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New! Improved! (and Very Old)

Interesting little article from the WSJ about the throwback trend in consumer packaged goods. While the trend itself isn’t all that remarkable, I found the “Chip Flashback” sidebar amusing. Here’s a simple recipe for creating a throwback package:

  • Colors: The brown, orange and yellow palette is ‘very time stamped’ to the 1960s. Limitations in printing techniques also meant that only a few colors could be used.
  • Letter Blocks: Often used by TV shows and stations in the 1960s to highlight color-television technology, says Mr. Murphy.
  • Typeface: ‘Doritos’ is in a dramatic but playful serif font typical of the 1970s, says Mr. Wallace. (Serif fonts have feet at the edges. Sans-serif fonts do not.)
  • Flat Design: Before computers, shadow effects and colors that gradually blended into one another weren’t common.
Follow these rules and your brand can go retro, too.

87 Comments

  1. PCC Advantage Says :

    Posted on July 26, 2011 at 10:44 am

    Do you think that retro marketing has something to do with people wanting to go back in time a little, to when things seemed to be simpler in their lives? Do you think that playing off of that desire makes them want to “feel young” again so, without realising it, they immediately want a product that would remind them of the good ol’ days?

    Just curious. 🙂 Great article, by the way and congrats on being Freshly Pressed!

  2. My Camera, My Friend Says :

    Posted on July 26, 2011 at 10:48 am

    I love the retro look on the throwback pop, but I had no idea Doritos had done that too. Thanks for the tips. I’ll have to try making a retro design of my own.

  3. Rufus' Food and Spirits Guide Says :

    Posted on July 26, 2011 at 11:01 am

    That was a great article. Something I’ve definitely noticed on the grocery shelves. It won’t make me buy Doritos, but I do like the retro look.

  4. founditonapostednote Says :

    Posted on July 26, 2011 at 11:05 am

    Great article. I love anything throwback. In fact, I hope Pepsi will bring back Crystal Pepsi.

  5. The Simple Life of a Country Man's Wife Says :

    Posted on July 26, 2011 at 11:05 am

    Interesting! It’s amazing how influenced we are as consumers, right under our noses.

  6. Laoshi Ma Says :

    Posted on July 26, 2011 at 11:09 am

    GERATIST BLARG PHOST EVEAR>>> VRY INSITEFULL COPYPASTA.

    Seriously, you couldn’t even put 300 words together for linkbait?

  7. edwincov Says :

    Posted on July 26, 2011 at 11:44 am

    I want to go retro! I remember the old Doritos bag with the see little window so you could look inside at what the actual chips looked like. Blue and red.. any one remember those bags? Awesome!

    Congrats on the promotion! Freshly Pressed!

    Edwin
    http://awkwardlist.com

  8. Margo Karolyi Says :

    Posted on July 26, 2011 at 11:49 am

    “Everything old is new again” is a time-honoured adage in a lot of consumer marketing circles. There’s a lot of marketing lately aimed at the baby boomer generation – nostalgia almost always sells (and yes, it’s because we have that desire to ‘go back in time’ to when things were simpler and cheaper). Too bad they don’t bring back the prices!

  9. Jennifer Avventura Says :

    Posted on July 26, 2011 at 11:55 am

    Long live retro! Congrats on Freshly Pressed.

  10. Jacqueline Says :

    Posted on July 26, 2011 at 12:01 pm

    Cool blog!

  11. saltlakelovely Says :

    Posted on July 26, 2011 at 12:08 pm

    As a 19 year old, this retro look would at least make me stop and say ‘ooohh’, would it make me buy it? I was was buying chips in general it probably would, but if I didn’t plan on buying chips I don’t believe I would buy them. You should take a look at the book Signs of Life in the U.S.A. It was my textbook for a pop culture writing class, and it is really interesting and this reminds me of it. Great post

  12. Jon The Blogcentric Says :

    Posted on July 26, 2011 at 12:26 pm

    I like some of the throwback stuff because it reminds me of my past. Even though I’m not one to dwell in it or live in it intensely, there are some things about it that I like.

    Interesting how it also appeals to the younger generation. I thought ten years ago, they were sick of all this retro stuff and believed ‘old is old’. Maybe not anymore.

  13. mrbricksworld Says :

    Posted on July 26, 2011 at 12:30 pm

    Retro or throw back or brand new… I don’t care – those taco flavored Doritos rock.

    Now I have to run to the store and get me some. Con gratulations on being Freshly Repackaged, ..I mean Freshly Pressed.

    Have a great day.

