Umami

Packaging / Identity / Product

Umami packaging

Objective

Mixing several design disciplines such as graphic design, product design, and user research, Umami was a proposal for a new eco-friendly fish snack product that would appeal to the Western market. Fish, while not always the most appetizing option (especially to kids), actually contains many healthy minerals and omega-3 fatty acids that you won't find in the usual staple junk food of the American diet. I wanted my product to be a healthier alternative to the salty chips that many turn to for a quick snack. Pegged as the healthier version of Goldfish, Umami fish chips taste just as savory and addictive. In addition, the food packaging utilizes biomimicry concepts and is constructed out of eco-friendly material.

Logo Design

"Umami" refers to the fifth taste sensation, which is better known as the savory taste. The name stuck with me since it described the fish chips product that I had conceptualized in the beginning.

Umami logo sketches
Umami logo

The final logo design reflects both the fluid structure of a fish and evokes sensations of savory flavors due to the blood orange color palette. The graceful strokes of the fish present a welcoming contrast to the round yet linear form of the Avant Garde typeface that makes up the logotype. I incorporated all lowercase lettering on the logotype in order to maintain the curvature of the lowercase letters as well as a uniform x-height. I strove to define the round qualities of the logotype by adjusting the kerning between each letter in order to provide the illusory wave motif that was prevalent in previous drafts of the logo.

Business System and Marketing Material

Umami business system Umami busstop ad Umami webUmami web

Packaging Design

Using bagasse, a biodegradable fiber found in sugarcane stalk, the packaging would not contribute to the landfills that are overloaded with synthetic material. Instead, a consumer would only need to toss it aside in a compost bin due to its upcycled characteristics. In addition, bagasse is a reliable component in keeping foods dry and insulated from outside weather.

Umami packaging

Inspired by the biomimicry of ocean waves and the form of a fish, the packaging concept for Umami fish snacks emulates the fluid form of these ocean dwellers. Notably, the container has strategic curvature structure. This package would distribute the mass of the fish chips to the sides rather than just to the foundation (which would result in crushed bits and crumbs). In addition, these curvatures would allow the containers to be stacked on top of one another cleanly, without compromising any additional volume in boxes or shipping containers.

Umami was chosen for display at UC Davis Design Department's 2015 Design x Design Exhibition.

Resources

Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Indesign, X-acto knife, PVA glue, samples of salty junk food

View the entire Umami process manual along with the graphic standards here.