#ArtByAWoman: LIFEWTR’s Latest Packaging Highlights Work of Female Artists

Did you know that work by women artists makes up only 3–5% of major permanent collections in the U.S. and Europe? Wanting to offer a platform for female artists, LIFEWTR bottles now feature the unique artistic talents of women from around the world. Todd Kaplan, Vice President, Water Portfolio – PepsiCo North America Beverages and the PepsiCo Design Team told us more about this series of bottle designs, brands that do social good, the challenges this endeavour posed and more.

What sparked the idea for this line of water bottles?

Todd Kaplan: For each of our LIFEWTR Series, the goal was to showcase and advance sources of creativity. For Series 2, we wanted to champion women in the arts based on the fact that more than half of visual artists today are women, but work by female artists makes up only 3-5% of major permanent collections in the U.S. and Europe. By providing a creative platform for these female artists we hope to showcase their unique talent to bring even more art and inspiration into the world.

How did you translate the bold and abstract work of each artist onto the bottle?

PepsiCo Design Team: We work closely with the each individual artist to take their unique artwork files, and translate them into and impactful bottle that highlights the balance between the artwork and the water itself. This is done by thoughtfully leveraging and editing out areas in the artwork where transparency brings added value or depth to the artwork. When the water bottle is filled, the liquid brings an unexpected layer of beauty and abstraction, especially when looking "through" the bottle—where the LIFEWTR logo is cleverly reverse printed to read from both front and back vantage points.

Consumers truly appreciate brands that also do social good and bring awareness to current issues. How did you execute this project so that it felt aligned with the brand?

Todd Kaplan: For LIFEWTR as a brand, our overarching purpose highlights emerging artists and give them a platform to be discovered. It has been so rewarding working with six very talented artists to-date who all have a very unique style, perspective and message to share with the world. We’re fortunate that we can continue to use our bottles as a platform to support and champion artists throughout the globe to not only help further their careers but also to inspire consumers in their daily lives through access to beautiful artwork in their hands with LIFEWTR.

Tell us a little more about the LIFEWTR Mentorship Program and the Frieze Brooklyn Museum Fund and why they’re so important to the brand.

Todd Kaplan: When we launched, we wanted to do more than just provide a platform for artistic expression through bottle designs, which is why we chose to contribute to the Frieze Brooklyn Museum Fund and we’re in the process of creating a LIFEWTR Mentorship Program for all series artists which we will share more detail on this summer. These programs will allow us to elevate our support for emerging artists by providing educational resources for our artists to grow their creative skills, while also helping to elevate and inspire creativity in others.  

What challenges did you encounter with designing this packaging?

PepsiCo Design Team:

  • Maximum colors based on printing stations at press.
  • Balance of opacity and transparency to best represent the artwork and artist style, while maintaining strong premium water feel.
  • Placement of work on curved surface
  • Cohesive look as a series line-up, while uniquely showcasing each individual artist.

Trudy Benson

How do you select the artists that you feature, as well the themes that you choose for each set?

Todd Kaplan: Our artists are selected through a careful vetting process. While the process for selection is confidential, we do ensure that all artists are emerging as the label is designed to serve as a platform for their work.  Our artists and themes are chosen from the worlds of graphic design, fashion, fine arts, photography and more with contemporary styles that often appeal to a millennial demographic.

What considerations were made with the packaging to not only highlight the work of talented female artists but to also bring awareness to the message and mission of this project?

PepsiCo Design Team: Our statement of purpose is printed directly on every bottle of LIFEWTR. With roughly 20 million Series 2 bottle labels expected to hit store shelves, with artists names printed on each one, these female artists will have an exceptional platform to be discovered and provide inspiration to all.

This series is also supported with a robust digital marketing and PR campaign that further drives exposure for the message #ArtByAWoman.

Adrienne Gaither, Lynnie Z

Because every artist’s work is different, how do you keep the different LIFEWTR bottles looking consistent under the brand?

PepsiCo Design Team: The new brand mark and visual identity system was designed to allow for new and unique forms of artwork to be consistently translated and applied to a premium surface, hero-ing each artist, while leveraging advanced printing technology and design techniques to bring added texture and 3-dimensionality to their work.

The clean and simple square LIFEWTR brand mark was thoughtfully placed, while maintaining design principles that keep the brand mark central for shelf impact.

How can other brands branch out beyond just their product and send a message for what they believe in and support with their packaging?

Todd Kaplan: While I cannot speak for other brands, I believe that the positive feedback thus far for LIFEWTR has come from our passion to spread a message that we believe in so strongly. By rotating our bottle designs multiple times a year, we are able to spotlight a diverse range of emerging artists to bring new perspectives of creativity out into the open. For LIFEWTR, creativity is at our core, and by giving emerging artists the opportunity to transform a traditional bottle label into a unique masterpiece, we are helping to spread more art and inspiration into the world.