Lays and Helvetica Neue?

As I was stocking up on some groceries (since the house was about as bare as the Jelly Belly factory after a Reagan visit) I stopped in the chip aisle to pick up some snacks for my lunches. That’s when I saw them …

The new packaging for Lays potato chips. The design wasn’t what caught my attention, instead it was the font! Helvetica Neue for Lays potato chips, really? I’m not sure if they were going for a cleaner, more sophisticated look or if the print house didn’t notice the “missing font” alert and by default selected Helvetica. Specifically I noticed some of the bags utilizing darker colors (like barbecue) would have black text on a dark red bag … not very good for legibility. Was this a universal decision that everyone agreed with in the boardroom? Did they actually get other opinions or did they hire the intern at the 2-year tech college to design it for 2 credits?

Now I will say that I’m not against the use of Helvetica in a design, when used properly it can be a very nice font. Lays, however, didn’t succeed in my opinion. Time for another re-design.

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