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New Logo and Packaging for Saxa by Robot Food
 

before

after

Reviewed Jul. 25, 2017 by Armin

Industry / Consumer products Tags /

First sold in 1907, Saxa is a brand of salt in the UK, considered to be one of its heritage brands by being a staple in the kitchen for more than 100 years. In 2007, it was purchased by food conglomerate Premier Foods. There is also Saxa in Australia but that’s under separate ownership. Saxa — UK — recently introduced a new logo and packaging designed by Leeds, UK-based Robot Food.

To many UK households, Saxa is salt. Saxa has been around since 1907 and is one of the UK’s better known heritage brands. Premier Foods asked Robot Food to reinvigorate this trusted brand with a stronger, fresher purpose, contemporary appeal and to give it pride of place again in UK kitchens.

The previous serif logo font was refined and the holding device was simplified. A contemporary sans serif was introduced for the variant name and descriptor, while ‘Est. 1907’ reinforces the heritage.

Robot Food provided text

New Logo and Packaging for Saxa by Robot Food
Full logo.

I wasn’t familiar with Saxa before but without reading about it and just looking at the packaging and logo you can tell this is one of those brands you take for granted and that you buy because you need it, not because you want it. Resisting to do a complete overhaul and introduce a geometric sans serif, the logo is a simple but elegant update to the slab serif typography that, lacking any cleverness or visual excitement, is simply meant to convey, “Here is your salt; you’re welcome”, without trying to allude to any backstory about salt being shepherded from the Himalayas by those goats that can go on the side of cliffs or whatever. I like that they were able to even salvage the awkward holding shape and how they took out the old swooshes in it (as seen in the old packaging below) and left a tilted holding shape.

The team uncovered a wealth of relevant themes and ideas, including how Saxa empowers ‘intuitive home cooks’ with choice and inspiration to make flavour come alive in every home. Armed with a clear design strategy, Robot Food took a thoroughly modern, upbeat and focused approach, leveraging Saxa’s rich heritage by simplifying key brand assets and amplifying the most relevant equities.

Robot Food provided text

New Logo and Packaging for Saxa by Robot Food
Product range, before.

The old packaging looked cheap, even for a cheap product. Especially the main fine salt tube with the grid of food photos that, on a scale from cardboard to 10, ranked near the bottom in terms of being appetizing. The other ones were not so bad, except for the exaggerated steam coming out of the food and, well, yeah, the typography on all those was pretty coarse.

The result is bold and expressive. Strikingly simple abstract cues represent the type of salt and communicate the flair Saxa brings to cooking. Taking inspiration from the sea, the sea salt products’ dashes and swirls evoke freedom of culinary expression and the invigorating experience of ocean waves. The coarse rock salt product is differentiated with a blocky design that evokes the texture of the natural rocks from which the salt is mined. As the original pack format was a key asset, the team stayed loyal, choosing to use the iconic drum shape to strengthen Saxa’s well-established brand recognition.

Robot Food provided text

New Logo and Packaging for Saxa by Robot Food
Packaging, before and after.
Matte packaging gives a tactile, premium feel, and the result is a great-looking, clearly united, complementary salt range for the intuitive or creative home cook.

Robot Food provided text

New Logo and Packaging for Saxa by Robot Food
Product range, after.
New Logo and Packaging for Saxa by Robot Food
New Logo and Packaging for Saxa by Robot Food
Hero salt shots.

The new, main fine salt packaging kinda kicks ass. It’s red. And I love that that’s it. It’s red, it has the logo, and it tells you what it is. It’s not fuzzy, it’s not fancy, it’s just salt. Clear and efficient.

New Logo and Packaging for Saxa by Robot Food
New Logo and Packaging for Saxa by Robot Food
Sea salt.

The more “specialty” variations are also kept nicely in check without going overboard and introducing two, very simple background illustrations, one that looks sea-ish, the other that looks rock-ish, both nicely complementing the red of the logo. The typography throughout is simple and utilitarian, keeping things very straightforward.

New Logo and Packaging for Saxa by Robot Food
New Logo and Packaging for Saxa by Robot Food
Rock salt.

Overall, this seems like a limited, almost basic redesign but it improves on the heritage of the brand in every way and it keeps the design reigned in so that — just as the 100 years before — this is the basic salt you need in your kitchen and it has not been turned into an artisanal something or other, it’s just plain, accessible, no-fuss salt.

Please read the title of this post to this tune.

PS. I’m sorry.

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