Design Of Choice

In ITP, Visual Language

For our first Visual Language assignment, Katherine Dillon asked us to choose and analyze a design of any type that intrigued us.

I used to work at Havas Worldwide, which is a global network of advertising agencies. Within that network, there was always one agency that stood out above the rest with regards to creativity and campaigns they were putting out—BETC in Paris. They created two of the best TV Spots I’ve ever seen for a french network called Canal+ (The HBO of France) called The Closet and The Bear. They’re worth a look but I digress.

The piece of design work that I’d like to discuss is a campaign that BETC did for Monoprix, a middle to high-end grocery chain in France. It focused on redesigning all the packaging for Monoprix’s private label of products to improve sales. Ultimately, the campaign was a huge success and the creative direction ended up being adopted throughout all of their marketing efforts (print, OOH, POS).


I love this work on so many different levels. Firstly, I thinks it’s visually stunning. The strong and assertive typeface exudes credibility and trust, while the colors add an edge and excitement around products that are usually the most unattractive in the store. Private label products are typically associated to knock-offs and cheap quality. Secondly, I think it was a very gutsy decision to not use any imagery of food on food products. This goes against the norm in food packaging and advertising but it paid off. Not putting any images on the package allowed the design to delivery it’s message without interference.

Design grid

Unfortunately, it was difficult to find images of packaging on a flat plane (2D) to effectively map the grip. However, I was able to find a good image of these flavored yogurts for our purposes and will use it going forward with the analysis.

Without Grid


 Primary Grid

When you look at these designs that are dominated by a structured colored blocks and bold typography, the horizontal grid is essentially screaming at you. However, there is also a vertical panel where Monoprix is displayed across the packaging. I will go into the other possible vertical grids in the secondary grid below.


 Secondary grid

I’ve considered these additional vertical sections as secondary because the elements that are vertically associated are offset. Therefore, I wasn’t sure whether each individual flavor box (i.e. Fraise) would get it’s own vertical grid or if the grid would simply have a larger tolerance for alignment. I assumed that the latter was better to convey overall structure.



This packaging for a pack of yogurt is showcasing “Aux Fruits” which means “With Fruit” as its primary element. You see this before you even see any reference to yogurt, which is the blue panel right above it. One would imagine that yogurt would be the primary thing you would want to convey, however, I think this is a unique case as the packaging is open on the sides and the consumer will immediately relate the shape of those little pots to yogurt. Therefore, I think highlighting the fact that these yogurts have fruit in them as the primary element was a smart choice.


Following the “With Fruit” panel, I think the package is directing the consumer’s eyes to the secondary elements of the fact that its yogurt, and then the individual flavors included in the package.



Negative Space

I wasn’t sure if space that had color could qualify as negative space or if it had to be black or white. I decided that the color in these packages is used as negative space because I see negative space as a tool to draw peoples’ eyes to the content, being the text. I think the fact that the color actually structures and compartmentalizes each bit of information but does not distract the person from the content makes it negative space. The text is the positive space.


Firstly, I thought I should call out the Monoprix font as the packaging is really focused on typography and the logo is a part of the composition. The font they use according to WhatTheFont is Ela Demiserif Plain.

Secondly, and more importantly, the font that’s used for all the product information seems to be the Nimbus Sans Condensed font family. When looking at the variations of this font available on the internet (only Black, Bold and Regular), I believe that the main product info is in Nimbus Sans Condensed Bold and the bottom horizontal grid is in Nimbus Sans Condensed Regular. It’s also very possible that they slightly altered these preset weights.





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