    Mr Bricks

  14. Lakia Gordon Says :

    Posted on July 26, 2011 at 1:04 pm

    I like the throwback feel sometimes. I think Pepsi’s throwback was pretty good 🙂 I don’t really care for the Doritos brand…

  15. elisa beth Says :

    Posted on July 26, 2011 at 1:05 pm

    the throwback package feels like the time machine that brings us to the old memories, for me. okay I definitely am exaggerating this 🙂 great post anyway! : )

  16. anchormortgagecorporation Says :

    Posted on July 26, 2011 at 1:08 pm

    Interesting how as technology updates, everything else is going back in time. Congratulations on being Freshly Pressed.

  17. natasiarose Says :

    Posted on July 26, 2011 at 1:19 pm

    It could be that this retro marketing is a direct result of the fashion industry’s 60s & 70’s palettes bringing the 70s to the forefront of public consciousness.

  18. Recycling Retro: Consumer Products Come Full Circle « designaholic Says :

    Posted on July 26, 2011 at 1:36 pm

    […] For more information on what goes into this retro look, check out the W5 blog. […]

  19. digifiend Says :

    Posted on July 26, 2011 at 1:51 pm

    I was at the store a couple of weeks ago shopping for completely unrelated stuff and these caught my eye.. As an … ahem … older individual, I remember these chips when they were new. And yes, I bought 3 bags of them *because* of the older design and taste.

  20. Dee Says :

    Posted on July 26, 2011 at 2:12 pm

    It is amazing that so much thought is put into a product, and especially a product that can be devoured within about 5 – 15 mins at most.

  21. K.W. Burnette Says :

    Posted on July 26, 2011 at 2:54 pm

    I think part of the appeal of throwback items (Or at the very least Mountain Dew Throwback) is that it is made with more natural ingredients. I had not had a Mountain Dew in years until I had a chance to try a Throwback a couple months ago, and the result was actually rather pleasant. A great deal of it is the Retro Marketing, and the Nostalgia factor, but at the very least it represents a desire on the part of the consumer to buy products that are made, if not more naturally, at least more conscientiously.

  22. Seaton Daly Says :

    Posted on July 26, 2011 at 2:58 pm

    Funny I saw this on wordpress.com. I was just commenting this weekend to a friend of mine that I had to buy “these” Doritos chips because they were my favorite when I was a kid. Hmmm they were good.

  23. ournote2self Says :

    Posted on July 26, 2011 at 2:59 pm

    I love that they are bring throw-back designs back. 🙂

  24. jillybb Says :

    Posted on July 26, 2011 at 4:00 pm

    People do like and buy in to nostalgia. This is awesome!

  25. fireandair

    Posted on July 26, 2011 at 4:08 pm

    Hell, I’m a music and opera nut, and the Latest Hot New Thing in opera is … really old stuff. Like, 300 years old. Where the male parts are all sung by women and falsettists because today’s guys have a tough time reaching those notes with all their parts, IYKWIM.

    Stuff gets done until it wears out its welcome. We try something new until IT wears out its welcome, upon which point we’ve all forgotten that we were ever sick of the first stuff, and we dust it off and enjoy it again. And round and round it goes. 🙂

  26. K.T.SHO Says :

    Posted on July 26, 2011 at 4:08 pm

    I love the vintage look of these chips, it’s sooo dope, makes me want to reach into my screen and eat right now lol. but yeah cool post

  27. Eva McCane Says :

    Posted on July 26, 2011 at 4:26 pm

    although i appreciate the retro throwback packaging, it’s not a selling point to me. the cheesy goodness inside is a sell everytime though 🙂 and in terms of clothing, jewelry, etc…love the retro stuff. the movie “Midnight in Paris” makes a good point…people always seem to fantasize about time periods they never got to experience.
    http://www.icouldntmakethisshitup.wordpress.com

  28. SH Says :

    Posted on July 26, 2011 at 4:33 pm

    Not a design comment, but your headline reminded me of an old memory of a new packaging design with a Turkey splat and the words “New traditional recipe!”

    Exactly how traditional would that have been? 😉

  29. tessagroves Says :

    Posted on July 26, 2011 at 5:26 pm

    When I see retro designs it makes me wonder “whom” they are actually advertising to. The Marketing campaign tends to hit two birds with one stone. First the original age the design came from and upcoming consumers who find the design different and unique 😉

  30. chunter

    Posted on July 26, 2011 at 5:46 pm

    fireandair refers to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Castrato

  31. the island traveler Says :

    Posted on July 26, 2011 at 6:19 pm

    Regardless if it’s new or old repackaging, I enjoy Doritos and would likely to buy it when I’m crazing for one. The interchange of old-new, new-old concept does bring some refreshing changed, makes the product more interesting again.

