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COVERSTORY Totes


Gemma and Coolabi are enjoying a purple patch having relaunched the irreverent, sweet, sexy, silly, caring and tongue- in-cheek Purple Ronnie brand at PG Live, with an updated look that’s perfect for the social media age.


P


URPLE Ronnie is famed for observational social expressions, with a huge appeal of being fun, relatable and, of course, having a little cheeky humour thrown in. The bright, fresh new illustrations and colour palette coupled with short,


sharp and witty verses are


completely on-


trend with the attitudes of 15 to 30 year olds. The brand was created in the 80s by Giles


Andreae and immediately stood out with the use of edgy black and white artwork, with witty and ground- breaking editorial. Purple Ronnie addressed everyman while talking about subjects like beer, sex and relationships, which may seem commonplace today but was much more unusual back then.


The brand grew quickly and really carved a new


direction of what could be portrayed on greetings cards, becoming hugely successful while continuing to own a space in many people’s affections. Times change of course, and, over the last 18 months, brand owners Coolabi have reviewed Purple Ronnie to ensure it remains as relevant and engaging to today’s generation of young adults as it was to those when it launched. Mike Dee, Coolabi’s Director of Content, explained: “We did this by looking at what consumers in this age


tes


range were responding to and interacting with now – the main difference being social media and an internet-savvy audience. The Purple Ronnie brand is about social expression so it lends itself perfectly to these channels. “We have refi ned the design and copy to be cleaner and simpler. Without alienating our existing fan base we are moving to the digital world seamlessly to capture the attention of a new generation.” In terms of design, Coolabi have made the illustrated line thinner, sharper and more uniform. They now work with a consistent and recognisable palette of colours which includes tipping the hat to some of the original black and white look in packaging, and visual clutter has been reduced overall. Coolabi are still very much honouring the design roots of the brand, while ensuring it feels fresh and current. The research they conducted with their demographic showed, unsurprisingly, that people today are inundated with images and advertisements and text wherever they go. They are, therefore, responding well to simpler visual styles and tighter copy, where the humour or sentiment is immediately clear. To refl ect this the copy has been reworked into


shorter, witty, emotive phrases, and everyday themes are still at the forefront of the brand, embracing the idea that people are multi-faceted. Purple Ronnie can be irreverent, sweet, sexy, silly, and caring – just like its audience!


While tongue-in-cheek, Purple Ronnie is never


20 www.greetingstoday.co.uk


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