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photographed, written, and designed by emily mullett

Typography is everywhere. It is found in places where people do not expect it to be and it is often overlooked, impacting people in ways they are unaware of. Type is often used to draw attention to particular advertisements and products, combined with an efficient use of color, shapes, and images. Typography can

inuence small decisions like what cereal will be purchased or where consumers shop, and are often strongly associated with brands. In general, typography on packaging is not outstanding. It is often monotonous and boring; designers get limited space and tons of text to add, but when the typography is done well, it is

quite astonishing. Candy wrappers are no different; they come in a variety of styles and can display beautiful typography. The typography on the candy found at World Market, Target, and The Merc varied greatly from store to store.


WORLD MARKET is a store that brings the beauty and excitement of global bazaars to the customer. Cost Plus World Market was started by a businessman in 1958, and the company continues to carry great housewares, jewelry, wines, and food from all over the world.

ackaging, from its label to its texture and aesthetic appeal, has always played a part in distinguishing one product from another, and it serves as a functional connection between consumer and product. Packaging plays a role in whether it will be purchased or not; the consumer likes to connect and respond to the wrappers. Stafford Cliff, author of 50 Trade Secrets of Great Design Packaging said “part of the joy of packaging is touching it, seeing how it catches the light, how its three-dimensional character trigger responses.�

e Gum is retro and The packaging for Gle ld color and typefantastic. The use of bo aging strong. faces makes this pack

“Good packaging design is

a key part of retail success.”


bet’cha didn’t know: Sugar was expensive in the Middle Ages and it was a product that was available only to the wealthy.


MUCH OF THE TYPOGRAPHY IS SUBTLE; not too bold or obnoxious. Since many of the candies at World Market are from different countries, the typography varies greatly. John Berger, author of What is Package Design? said “Certain countries react differently to colors, the style and content of images, and words.� Packages had a beautiful variety of

typefaces: serif, sanserif, a variety of hand drawn type, and script fonts.


bet’cha didn’t know: Milk chocolate was made by Switzerland’s David Peter who added milk and created the first milk chocolate in 1876.

The packages for Chimes Gourmet Ginger Chews candy are beautifully designed with hand lettering and illustrations.

“Certain countries react differently to colors, the style and content of images and words.” –John Berger (What is Package Design?)

>> duplo is a candy created by the Italian candy company Ferrero.

>> Chocolove candy bars are come in a variety of exotic flavors and their wrappers are boldly colored.

>>The typeface on these Brix chocolate bars was one of the few serif typefaces in the store.


>> Lychee Gummy Candies show a perfect example of a typeface in a different language.

>> World Market carries their own brand of candy and they use a simple sanserif typeface.

You can see that the candy companies wanted and focus on how the typography communicates to the consumer, not just post their name all over the candy. I was really drawn to the unique and different typography and sophisticated

color palettes that I found here.


TARGET is a chain of discount stores that carry clothing, shoes, jewelry, health and beauty products, electronics, compact discs, DVDs, bedding, kitchen supplies, sporting goods, toys, pet supplies, and hardware supplies.

hen busy shoppers are flying through a store, they have little time to notice every package. Designers must work to make their package stand out and become the most desirable to the eye. Candy packaging is no different; their wrappers hope to persuade the customer to pick them, constantly

competing for attention among their sweet neighbors.

bet’cha didn’t know: Over 35 million pounds of candy corn are made each year.


TARGET CARRIES PRIMARILY BIG BRAND NAME CANDY. Brand name packaging uses bright colors and bulky fonts. The typographic value on the candy and wrappers are standard and look very

commercialized. They also have a very sterile feeling about them. The companies who produce these candies paint their name big and bold over the packaging, creating an extremely saturated and obnoxious typographic palette. I did not see any hand-drawn fonts on any of the brand name candies, adding to the generic feeling of the store.


“Typographic selection is important when considering a brand’s personality.” –John Berger (What is Package Design?)

>> The type on this Smarties bag is outlined, and very saturated.

>> This choxie packagaing was the most interesting at Target.

The typography found at target is very standard. Some text is outlined to add emphasis, as found on the Twizzler and Milk Duds packaging. Bright, saturated colors were found everywhere, not allowing the consumer’s eye to rest anywhere.

>> The isle markers found in Target are bright too.


bet’cha didn’t know: Seven billion pounds of candy and chocolate are made in the United States every year.


The vivid color palettes for IceBreakers mints really stick out in the check out line.

THE MERC is a thriving Lawrence, Kansas cooperative grocery store. They provide a variety of products that are organic, fair-trade, and local. The Merc is an organization that exemplifies environmental, economic, and social sustainability, as well as encourages a sense of connection to others.






commodity. These

confections are sold to the masses. When a designer produces something so public, like a candy bar, it must be designed with the greatest care. Candy bars have names, descriptions, ingredients, nutrition, and company information. All of these small details need to be displayed on the package in a legible manner so that the consumer can read and understand the information quickly (Berger).

All of the candy at The Merc had great color on the packaging, and the typography was really strong; each package was unique.


THE MERC CARRIES ORGANIC, LOCAL, AND FAIR TRADE PRODUCTS. They do not carry a huge amount of candy, but what they do carry is sold in bulk with no labels on them, and they sell a variety of granola bars. Each package seems like it was designed with care. I was really drawn to the variety in colors on the packaging. The typography was a mix of serif and sanserif, as well as script and hand-drawn. The packages had great textures and the most exper-

imental type of any of the stores I visited.


The hand-drawn typography on the packages seen here is pleasing to the eye and draws the customer’s attention to the product.

“To compete with so many brands in the market today, a product should stand out from the rest while in supermarkets or shops.�

World Market, Target, and The Merc all carry candy that visually varies from each other. Many products and brands, including candy, are closely tied to the typography on their wrappers. While some candy packaging is very generic and plain, some typography is beautifully done, and leaves the customer ashtonished at the type in front of them. In a world that is visually dominated by the typography that surrounds us, typography is constantly impacting the world in a variety of ways we do not expect.


thanks to these sources: • • • • What is Package Design? By John Berger • 50 Trade Secrets of Great Design Packaging By Stafford Cliff •Packaging Design By Conway Lloyd Morgan

typefaces: DIN [Regular, Bold] Rockwell [Regular, Bold] Wisdom Script

camera: nikon d5000

Emily Mullett Designer as Author Patrick Dooley University of Kansas Fall 2011

Public Typography is Sweet  

As graphic designers we spend much of our time working with typographic application for a variety of two-dimensional surfaces from magazines...