There are brands and logos anyone can easily recognize (McDonalds’ arches, Nike’s swoosh line, or AT&T’s globe come to mind.) And the same applies to labels as well. Here are five of them that I consider as having played a major role and that could serve as an inspiration in labeling.


Campbells Soup

A bit retro and resolutely simplistic, the red and white cans adorned with Campbells’ golden logo stand out among the rest on the shelves when you go grocery shopping. They haven’t changed much over the years and this contributed to strengthening the brand.


Unibroue Beers

Back in the days when major breweries were relying on generic and uninspired labels, Unibroue acted as a pioneer in a saturated market and paved the way for Quebec’s microbreweries. Since then, others have followed and bet on the same concept, but Unibroue’s colorful and elaborate labels, inspired by local legends and folklore, are still as recognizable.


Johnnie Walker WhiskyJohnnyWalkerRange

Offered in a wide spectrum of flavors and varying qualities, Johnnie Walker’s water of life relies on simplicity, differentiating each of their malts with a label color that also serves as a name. So, in any bar around the world, one could ask for a Red Label or a Blue Label without even having to mention a brand at all!


The No Name Brand

Where many retail stores and large chains try to push their private brands forward with nice images and catchy names, the No Name brand created for itself an enviable spot in the market with bland, yellow packaging and labels. And while they’re not particularly attractive, these products are nonetheless easily recognizable thanks to their unique image. And it works.


Sriracha Hot Sauce

This famous sauce, manufactured by Huy Fong Foods in California, is an exceptional and particularly interesting case. Its origins are as modest as its marketing budget, but it still managed to get a phenomenal and undeniable success. Anyone can identify the transparent bottle with its green cap, white rooster, and text in five languages. Say what you will about the graphic designer’s talent (or lack thereof) when he came up with this, the bottle is nowadays reproduced on clothes, posters, and various other collectibles. As for the sauce, it is legendary.

These five products are eloquent examples of companies that managed (sometimes unknowingly) to innovate, and they should inspire us to think differently when we create packaging and label designs!