  32. Shashinka Ichiban Says :

    Posted on July 26, 2011 at 6:28 pm

    The one thing about the rollback Pepsi soft drink products was the flavors as they used cane sugar. I do find it interesting to note that the original Doritos bags, there was no picture like there is now on the rollback bag. They had clear widows in them back then. Also interesting they did it with the taco only and not the nacho flavors which had this design all the way up through the mid-80’s.

  33. ezibeats Says :

    Posted on July 26, 2011 at 7:27 pm

    you know whats funny i said the same thing when i saw the chips the other day……. some times its a good thing to dump the old look and come with a new one(which is actually an old one)… Im sure a lot of the younger generation doesn’t even remember when doritos looked this way

  34. newsy1 Says :

    Posted on July 26, 2011 at 8:08 pm

    Some of the retro advertising reminds me of driving along in my car and hearing an old song on the radio and getting all nostalgic. Very interesting and informative post.

  35. Rayme Wells - A Clean Surface Says :

    Posted on July 26, 2011 at 9:16 pm

    I was not aware of the printing limitations for color in the 1960s. I had assumed those warm colors were the style of the time, not that they were the only colors available. Very interesting.

  36. zz2fine Says :

    Posted on July 26, 2011 at 9:23 pm

    they r really good

  37. levidavie Says :

    Posted on July 26, 2011 at 9:31 pm

    i knew that pop did that but know doritos nice

  38. Komments by Kris Says :

    Posted on July 26, 2011 at 10:01 pm

    fun & informative – and freshly pressed.
    Thanks – and congratulations!

  39. spiffymcpantsman

    Posted on July 26, 2011 at 11:09 pm

    This is really interesting, but I don’t know if going retro is a great idea for food packaging. It just makes me think of old and stale food =P

  40. New! Improved! (and Very Old) (via A blog about the art and the science of marketing research.) « Looking Forward Says :

    Posted on July 26, 2011 at 11:39 pm

    […] Interesting little article from the WSJ about the throwback trend in consumer packaged goods. While the trend itself isn't all that remarkable, I found the "Chip Flashback" sidebar amusing. Here's a simple recipe for creating a throwback package: Colors: The brown, orange and yellow palette is 'very time stamped' to the 1960s. Limitations in printing techniques also meant that only a few colors could be used. Letter Blocks: Often used by TV shows … Read More […]

  41. GraceLynneFleming Says :

    Posted on July 26, 2011 at 11:44 pm

    retro! whoo – like at cracker barrel – getting the “old” candies. Loving it – great post

    -grace

    http://herumbrella.com

  42. leadinglight Says :

    Posted on July 27, 2011 at 12:10 am

    One of the most striking signs of the decay of art is when we see its separate forms jumbled together.

  43. Elli Writes Says :

    Posted on July 27, 2011 at 1:39 am

    It seems like trends often lead to throwbacks. I remember when bell bottoms and tie dye resurfaced as a cool thing a couple years back. Now kids are running around looking like the Beatles.

    If only slap bracelets would make a comeback…

  44. creativeconfessions Says :

    Posted on July 27, 2011 at 1:58 am

    Haha, great post! Sooner or later, all old trends come back…

  45. hayadith Says :

    Posted on July 27, 2011 at 2:32 am

    Im asian, from MAlaysia..and trust me, I never taste it..hahahaha..

  46. kat Says :

    Posted on July 27, 2011 at 3:08 am

    Even though the throw back trend is cool, that design isn’t really all that great lol. Thanks for sharing! I’m new to blogging here and I just love how supportive and creative everyone is! If you have time, could you please check out my blog? http://comeonilene.wordpress.com/ I would love some advice and feedback, and how to get more exposure 🙂

  47. kat Says :

    Posted on July 27, 2011 at 3:13 am

    ahhh oops! i suck at using wordpress! i’m so sorry, it’s http://www.shecooksandheeats.wordpress.com 🙂

  48. Vasare Says :

    Posted on July 27, 2011 at 4:01 am

    Oh thats really cool , love everything retro, and this packaging is great I need to try them, hope they will design a retro dip packaging to go with it :))

    http://vasare.wordpress.com/

  49. vadan22 Says :

    Posted on July 27, 2011 at 6:18 am

    nice article on Retro trend.. hopefully we will see more of it..

  50. angelatisone Says :

    Posted on July 27, 2011 at 7:18 am

    I think the retro design is just another example of the macro trends we saw during the recession – people find comfort in the familiar, and especially during times of economic crisis, retreat back to and trust the brand relationships and connections they’ve developed in the past. Great post, I love posts that feature the evolution of brand packaging/design!

