Kraft Paper Culture

Image via the Dieline blog

Ever notice how more and more businesses are using kraft paper for their branding? It seems that over the past couple of years, our cultural perceptions of kraft paper have completely changed. Something that was once regarded as cheap and lowly is now becoming almost elitist.

Personally, I’ve been seeing kraft paper branding everywhere. If you want to grab a quick bite for lunch, Holt Renfrew’s Cafe will hand you your meal in a brown lunch bag with a hot pink Holts sticker on it. I was buying a birthday present for a friend from Club Monaco the other day and asked them to gift wrap it for me; of course, they wrapped it up in kraft paper. Even Starbucks combines its high-end $4 coffee with kraft paper branding, just like shops who sell their coffee for $2.

It’s obvious that with economic recessions hitting us now and then that kraft paper is the economic choice for companies. But how do high-end companies, like Holt Renfrew, manage to use a cheap material like kraft paper and still maintain their identity as a luxury brand?

The answer is typography.

Using sans serif fonts, and sometimes graphics, many companies are trend setters when it comes to logo design. By simply printing their logos, whether in black or coloured ink, onto kraft paper, we end up looking at kraft paper in a whole new way. Kraft paper’s former reputation of “cheap quality” doesn’t bring well-to-do companies down but rather, these companies make kraft paper look cool. Apart from the economic advantage that kraft paper branding provides, it likely appeals to the environment-conscious consumer as well, which of course is another plus for companies.

With this new kraft paper culture, even rubber stamps are making a comeback! After all, what goes better with kraft paper than a hand-stamped logo and some baker’s twine?

Are you a fan of the kraft paper packaging look or is it too old-school for you?


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