Best in book – packaging
Entrant: jones knowles ritchie
JKR’s bold and playful pizza boxes for Domino’s show that the simplest ideas can often be the best
The best packaging is simple but distinctive: an instantly recognisable design, ideally with some memorable quirk or playful touch that sets it apart. Remove the label from a Coca-Cola or Heinz ketchup bottle, for example, and you’d still be able to identify the product.
Design consultancy JKR’s pizza boxes for Domino’s are equally distinctive. The red and blue designs are bold, playful and just as eye-catching on Instagram as they are on the back of a delivery bike.
JKR was asked to design a new box for Domino’s that would increase consumer engagement. Inspired by the fact that 96% of its pizzas are sold as a pair, the consultancy created two designs that combine to form the brand’s famous logo.
JKR came up with the idea for the boxes after discovering that Domino’s business model is based around two-for-one deals during a phone call with the client.
“We said, ‘Does that mean we should think about designing two pizza boxes?’ and they said, ‘We’ve never thought of it like that’,” says JKR Creative Director Sean Thomas. “At that moment, we were all drawing the same thing on a Post-it note.”
JKR put together some mock-ups later that day and within a week, the team was presenting the concept at Domino’s head office. “It was an incredibly fast turnaround,” says Thomas.
“I remember one of the team calling me from the Domino’s headquarters ahead of the client meeting and he was worried they would have seen this idea hundreds of times – but it turned out no-one had thought of it before and the client loved it,” adds Thomas.
“I don’t think we’ll ever have another project like it – it was an absolute gift and the idea was just common sense, but it took the client to acknowledge that and make it happen, and I think that’s quite rare.”
Domino’s had previously released several new boxes throughout the year to tie in with seasonal campaigns and special offers. But Thomas says these type-heavy designs were cluttered and uninspiring.
“From our point of view, [the previous packaging] was quite generic – it didn’t really leave you with an opinion of the brand,” he explains.
Despite having a widely recognised logo, Domino’s was lacking in distinctive brand assets. A Google image search for Domino’s pizza brought up dozens of images of pizzas and various toppings but few of its logo, stores or packaging, says Thomas. The new designs allow Domino’s to showcase its products inside boxes that instantly bring to mind the Domino’s brand.
They are also more cost-effective: each one can be printed using one colour rather than two and don’t need to be updated with each new season or campaign. But perhaps more importantly, they make customers smile, adding a moment of delight to the customer experience and reinforcing the idea of Domino’s as a fun and playful brand – one associated with nights out or having friends over to watch movies or play Xbox.
Images of the designs have received thousands of likes and shares on social media and Thomas says the boxes were created with Instagram in mind: “We wanted to create something that everyone would want to take a photo of,” he explains.
The packaging stands out not just for its simplicity but its wit. The new designs are more streamlined than busy packaging covered in ‘crafty’ type but retain some personality.
“Design can sometimes be about craft for craft’s sake or stripping away for no apparent reason … but I think there’s a balance to be found in keeping something ownable and charismatic,” says Thomas. “The best brands have a quirk that stays with you.”
Entrant/Design Studio: jones knowles ritchie. Client: Domino’s Pizza Group Ltd. Chief Creative Officer: Ian Ritchie. Creative Director: Sean Thomas. Strategy Director: Lee Rolston. Design Director: Brett Stabler. Designer: Luke Thompson. Account Director: Leonie Payne. Production Director: Christie Nelson. Visualiser: Rory McNicol. Realisation Designer: Darren Beer. Global Marketing Director jkr: Matt Parkes. Marketing Manager jkr: Amy Maw.