SKITTLES Brand Embraces Quirky Persona

Elmwood Leads Global Brand and Package Refresh

Mars-owned candy brand SKITTLES has announced a global brand refresh designed to amplify its capacity for storytelling and product innovation across international markets. The new design system – created in partnership with Elmwood – is being unveiled across all its product ranges in the EU following a similar launch in China — and ahead of a wider rollout to the UK and US next year. It comprises a strengthening of SKITTLES core assets, coupled with a wider refresh that harnesses the brand’s offbeat personality.



New-look packaging features typography with a series of quirks such as an up flick on the letter K. The brand’s signature twisted upside-down rainbow is reimagined as a more vibrant and colorful motif. And the iconic lentils now have a signature layout that creates a sense of movement captured by flowing visual effects. The packaging upgrade also focuses on creating more consistency across its brand system to help unite its many markets on the basis of a fresh, adaptable design language.



The packaging also set the stage for a broader project led by Elmwood and the client brand team, focused around dynamic product development. This next phase of the studio’s work involved forming the foundations of a new brand world experience. “SKITTLES has always been associated with this very distinctive tone of voice — it’s lo-fi, quirky and DIY style,” says Paul O’Brien, Design Director at Elmwood. “In order to capture this very recognizable tenor, we developed a brand new design aesthetic. ‘Nonsensical,’ as we call it, is our way of dialing up SKITTLES’ ability to tell a great story. Its joyful and freeing, providing an entertaining release from common sense — while remaining true to the core feel of SKITTLES.”



As a design aesthetic, Nonsensical ensures can stay relevant in contemporary culture by channelling trends and talking points in a playful, effusive way. In a crowded sphere, it magnifies SKITTLES®’ persona, enabling it to stand out to different generations of consumers. On the one hand, Nonsensical’s light, anti-conformist tone resonates with people who grew up with SKITTLES®, and are nostalgic for a childhood treat. And equally, it helps to strike a chord with Gen Z, and their absurdist sense of humor.

“Nonsensical elevates the distinctive appeal of SKITTLES®, allowing its brand voice to be deployed in a way that’s super-fun and inherently shareable,” notes O’Brien. “This is a tool that can be reinvented over and again, in relation to emerging cultural themes and on different digital channels. It could be used anywhere from social media posts to competitions or UGC-related content.”

“The recrafted SKITTLES® Brand World really celebrates the brands’ distinctive assets,” says Joe Gasparetti, Senior Manager Brand Identity at Mars Wrigley. “With this amplified design system, we’ve reimagined storytelling and ways to experience the rainbow.”