An aged brand gets a mature new look

New logo and packaging for Perfect Italiano cheese

Logo before and after
Logo before and after

(Caution: puns ahead.)

Perfect Italiano is a range of cheese products produced by Fonterra Australia. It has a history dating back to 1922, when Italian immigrant Natale Italiano arrived in Australia with a strong desire to preserve his family’s rich cheesemaking traditions. Eight years later, he established the Perfect Cheese Company in the kitchen of an old pub in North Melbourne. The traditional, authentic Italian-style cheeses became highly regarded in the local Italian community, before distribution grew throughout Australia.

The brand name was changed to Perfect Italiano in 1996.

Logo detail
Logo detail

The old logo was unmistakably for a product of Italian origin, with the flag of Italy in the background and the word “Italiano” in the name. (Is anybody else suspicious that the guy’s surname was actually Italiano? It’s just too…perfect? Argh!)

In isolation, the logo was somewhat cheesy, particularly due to the flag being included unashamedly in its basic form. The ribbon device, though, helped break up the flag’s prominence and straight edges. The name was set in stumpy Century 751 Black, a durable typeface with an old school feel, that was perhaps starting to show its age.

Technically, there wasn’t really anything offensive about the old logo. In fact, the old packaging supported it very well, with its complementing fields of green, well considered typography, and nice food photography.

Pizza Plus/Perfect Pizza before and after
Pizza Plus/Perfect Pizza before and after

The new logo retains a ribbon device and integrates the flag of Italy in a more subtle way, by featuring red and green flaps on either side. In addition to this is new pinstripe detailing which conveys a sense of quality. The name is now set in Rufina ALT02 Bold, an elegant, high contrast serif which definitely feels more gourmet than before.

What I haven’t yet remarked on is the gradient running through both the new and old logos. It was a fine touch when used previously, and particularly appropriate in the update as it enhances the curvature of the ribbon with added depth.

Perfect Bakes before and after
Perfect Bakes before and after

The new packaging reflects the curves of the ribbon, which produce interesting shapes for the clear windows that reveal the product inside. The most striking change is the new typeface for the product names – a bold sans serif – and the black field behind it which looks rather sharp.

Ricotta before and after
Ricotta before and after
4 Cheese Melt before and after
4 Cheese Melt before and after

In terms of recognition on the shelf, the new packaging does a pretty good job of retaining key elements from the old: the colour green; the placement of the logo, photography and text; most of the product names; and the accent colours for each product e.g. dark blue for Mozzarella and orange for 4 Cheese Melt.

The photos of dishes are also now individually masked so that each item “pops out” of its frame. It heroes the imagery a bit more and introduces more organic edges which complement the other curved lines on the packaging.

Parmesan before and after
Parmesan before and after
Mozzarella before and after
Mozzarella before and after

All in all, this is a great evolution for the brand which now looks more refined, while the packaging remains familiar enough for existing consumers. Molto bene.