Sriracha Hot Sauce, Bad Typography ?
Recently we saw a blogpost in Tim Marner HQ about Sriracha Hot Sauce. No, it wasn't about how good it is, although it is. It was about the number of fonts used on the front of the packaging. You can see in the picture it’s racked up a grand total of 8 fonts, most people wouldn’t even think about using 8 fonts, especially the 8 in question.
But the post raised some interesting comments and questions: Is this bottle recognisable in spite of it actually being "objectively bad" design? Or is it actually good design, even though it's so busy and breaks a number of traditional design rules? If the product is quality, how bad does your packaging really have to be to suffer the effects of bad design?
Of course it could be that consumers aren’t even looking at the design on the forefront and it’s packaging strength is based on it’s iconic green top and shapely bottle, with the green top apparently linked to the freshness of a chilli. It’s the golden arches of the hot sauce world, so much so you could go into a restaurant and recognise the bottle from across the room. When you look at in this way perhaps it’s a good example of how strong branding overcomes good/bad design everyday of the week. Having something which is recognisable and has meaning which your customers connects with is a powerful tool and an essential for any business.
For us the line between good and bad design is often blurred, design rules can be broken and bent to the designers will. But one thing that’s everlasting is the power of a great brand.