Swirl by Wedge is Vegan Ice Cream Like You’ve Never Seen It
Swirl is a small batch direct to consumer vegan ice cream brand leading the scene in Montreal, Canada. The company launched in 2018 serving coconut based frozen treats featuring a roster of rotating flavours indicative of the season. One year post launch, the founders behind Swirl wanted to evolve their product offering to pints. In doing so, they realized their brand design could use a boost as well as better reflect the spirit of Swirl as a new generation ice cream company that doesn’t look or feel vegan when you think ‘vegan’. Or in other words: no obvious pastel palette here! Other essential variables were that the packaging design must not use multiple inks and it must communicate Swirl’s connection to local farmers in a simple way.
Swirl’s consumers are digital natives, anticipating limited flavour drops every Friday. In this sense the pints are increasingly productized, building a sense of anticipation and desire. It was important to play into this feeling of ‘hype’ by designing a covetable object inspired by bold iconography often seen in fashion culture.
The design process started with the swirly “Swirl” custom artwork. Curvaceous forms are inspired by the ultra smooth, drag-your-spoon-through, creamy texture of the ice cream itself. Drawn by hand then digitally perfected as a graphic show-stopping mark. The top of the pint holds all key ingredient information, neatly organized. To demonstrate the connection to local farmers as requested, the design adopts a playful fruit sticker in the colour of the fruit or flavour. Colour plays a role as as a delightful reveal upon lifting the lid, coming from the delicious product itself, acting as part of the packaging design or “unboxing” experience.
Swirl’s founders enjoyed the solution so strongly that it informed a total rebrand of Swirl’s expression across all touchpoints from packaging to retail to ecomm to social content creation. The design now honours the business and strengthens the distinction of Swirl among the market as the vegan ice cream shop with a cool edge. Swirl is now gearing up to grow, expand production, and increase availability across retailers while maintaining their primary direct to consumer digital presence.
- Design Agency: Wedge
- Organisation/Project Type: Agency, Published Commercial Design
- Article Title: Swirl by Wedge is Vegan Ice Cream Like You’ve Never Seen It
- Brand / Project Name: Swirl
- External Design Credits: Design Director Justin Lortie, Creative Director Sarah Di Domenico, Design Lead Ariane Leblanc, Designer Philippe Dionne Bussiers, Designer Noe St-Onge, Photographer Lian Benoit
- Production Credits: Production Management Swirl
- Strategic Deliverables: Research / Insight
- Design Deliverables: Packaging Design, Photography, Brand Identity, Rebranding
- Location: Canada
- Market Country: Canada
- Market Region: North America
- Product Category: Dairy
- Consumer Packaging Format: Pot, Pint
- Consumer Substrate / Material: Pulp Carton, Pulp Paper