Northern Bloc is the ice cream alchemist. Creating bold-flavours, using only the best, natural and responsibly-sourced ingredients for incredible tasting ice cream.
Approached by co-founders Dirk and Josh, we were tasked with repositioning their brand to help them secure key shelf space within major UK retailers. Previously selling through craft ale bars, local theatres and their reclaimed ice-cream van, the indie start-up had a brand that predominantly appealed to a niche audience.
To meet Dirk and Josh's vision of inspiring an ice cream revolution, the brand needed to take the next step. Having previously rebranded a major supermarket chain and developed packaging for a diverse range of consumer products, we drew on our retail experience to analyse and develop the NBLºC brand.
Following a review of their brand, both on and off pack, we proposed a series of developments to elevate their offering. This began with modernising and optimising their brand mark. The old mark was narrow, thin and sharp, none of which aligned with the product or the brands vision. We opted for a softer, more confident typeface that we crafted with a perfect optical balance — allowing the integrated ‘ºC’ concept to stand out.
We knew that the brand’s on-shelf packaging was going to be of major importance going forward, if the business was to secure buy-in from major retailers. With a new logo firmly established, we needed to reflect the new branding in a consumer-friendly packaging system that would be identifiable and at the same time build brand loyalty. As with any craft product, the price-point was going to be at the higher end of the market. So, our design solution also needed to manage customer expectations from the outset and deliver a sense of quality and indulgence.
We introduced a series of key messages to reinforce the product’s quality and uniqueness, including a brand statement clearly displaying its purpose and provenance like a badge of honour.
To remain close to the brand’s out-of-home roots, we also crafted a unique maker’s mark that would act as a shorthand for the brand. Derived from the idea that ‘ice cream is for sharing’, the mark features two ice cream scoops in a bind — symbolising strength and togetherness — and is a seal of approval from their traditional Italian chef, Manolo, who painstakingly blends this amazing ice cream ‘for the people’.
With the premium product established, we turned our attention to creating a healthy children’s range. After all, why should adults have all the fun? Cue Little Bloc, featuring a range of playful ice monsters. Designed to be deliciously different, the packs featured illustrated characters and ingredients as tasty as Manolo’s kid-friendly ice cream.