut, and Banana Bread. In case you’ve missed the health memo, crickets are a fantastic addition to your diet as they are protein-rich-crazy and they are also good for the world as they require a lot less infrastructure to “farm” than cows or chickens. Also, roasted cricket plus guac: yum. Earlier this year, Exo introduced a new identity and packaging designed by Brooklyn, NY-based Gander.
I did a review of the original Exo logo and packaging back in 2014 and found both to be quite good. I liked how the “x” in the old logo was extended to look like antennae but it wasn’t cartoony. While the old logo and packaging aimed to have a scientific-y look, the new approach is very clearly geared towards fitness… more specifically the “fringes” of fitness for the type of person who likes to flip monster truck tires over and over as a form of exercise and who wouldn’t think twice about eating crickets.
A protein bar with more guts. We created a fearless, illustration-packed identity for Exo, the cricket protein company. Bold typography, irreverent illustrations and raw, in-the-moment photography together give a resounding ‘weird is good’. For the adventure-seekers, life-hackers and folks who are willing to do things differently, this one’s for you.
Gander provided text
The new logo maintains a little bit of a bug aesthetic with an “X” that could be interpreted as a cricket seen from below with the legs extending backward and antennae sticking forward. It also now has an industrial vibe perfect for cross fit locations around the world. The logo execution isn’t too complicated but, still, they did nail it. The condensed structure looks fit and the thickness of the stroke is strong.
The new packaging features a medley of intentionally clunky illustrations and doodles mixed with cheap-looking photos and clip-art all coarsely silhouetted and mixed. Although “bad”, these concoctions are great and they work perfectly around the bold color blocks and typography of each wrapper. The boxes somehow miss the mark though… too much white space. It’s like they are unfinished in contrast with the energy built into the wrappers where every inch feels like it’s about to explode.
Exo also has a good sense of humor in their merch — that “BUGS” cap — and the executions are loose, fun, and unpretentious. While the old packaging was perfect for the book worm, this is perfect for the gym rat. The change in aesthetic and audience is clearly defined and I imagine much more productive for the company.