Reintroducing: The Dieline
On January 15th, 2007, at the age of 21, I wrote:
The goal of The Dieline is simple: to become the leading package design resource on the web. There are many design resources and blogs out there, but few, if any, focused exclusively on the important role of package design.
Product packaging not only secures and protects a product, it is the direct link between the brand and the consumer. It is what determines if a product is successful or not. Packaging plays a pivotal role in ensuring consumers' perception of the brand and the product.
From labels to bags, tags to boxes, and bands to bottles, we want to define good packaging design, as well as discuss the issues faced by designers in the field. We hope that you enjoy, learn, contribute, and most importantly, are inspired.
With great pride and excitement, I would like to welcome you to the all new The Dieline, the manifestation of my vision that began 7 years ago.
For the last 9 months, my team and I have been working behind the scenes on this undertaking: the biggest redesign in our history. I am so proud of what my team has accomplished, and so excited to share the new The Dieline with you today. For us, it represents an understanding of what The Dieline was, a redefinition of what The Dieline has become, and the starting point to a new future.
For me, The Dieline began as was my little space on the web where I saved my favorite and most inspiring package designs.
For you, The Dieline had always been so much more. What I couldn't see in the blur of my early 20s, was that The Dieline was literally putting package design on the map. It had became a beacon of inspiration for aspiring and working package designers, it had connected the industry in ways that had never been done before.
It is you, our readers and fans, that made The Dieline what it is today. It is because of you that I have been able to make The Dieline my career, my business, and to a major degree, my life. And for that I am so thankful and grateful. For that, I felt that I owed you The Dieline that you deserve. Your passion for The Dieline brand is what this redesign is all about. This redesign is for you.
The goal of the redesign was twofold, it was first to redevelop our identity which had become quite dated, and the second was to redesign the website to make it more functional, beautiful, and to make it easier to navigate and search.
With today's launch, we have revamped the search function to make it easier to find content, and introduced a new slider at the top of the page that allow us to prominently display our latest editorial features. The new site features a dedicated navigation bar that makes it easy to browse features, articles, see top trending content, view packaging projects by category, by substrate, and an archive of all 7 years of content. The new site is also Retina display ready, and the responsive layout includes built in mobile and tablet versions.
The Identity & Website
The process began in mid 2013, with lots of internal discussions, and tons and tons of research. We started concepting and designing the identity in-house, which was the biggest challenge of all.
We had started with a one-line creative brief:
The goal of The Dieline rebrand is to update our branding and website design to reflect what The Dieline has become today: a fresh, design-driven resource for the package design industry that curates content in a trusted and aspirational way to keep our readers inspired and relevant.
We had got to a solution internally that we loved, and were ready to run with. We were days away from publishing the new logo, when I read an article that Hamish Campbell, Creative Director of Pearlfisher wrote for The Dieline:
As I was reading the article, I was staring at our "almost logo" I had open on the screen behind my browser window. By the time I finished reading, I knew that that logo was wrong, it was all wrong. It had been stripped of any soul. I knew I had to start over. It was in that moment that I knew that I was no longer the right person to design The Dieline's logo. I was too close. It needed to be designed by someone with a different perspective of The Dieline than I.
I reached out to Hamish to tell him how much his article really struck a nerve with me. He graciously offered to take a look at the logo and offer some feedback.
"Redesigning your own logo is one of the hardest things to do in design, so I can only imagine the back and forth you have done! I think the new separated letter forms do help and give you a modern flow, but i agree that they don't quite feel 'dieline'. I think you have to always be careful when you are stripping logos back, so not to go too far and lose their personality."
From there, Hamish graciously briefed his team of talented designers at Pearlfisher, and they offered to take a stab at a few brand explorations. Who better to create The Dieline's identity than designers who create phenomenal brands and packaging, often featured here on The Dieline. I knew that their perspective would be completely different than my own.
After we received the first round, there was 1 direction that stood out. It was "the one". Pearlfisher went back to develop the branding further, and they quickly finalized the identity system.
Hamish said of the final design:
"As the Dieline continued to grow, it was imperative that it do so with the same passion and authority that lends it such credibility today. The new identity we created is both expressive and iconic, allowing the brand to evolve while reinforcing its position as a consistent arbiter of taste in the world of packaging design. The interchangeable icons that support the brand mark tell the story of The Dieline's increasing influence outside of their website while also serving as a modern secondary visual language to help support future growth."
From there, we worked with Miller to develop additional icons and branding applications.
We will be sharing more of the design process in detail, with rejected logos and all in an upcoming Process feature, so stay tuned for that. In the meantime, check out the identity system that Pearlfisher created below.
Special thanks to all that made this possible: You, our readers, my amazing team (Ivan, Diane, Tiffanie, & Jessica), Hamish Campbell of Pearlfisher, and Yael Miller of Miller. Thank you.
Designed by The Dieline
Creative Director: Andrew Gibbs
Art Director: Ivan Navarro
Project Manager: Diane Lindquist
The Dieline Awards Identity + Branding
Designed by Andrew Gibbs & Gina Angie
We would love to hear your thoughts on our redesign! Please feel free to share your candid feedback in the comments below.
Also, anything not working on the site, anything buggy or look strange on your end? Let us know below.