Friday, July 9, 2010

So Long, Suntory Stripes

If I had to name one thing in my refrigerator at all times it would be Suntory Soda hands down. We are huge fans of seltzer. Abby and Eve have been imbibing since babyhood when we put it in their bottles and sippy cups. Personally, I am partial to San Pellegrino -- it is a little less bubbly. But I am often overruled, hence the plethora of blue striped bottles. But those days are fading fast.

First a word or two about stripes. When it comes to stripes, it is hard to go wrong. Vertical or horizontal, they look great on clothing (you should see my shirt drawer), on paper, and, sometimes, even on buildings. They connote fun but also geometric order -- big accomplishments for a simple series of parallel lines.

Yet even I must admit that Suntory's striped bottle design was a little tired and in need of perking up if its beverage is to compete with the swank brands out there on the super market shelves. Replacing the cobalt blue color scheme with sophisticated navy was a step in the right direction. The lozenge-shaped label is another improvement. And the once shiny hardware is now uber-cool, brushed metal.

But the best part of the makeover is the ribbon of abstract white squares just below the bottle neck (hard to see in this picture, sorry). Initially I missed those stripes and regarded the redesign with an air of clinical indifference. That is, until I realized they're ice cubes! How cool is that??? Well-represented and realistic enough, you can practically hear them clinking in a glass, providing refreshment before the chilled drink has even gone down the gullet. I am amazed at the power of suggestion proffered by this simple visual device though it is a little hard to say good-bye to an old friend.

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