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Redesigning Racist Brands

A needed change

Amid the Black Lives Matter protests, Conguitos chocolate brand (literally translated as “little Congoleses”) received fierce backlash on social media and we decided to do something about it. This way, we redesigned the naming and packaging of three Spanish food brands that depicted racist visual identities. We wanted to prove that it is possible to rebrand these brands, getting rid of their racist graphics, while still keeping them recognizable for the consumer.

Services

Critical Design,
Visual Identity,
Packaging

Repercussion

This project went viral in social media, reaching more than 1 Million people on Instagram and more than 500K on Twitter.

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At Sharp & Sour we are committed to Human Rights and therefore we support Black Lives Matter.

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At Sharp & Sour we are committed to Human Rights and therefore we support Black Lives Matter.

01. Conguitos

Case 01 / Conguitos: Nuts covered in chocolate

Images rooted in colonialism and racist stereotypes, with a mascot which is literally a horrid caricature of black people, depicting them as wild, uncivilised and primitive people.

A brand new mascot and naming

For Conguitos, we decided to come up with a neutral name that speaks about the product itself. We came up with Chocohués, what in English could translated as Choconuts. A playful and catchy name easy to remember. Obviously the mascot had to be completely redesigned, bringing to live one of their chocolate covered peanuts. The new mascot is a friendly icon, free of racist stereotypes.

02. ColaCao

Case 02 / Colacao: Cacao Mix Drink

images rooted in colonialism and racist stereotypes, once again. The lyrics of their original advertisement sing along the lines of "I'm that lil' black guy from tropical Africa that sings the ColaCao song while working".

An up-to-date packaging illustration

For ColaCao, even though the company already redesigned its brand image a few years ago, we believe that a more significant change was necessary. Thus, after reading the statements of Iris Sastre Rivero, responsible for the change.org campaign that asks Lacasa to change its image («The best would be to see them consume the chocolate drink» – El País) we decided to illustrate her words literally. In addition to eliminating the harvest scene, the image focuses on product enjoyment by black people.

03. Negrita

Case 03 / Negrita: Rum

Virtually not a single black person can be seen on their commercials, while still using a black woman as their logo. Fun fact: in this, their latest video, they added a black woman as a response to the viral anti-racist movement happening on the streets and social media but previous promotional videos had no black people at all -and neither does this one.

Empowerment and joy for the new logo

Finally, Negrita (literally translated as “little black girl”) is the last brand we decided to redesign. We completely made over the logo, empowering the women depicted and again enjoying the product rather than producing it. Her formal and even complacent expression has been purposely replaced by an empowered, joyous posture and gesture.

EDIT

After posting the redesigned alternative on social media, we received a few comments on her appearance. Some women told us that her appearance was a bit sexualized, exaggerating the feminine attributes of a woman in a disproportionate way. So after listening to these people, we have retouched the illustration to avoid sexist stereotypes.

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