Today the low is -1°F. Hooray! After all, the low could have been -2°F.

Meanwhile, my local grocery store is cleared out of chicken broth (I couldn’t “stock” up), and most of its bottled water.

I generally disagree with buying bottled water in the U.S. (Aside: I felt strongly enough about this in undergrad that I helped to lead a campus-wide campaign against bottled water. The campaign ended up catching the attention of Camelbak, which generously sent our little team a box of their bite-valve waterbottles to support our efforts.)

So I rarely go into a bottled water aisle of a store. But because the shelves were so barren as I was walking by, I immediately noticed these bottles…and went in:


Notice how the crinkled plastic design of the top portion is like an iceberg, or a chunk of ice—clever packaging design there for the name of the water…Icelandic Glacial. Any crinklier and it’d look not ice-like, and less crinkly and it’d look like damaged plastic. But what really caught my eye was the label:


The field of white is like snow, and the shape of Iceland positioned in the center is transparent like ice. The typography is particularly interesting…

The main logotype is something similar to Trajan, but with modifications. Notice the sliver above the I, the truncated top stroke of the E, the removed crossbar of the A, the missing serif of the N, and the sliced out curve of the D. The weight is fairly strong but not heavy. The effect is a little mysterious, and especially with the serifs, the logotype doesn’t look smooth or warm. It looks a little like something that has been chipped away or carved at, something with splinters, maybe something with icicles…

The complementing face in black is Gotham, a no-frills face that looks strong, clean, and modern. The pH seems to be set in Gotham Narrow, and, in a punchy red accent color, it pops despite its size. It’s neatly aligned with the stem of the E, and tucked closely to the island graphic.

The word “GLACIAL” and the tagline are aligned with the D in the main logotype and positioned closely to the island graphic. The overall effect is grid-like, tidy. Very nice that the designer even aligned the bottle volume line with the ends of the C.


Sadly, the other three sides of the label fail to delight. The marketing copy on the second panel was not particularly sparkling. The “source of an epic life” design on the third panel looks…not epic. It looks like a faded motivational poster hanging in a career counselor’s office. And the fourth panel doesn’t even bear remarking, other than it somewhat retains the white block that is present above the second panel. Not that there was continuity. The whole epic life thing broke that up.

Anyway, it’s a testament to the overall convincing design that this product was among the last-standing brands of bottled water in the grocery store. It probably would sell better in the summer out here, when the low is not -1°F.