Purina SmartBlend Dog Food Redesigned (Student Project)

Derrick Lin


Designed by Geoff Ledford, John Kim and Eliana Feigelstock
School: Art Center College of Design
Country: United States

This packaging was the result of a comprehensive rebrand of Purina’s SmartBlend dog food. Our team focused on elevating the packaging in three key areas.

1. Nudging SmartBlend toward “Science”

SmartBlend’s brand was getting lost in a sea of dog food brands that all claimed to be “natural.” SmartBlend was stuck straddling the fence between “science” and “nature.”

This realization fueled decisions for text, graphics, color choice, and packaging structure. We changed the predominant color of the bag from red to white with red and gray accents, to communicate a sense of scientific cleanliness. The Akkurat type family was chosen for all copy because of its clean aesthetics and approachability. The packaging structure was created to look notably “more intelligent” than existing dog food packaging. By pushing the packaging toward “smart” and “science,” we sought to give SmartBlend its own unique voice.

2. Improving Usability

Traditional pet food packaging doesn’t offer customers a particularly pleasant experience. Our design sought to make improvements in several areas.

A twist-to-open valve allows the user to open and close the package easily. It also eliminates the need for an intermediate storage bin.

The pour area is closer to the ground than with traditional packaging, making it much easier to pour food into a dog’s bowl, especially when the bag is full. It eliminates the need to pick up an entire bag in order to pour it.

A handle makes it easy to carry the package, even when the user has his or her hands full.

3. Creating a truly sustainable package

Co-mingled materials make it difficult for a customer to recycle dog food packaging once the product has been used, so we made SmartBlend’s packaging easy to break apart for this reason. The outer structure of our packaging is made of molded paper pulp that can be easily composed. The plastic pouch that holds food is recyclable.