Launched in 2014, Bare Bones is a range of bone broth — bone broth is technically stock but is a term recently made popular by the paleo diet — that sources surplus food from sustainable ranches and organic farms that would normally go to waste to make its product. Headquartered in San Diego, CA, and started by former military, former chef Ryan Harvey, Bare Bones is available online and at various grocery stores across the U.S.. Recently Bare Bones introduced a new identity and packaging designed by Austin, TX-based Ptarmak.
The old logo looked like it was for dog food more than stock; the cartoonish bone drawing didn’t quite convey a quality product nor did the rest of the funky graphics and thin typography. The new logo features a “BB” monogram simmering in a soup circle that’s kind of odd-looking but oddly appealing as well. The rough-hewn aesthetic gives it that sought-after paleo vibe, complemented by the oldish, earth-ish typography in the wordmark. In combination, the two elements work very well together to establish the right aesthetic and give the product a specialty-food appearance (vs. mainstream-food appearance from one of the big food conglomerates).
The old packaging was kind of cute in how naive it looked but understandably so by being a new product created by a person and not Big Food, Inc. As harsh as it may be, though, it was pretty bad. But what I think was an actual problem was the shape around the name that looked like a fish, making it seem like it was fish stock, which is not a bad thing if they specialized in fish stock.
The new packaging keeps the same plastic container but now there is a budget to cover the whole thing in color, front and back, and it obviously makes a huge difference in making the product look more finished and as if it’s produced in a food establishment and not in some dude’s kitchen. The blue color choice seems safe in that some soups — thinking of Progresso — use that color and this could provide that instant recognition. The problem is that it clashes with the darker broths, making the combinations vibrate and the animal illustrations hard to read. Looking at you, cow broth. Still, in general, the packaging is attractive, fun, looks tasty, and all the elements work nicely together… I wish the animal illustrations had the same rough edges as the monogram and wordmark instead of the smoother finish but, hey, there is a pig simmering in a pot, so I’m good. (Update: Hot Ham is not an actual SKU but an April Fools joke.)
Supporting applications are charming and cozy with that deep blue setting the right mood. The mini poster sort of brings everything together, with a layout that demands to be turned on its head every now and then to read the two messages while the “BB” monogram anchors it. Overall, a major improvement to the old that leads to a much more confident, finished, polished, and attractive product.