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Further Evidence of a Trend: The Return to UnDigital Roots

This redesign of Uncle Ben’s rice is really just a return to an early design. It is a turn away from the digitally stylized and perfect designs of recent years. It is simple, friendly, inviting and gives a feeling of coming back to one’s roots.

  • This simulation of an old-fashioned screen printing technique, which was never perfect, is very warm and stands out on a shelf of flashy, digital, artificial-looking designs.

  • The texture of the design calls out to be picked up and handled.

  • The softness of the printing and cardboard, and the rough edges, are a break for shoppers’ digitally overloaded eyes. (See The Rise of the Undigital for more on this idea).

  • It says, “Respect yourself, give your eyes a break”.

  • It is unpretentious.

Compare it to one of their recent designs, which is coldly digital. The rice is too perfectly stylized and the food and steam look fake.

Even the simple play on words, “Have a rice day!” harkens back to a more simple time. The whole package is more oriented to the old-time and homey heritage of the brand.

We applaud Uncle Ben’s for making this move. It is not a move backward, but forward. And we like it.

The point: This is a trend that is moving a lot of product, and softening the harshly lit and digitally cold packaging environment that exists in many shops and supermarkets. It is customer centric, and aware of the very human brand relationship that exists in the customer.

However, we wonder how well Czech consumers will respond to this, as they tend to still be enamored of the “new”, perfect and stylized digital designs? Will this cause it to be seen as not a step forward, but a step back? (After all, many of their parents or grandparents still have products designed during communism in the backs of their cupboards). Also, many Czechs still tend to ignore brands and focus primarily on taste appeal and price. This is an important test of a new trend and one to keep an eye on.

What do you think? Leave a comment below and let us know.

Here are some other examples of UnDigital designs from our blog:

  • Rising Trends: The Rise of the UnDigital

  • Further Evidence of a Trend: The Return to UnDigital Roots

  • Rise of the UnDigital 2: Handcrafted typography and illustration





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