  51. Corri Says :

    Posted on July 27, 2011 at 7:56 am

    Hey a well timed post with Marshall McLuhan’s 100th birthday this month … a futurist who focused on marketing.

  52. Tinkertoot Says :

    Posted on July 27, 2011 at 7:58 am

    very interesting – funny how most people never really consider the packaging of things they are buying as you have here. well done and congrats on fp

  53. kipie99 Says :

    Posted on July 27, 2011 at 8:57 am

    wow this just goes to show you how long it has been since my last dorito. lol congrats on FP. visit my site everyone!!!

  54. lukelebeau

    Posted on July 27, 2011 at 9:47 am

    I think throwback designs are great, but are throwback designs a good way to target customers?

    http://www.techmeoutallday.wordpress.com

    check me out!

  55. Auspicious Wedding Dates Says :

    Posted on July 27, 2011 at 10:24 am

    3 CHEERS to tortilla chips!!! 🙂

  56. tinkerbelle86 Says :

    Posted on July 27, 2011 at 11:08 am

    loved the old post.. its amazing what a bit of brown will do!

  57. sarahnsh Says :

    Posted on July 27, 2011 at 12:14 pm

    I saw this bag yesterday and was completely confused. I didn’t know what was going on and stared at the bag for quite a while going, “Huh?”

  58. journeytoa10pack Says :

    Posted on July 27, 2011 at 12:25 pm

    I really enjoyed the article. Although I knew it looked retro you definitely pinpointed the era. I think its interesting how certain designs and font styles can be so closely related and recognized to a specific time period. I might just have to incorporate some of these oldschool marketing trends to my blog. Thanks!

  59. iainthegreat Says :

    Posted on July 27, 2011 at 1:01 pm

    I like Mountain Dew and Coke throwback designs best. I haven’t had a Dew for 24 months!

  60. iainthegreat Says :

    Posted on July 27, 2011 at 1:05 pm

    I don’t care about the art. Marketing industries hate me, because I look at weighted scores.

  61. Jennie

    Posted on July 27, 2011 at 1:07 pm

    Interesting!! I thought the bit about the “serif” and “sans-serif” fonts was quite interesting. I’ll have to remember that. By the way, taco Doritos taste like crap.

  62. B.C. Young Says :

    Posted on July 27, 2011 at 1:29 pm

    Think I might try this for the cover of my next eBook. Thanks for the idea!

  63. SandraR Says :

    Posted on July 27, 2011 at 2:19 pm

    Love Doritos!

  64. Modern Funk Says :

    Posted on July 27, 2011 at 7:19 pm

    Mmmm…taco flavor…flashback to the 70’s!

  65. veryvarious Says :

    Posted on July 27, 2011 at 7:36 pm

    How interesting! Brown, orange and yellow colors fit perfectly with the colors of Doritos!

  66. malikthewiseforever Says :

    Posted on July 27, 2011 at 7:49 pm

    retro marketing is definetly important. a lot of these companies have a lot to learn still.

  67. apostrophe...s Says :

    Posted on July 27, 2011 at 8:21 pm

    It wouldn’t surprise me if they will be advertising Doritos on the upcoming season of Mad Men. Seems many of that show’s advertisers are reaching into the archives and showing snippets of past commercials.

  68. anawillbelight Says :

    Posted on July 28, 2011 at 12:37 am

    This might have been mentioned but oh man have you seen the Cap’n Crunch boxes?!
    http://www.retroist.com/2010/08/25/capn-crunch-now-with-old-and-improved-packaging/
    I love them actually. I’m not sure if it’s why I buy them lol. Great article =)

  69. dianewrites Says :

    Posted on July 28, 2011 at 1:01 am

    Wow! I never realized that such little characteristics affect the image of the product. You have a very interesting blog.

    Congratulations for making it in the freshly pressed! 🙂

  70. eudora

    Posted on July 28, 2011 at 3:40 am

    Design looks quite alright actually. Simple = best most of the time 🙂 simple reciepe at Uckg.org > women > recipe. A great blog.

  71. There is an Art to Eating Doritos. There is a Science to Eating Doritos. | Tuesday2's Blog Says :

    Posted on July 28, 2011 at 4:15 am

    […] Buy a bag of history right here. […]

  72. NK Says :

    Posted on July 28, 2011 at 7:20 am

    What an interesting post… loved seeing this design and the simple bulleted walkthrough is perfect.

