Creative Agency: Emrich Office
Project Type: Produced, Commercial Work
Client: Turner Dairy Farms
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Packaging Contents: Milk and Dairy Products
Packaging Substrate / Materials: Plastic, PSL Labeling
Printing Process: Flexography

In the United States, the milk aisle at the grocery store is pretty boring. As one dairy industry expert said “it’s cold, it’s wet, and it’s white.” Unlike other segments in the beverage industry, milk producers continue to do very little to create engaging brand packaging. Most of the available space on milk labels are used to display basic product information, special additives or required nutritional information, but little is done to convey a brand.

In steps Turner Dairy Farms, a family-owned dairy serving the Pittsburgh area since 1930. When Turners began considering a redesign of their label designs, they turned to another industry for inspiration: craft beer. Like Turner’s, craft breweries are focused on creating higher quality products and innovating with new flavors, but they also do a better job engaging their customers through creative, beautifully-designed packaging.

Turners began collecting craft beer packaging they liked. Along they way they discovered that many of their favorite designs were created by the same designer, Josh Emrich, whose design firm, Emrich Office, specializes in design for craft companies. Turner’s decided to reach out to Emrich to see if he could make their labels reflect the dairy’s rich history and create customer loyalty to the brand.

“It’s important for us to be mindful of our heritage and also position ourselves from a visual standpoint for the future. The update to both our brand logos and milk packaging must align with that goal,” notes Chuck Turner, Jr, third generation president of his family’s business.

Emrich set to work evaluating Turner’s current packaging and quickly discovered that some improvements needed to be made.

“First, Turner’s invested in a two-label system, giving us more space to communicate the Turner brand, which is a tough sell in an industry where pennies are profit. Next, we took a hard look at their logo and its readability. The result was a new logo featuring a custom logotype and “T” mark that can adapt to different packaging formats,” says Emrich.

For inspiration, Emrich researched local farms, WPA poster art from the 1930s, American folk art and Pennsylvania Dutch designs. “We wanted to make sure that what we depicted looked wholesome and professional but authentically local and unique.”

“We also didn’t want the labels to feel stuck in the past either, so we turned to a flat-color illustration style that also feels clean, modern, and bright.” The new labels feature a healthy holstein cow with the rolling hills of a west Pennsylvania dairy farm. The scene is adaptable to depict different seasons and colors to help differentiate products. “For the color palette, we wanted to Turners to stand out as fresh, like their milk.”

Chuck Turner approves: “All members of the Turner Dairy family, from our local farmers to our local team members are extremely happy to debut our new labels as part of our brand redesign. The illustration and visual cues in the label design maintain the ‘Turner’ heritage and image and we’re proud to bring them to market to share with our dedicated supporters.”

What’s Unique?
• 2-label system allowing more space for communicating the brand
• Unique illustration style, using fresh, sophisticated colors
• Authentic local nods to west Pennsylvania: rolling hills, Keystone icon stamp, folk art inspiration
• Nostalgic but also modern at the same time
• Custom-colored plastic caps
• 4-color process + 2 spot colors to keep the colors bright

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