Exactly what it sounds like, Nuts.com is an online retailer of every kind of nut, from peanuts, pistachios, pecans and pine nuts, to cashews, almonds and filberts, in salted, unsalted and organic varieties. Founded by “Poppy” Sol Braverman in 1929 as the Newark Nut Company, the family-owned business has grown from a stand in Newark’s Mulberry Street market into a thriving online business that sells over 2,000 items and has annual sales of over $20 million.
The company first launched its site in 1999 with the slightly confusing name/URL NutsOnline.com—a second choice after it found that Nuts.com was already taken. The company finally secured the Nuts.com URL this year and made the move to its new name. Along with the name change, the company asked Pentagram to create a new identity and packaging that would help establish it as a distinctive brand. The new graphics have an unmistakable look and feel that is fun, personal, and well, a little nutty.
The family business prides itself on a personal approach and has always used a friendly, personable, slightly zany tone of voice in its marketing. The redesign incorporates this irreverent and chatty tone into the packaging with friendly hand-drawn typography and illustrations. Bags and shipping boxes are covered in commentary—“This way to your taste buds!” and “Isn’t it nut-astic?”—written in a hand-drawn typeface converted into a font with multiple alternate characters. Cartoon nuts, mascots that appear on the bags and boxes, complement the typeface and a bright color palette completes the cheerful, friendly, and instantly memorable, look.
Michael Bierut/Katie Barcelona/Aron Fay, designers;
Michael Bierut, partner in charge;
Christoph Niemann, illustrator;
Jeremy Mickel, font designer (based on a hand-drawn alphabet by Michael Bierut).