  73. rubiescorner Says :

    Posted on July 28, 2011 at 7:55 am

    This looks like a lesson on graphic arts. I read every word. The picture helped.

  74. I Made You A Mixtape Says :

    Posted on July 28, 2011 at 8:21 am

    It’s the Mad Men effect

  75. raduniverse Says :

    Posted on July 28, 2011 at 8:23 am

    I was recently on the road where all you can eat is whatever gas stations stock, and these Taco Flavor Doritos really jumped out at me the same way Pepsi Throwback did. And I swear the packaging made them taste extra delicious! The packaging always does…

  76. pezcita Says :

    Posted on July 28, 2011 at 9:38 am

    I actually love it when companies do this! I get to see labels I barely remember or was never around to see when they first came out. It’s like re-living history! Now if only they had throw-back prices.

  77. gaycarboys Says :

    Posted on July 28, 2011 at 1:00 pm

    Love a bit of retro:)

  78. Vannie Sung Says :

    Posted on July 28, 2011 at 2:49 pm

    Marketing is still marketing, but it’s certainly interesting how companies’ graphics approach changes over time. Thanks for this interesting post!

  79. Jey@tecnoupdates Says :

    Posted on July 29, 2011 at 10:44 am

    good post keep posting frnd thanks 4 sharing

  80. admin Says :

    Posted on July 30, 2011 at 8:21 am

    I enjoyed reading this post… Great report.

  81. Food Goes Vintage « offthefrontporch Says :

    Posted on August 1, 2011 at 11:43 am

    […] Interesting little article from the WSJ about the throwback trend in consumer packaged goods. While the trend itself isn't all that remarkable, I found the "Chip Flashback" sidebar amusing. Here's a simple recipe for creating a throwback package: Colors: The brown, orange and yellow palette is 'very time stamped' to the 1960s. Limitations in printing techniques also meant that only a few colors could be used. Letter Blocks: Often used by TV shows … Read More […]

  82. New! Improved! (and Very Old) (via A blog about the art and the science of marketing research.) | Actuaria's Blog Says :

    Posted on August 1, 2011 at 3:56 pm

    […] Interesting little article from the WSJ about the throwback trend in consumer packaged goods. While the trend itself isn't all that remarkable, I found the "Chip Flashback" sidebar amusing. Here's a simple recipe for creating a throwback package: Colors: The brown, orange and yellow palette is 'very time stamped' to the 1960s. Limitations in printing techniques also meant that only a few colors could be used. Letter Blocks: Often used by TV shows … Read More […]

  83. New! Improved! (and Very Old) (via A blog about the art and the science of marketing research.) | Actuaria's Blog Says :

    Posted on August 1, 2011 at 3:56 pm

    […] Interesting little article from the WSJ about the throwback trend in consumer packaged goods. While the trend itself isn't all that remarkable, I found the "Chip Flashback" sidebar amusing. Here's a simple recipe for creating a throwback package: Colors: The brown, orange and yellow palette is 'very time stamped' to the 1960s. Limitations in printing techniques also meant that only a few colors could be used. Letter Blocks: Often used by TV shows … Read More […]

  84. New! Improved! (and Very Old) (via A blog about the art and the science of marketing research.) | Actuaria's Blog Says :

    Posted on August 1, 2011 at 3:56 pm

    […] Interesting little article from the WSJ about the throwback trend in consumer packaged goods. While the trend itself isn't all that remarkable, I found the "Chip Flashback" sidebar amusing. Here's a simple recipe for creating a throwback package: Colors: The brown, orange and yellow palette is 'very time stamped' to the 1960s. Limitations in printing techniques also meant that only a few colors could be used. Letter Blocks: Often used by TV shows … Read More […]

  85. New! Improved! (and Very Old) (via A blog about the art and the science of marketing research.) | Actuaria's Blog Says :

    Posted on August 1, 2011 at 3:56 pm

    […] Interesting little article from the WSJ about the throwback trend in consumer packaged goods. While the trend itself isn't all that remarkable, I found the "Chip Flashback" sidebar amusing. Here's a simple recipe for creating a throwback package: Colors: The brown, orange and yellow palette is 'very time stamped' to the 1960s. Limitations in printing techniques also meant that only a few colors could be used. Letter Blocks: Often used by TV shows … Read More […]

  86. DanEastSided Says :

    Posted on August 4, 2011 at 11:19 am

    I love that companies are doing this. My mom says she totally remembers the Doritos bags.

  87. realanonymousgirl2011 Says :

    Posted on August 7, 2011 at 1:49 pm

    Interesting post. I was recently at Target and they were selling Tide with retro print as well.

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