Hill’s Science Diet Redesign

Derrick Lin


Agency: Beardwood&Co.
Photography: Michael Faye
Project Type: Produced, Commercial Work
Client: Hill’s Pet Nutrition
Location: Topeka, Kansas
Packaging Contents: Pet food
Packaging Substrate / Materials: Paper
Printing Process: Flexography

A Fresh Look for The Leading Science-Based Pet Nutrition: Hill’s Science Diet Introduces New Packaging Design for Dog & Cat Food

“We are thrilled to introduce a fresh look for Hill’s Science Diet at an exciting time in the pet nutrition world,” said Jennifer Giannotti-Genes, Associate Global Design Director for Hill’s at Colgate-Palmolive. “The redesign is a natural evolution for this unique brand, highlighting the transformative effects of science-based nutrition on the lifelong health and wellbeing of pets. From the impactful photography that radiates good health to clearly stated sciencebased benefits and real food ingredients, the new designs beautifully convey Hill’s mission to help enrich and lengthen the special relationship between people and their pets. .”

“Engaging pet parents at shelf with more emotion was key- we wanted to show pets at their best, at each stage of their lives, bringing out their unique characteristics, personalities and truly capturing what they look like in real life” said Luca Torregiani, Hill’s Design Manager at Colgate-Palmolive.

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“The refreshed design for Hill’s Science Diet is all about giving your pets the care that leads to a happy and healthy life, offering science-based nutrition that gives your dog or cat exactly what they need to thrive,” said Julia Beardwood, founding partner of Beardwood&Co., the branding and design firm which worked with the Colgate-Palmolive Global Design team who lead all the brand design for Hill’s. “We wanted to preserve the essence of Hill’s Science Diet strengths while more persuasively telling the story of what it does… nutritious food that has health benefits specifically created for each pet’s life stage, for overall wellness and to support healthy weight and dental health. Hill’s is an impressive brand with an expert foundation and distinctive products. We look forward to seeing the new designs in pet homes around the world.”

The Redesign in Detail:

  • With its iconic white background unchanged to reinforce the brand’s clinical credentials, Hill’s bag and can packaging has received a complete graphic refresh.
  • The new pet photography highlights the engaging lovable personality of each pet and exudes good health through bright eyes, shiny coat and happy tongues.
  • All pet photography is shot by Michael Faye, a talented commercial photographer with a focus on pets. The Colgate-Palmolive Design Team discovered his talents at Expo West and realized he was the perfect person to bring a distinctive look to Hill’s pet photography.
  • “Helping 9 Million Shelter Pets Find Forever Homes” is called out right next to each pet to highlight Hill’s long-term commitment to supplying the nutrition rescue pets need to be healthy and adoptable and also on the back panel which further highlights this important message.
  • Knowing that pet parents want transparency into their pet’s food, the packaging clearly shows the kibble size or wet food texture as well as the real food ingredients used in the recipe for added taste appeal.
  • Simplified navigation at shelf with less claim copy and clearer communication to differentiate offerings within the portfolio of products thru the use of color (red or silver) to signal everyday wellness or specialty diets.

“Our approach was very much about listening to pet parents” continued Jesper Nordengaard, Vice President and General Manager of Hill’s US. “We needed to make the science behind our products self-evident and more approachable to them. We also needed to create a visceral emotional reaction with the pet photography, so pet parents could connect with the healthy and happy pet on the bag. Everything about the redesign makes it simpler for the consumer to see the transformation Hill’s Science Diet can bring to their pet’s life.”

What’s Unique?
3 unique things about this project:

  • Hill’s has an amazing and authentic story that most people don’t know. It was originally created by a vet, Dr. Morris, to treat a seeing eye dog suffering from kidney failure due to poor nutrition. Dr. Morris started making food for the dog in his kitchen and it transformed Buddy’s life. Eighty years later, and millions of pets lives have been transformed through the right nutrition for their needs.
  • Typically, you create early package designs using stock photography as a placeholder for the final imagery, and only invest in photography when the packaging design is proven effective in research. We recognized early on, however, that we needed to create an ownable imagery style that didn’t exist already, and we needed to have specific pet breeds, ages and sizes. It was going to be impossible to find placeholder photography. So, we did some early research to identify an imagery style that really connected with pet parents, and invested in test photography to prove it out. It was expensive, but 1000% worth it.
  • Hill’s Food, Shelter & Love program supports shelter animals by ensuring they eat precisely balanced nutrition 365 days a year. The result? A growing number of happy, healthy pets going home every year. Hill’s feeds homeless pets in more than 800 shelters in North America every day. Since, 2002, more than $290 million has been donated in food. Consistent quality nutrition helps make pets more adoptable. That’s how Hill’s has helped 9 million shelter pets find forever homes.