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BIG Steps Keep Marching.

Continuing our series on BIG steps in design and branding, and the rewards being courageous can bring, here is one from close to home: Pilsner Urquell is the world-famous traditional beer from Plzen, Czech Republic.

For many years Pilsner Urquell kept on top of its brand and packaging by making incremental adjustments, but its overall design remained consistent to the green and gold can on the left. Recently they have embraced the times and taken BIG steps in its design changes. These steps are bold, daring, courageous, and grab more attention than any small steps ever could. And this from a “traditional” beer brand.

The world is changing faster every day. In many cases small steps are no longer enough to keep ahead of them. Furthermore, many changes need to be made for humanity to face the challenges of the 21st Century, from wars and environmental degradation to how we adapt our lives and legal systems to new technological realities. To make it through this century, and leave a world that is healthy and beautiful for our children and grandchildren, we will have to have BIG ideas, take BIG steps, and make BIG changes, in order to solve BIG problems.

BIG QUESTIONS: Is it somehow possible that BIG-step changes in packaging and branding, something people interact with everyday, can help prepare consumers mentally for accepting other types of BIG changes and taking BIG courageous steps? Could it make BIG changes not only more palatable, but more fashionable and more generally acceptable for people, even people in more traditional markets? Can we, as designers, aid people in becoming more flexible and accepting of the changes necessary for 21st Century challenges?

It would appear that Jonathan Ford, of Pearlfisher, believes something along those lines when he said, “Design creates behavioural change by forcing people to reappraise what they have become used to, by making it better.” – Jonathan Ford, Pearlfisher

Pilsner Urquell demonstrates that you can present a traditional product in new ways that do not dilute the core values, identity or the equity. What BIG steps are you considering?





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