Introduced to market in 1948, Polo is a brand of mints sold in the UK by Nestlé. Weirdly enough there is no official website or social media account for the product despite that “38 million Polo mints are produced every day and around 100 million are chewed, sucked and swallowed every week”, according to this Independent story. The mints were originally produced by Rowntree’s who first produced Life Savers under a license from the Mint Products Company, until it was revoked in 1947 — which has led to many comparisons and battles over which mint gets to claim it’s the “mint with the hole”, a slogan both mints have used in different variations. This month, Polo will begin rolling out new packaging, designed by Bristol, UK-based Taxi Studio who got the job from Nestlé after a three-way pitch.
After generations of enjoyment, the POLO brand’s packaging was in need of some TLC to keep up with the times. Our team at Taxi was brought in to help refresh the POLO brand identity and enhance stand out on shelf in a way that drove relevance with a younger audience and retained existing, loyal customers.
We set out to make the POLO brand’s packaging as iconic as the mint with the hole itself. We simplified and contemporised the design, delivering a clear modern classic with a bold new system to reflect it’s perfectly precise nature.
The new Taxi Studio designed packs will be available in stores throughout the UK later this month as we continue to work with POLO to activate the brand off pack.
The old logo was pretty bad, with no integration between the letters and the mint illustrations and a bevel that would make the 1999 Internet cringe. The new logo is anchored by a deceivingly simple wordmark drawn by Rob Clarke that hosts two perfectly smooth representations of the titular mint, rendered by Bomper. The volume is achieved vividly through a bold, graphic shadow and just the right thickness of outline. It’s a beautiful bit of typography and a perfectly restrained bit of 3D rendering that makes the mints on the logo look lickable.
“Creating an all white brandmark visually simplified the design to give greater stand out while keeping the iconic mint at the heart of the brand. The strong yet simple architecture enables the POLO brand to remain consistent regardless of flavour variant to create an impactful brand blocking effect.”
Jonathan Turner-Rogers, Associate Creative Director @ Taxi Studio
Seriously, look at that.
The old packaging was perfectly in tune with the old logo in looking cheesy with the radiating swooshes from the logos oval holding shape, along with some tacky typography.
The new tubes are crisp and elegant yet fun with the large area span devoted to the new logo, free of distracting visual elements. The new design might lack the instant recognizability of the tubes at point of purchase for a few months but they clearly maintain the same overall presence and the name is even easier to read from afar now.
Overall, I’m not exactly sure why I am so pleased by this new design as it’s neither groundbreaking nor the most visually arresting piece of design to come across Brand New but the simplicity and boldness are really striking through a system that expands so easily from tube to packet to box. Holes be damned.