What is our obsession with this typeface? Ocean Spray rebrand taps a growing trend

The typographic style has cropped up again and again in recent rebrands, particularly for art, design and culture institutions.

Date
1 February 2024

US agency Stone Strategy & Design has carried out the biggest overhaul in 20 years for the beverage company Ocean Spray, pulling in a range of design motifs. While the logo has received only a minor update, two new typographic styles have been introduced; the first, a faux printer press typeface, giving the cranberry drink an Old West-style grittiness, and the second, you’d be more likely to find emblazoned across a rebrand for ICA or similar.

This second typeface combines angular edges with soft, rounded counter forms. It’s an increasingly popular font for creative companies, a prime example is Dinamo Maxi, which was used in 2022 by ICA, or Megazoid from David Jonathan Ross (DJR), which was used by Studio Bergini for Museum of London Docklands in 2023. It’s now being used by more corporate voices like Ocean Spray, perhaps for the expressiveness it offers over a standard sans serif.

Concepts like “strength” and “grittiness” play a large part in the new identity, a release explains. Stone Strategy & Design says illustrations, tone of voice, photography and typography (particularly the printer press type) have all been designed to reflect the “maverick” nature of the co-op founders of the company and the family farmers that make up the brand today.

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Stone Strategy & Design: Ocean Spray (Copyright © Ocean Spray, 2024)

This is also reflected in the crashing waves of fruit that feature on the bottle. The “imperfect splashes of liquid” are far more aggressive than the previous soft lapping waves that appeared on the label. This combined with the faded printer press textures offer an unusual combo, but it is an undeniably more eye-catching direction.

“Taking on the task to redefine the brand identity of a nearly 95-year-old company is something we didn’t take lightly. Guided by the desire to show up in wildly uncommon ways and be unapologetically offbeat, allowed us to lean into what makes the co-op so unique,” said Eliza Sadler, head of brand elevation at Ocean Spray.

GalleryStone Strategy & Design: Ocean Spray (Copyright © Ocean Spray, 2024)

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Stone Strategy & Design: Ocean Spray (Copyright © Ocean Spray, 2024)

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About the Author

Liz Gorny

Liz (she/they) joined It’s Nice That as news writer in December 2021. After graduating from the University of Bristol, they worked freelance, writing for independent publications such as Little White Lies, Indie magazine and design studio Evermade.

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