Cannes Lions

Champion Packaging


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It started with the belief that within everyone beats the heart of a champion. Led by that idea, we set out to evolve a classic American product into a modern lifestyle-brand, one where functional packaging becomes totally cool.

Our assignment was to take a 100-year-old iconic brand that has been known for just spark plugs, most notably in motorsports, and turn it into a global brand with all kinds of new products for everyone. We started by updating Champion’s existing packaging with a new design system that can be applied across a growing range of automotive and lifestyle products. As Champion endeavored into new categories such as lighting, batteries, wiper blades and filters, it needed a comprehensive package design system that unified the brand. Given that these were new products for Champion, we needed to instantly ignite brand recognition among consumers, technicians and retailers.


The design considered a hierarchy of elements: a graphic drawing of the product with simple, artful typography and a structured color palette, all to help clerks and customers easily identify each part.

We commissioned Coop, an iconic hot rod culture artist, to celebrate each Champion product in his distinctive graphic style. Craft paper, a 6-color palette (black, white, red, craft, silver and gray) and a graphic illustration established a nostalgic but modernized look.

We also redefined the packaging for the oil filter by changing the standard square box to a cylindrical package. The new packaging best fits the product’s shape and stands out in a crowded space.

With 60+ SKUs across five categories, the fully-integrated Champion Auto Parts packaging program uses organizing principles to clearly distinguish product, category and benefit. Built to scale, the system allows for hundreds of SKUs within the look, including a range of apparel and accessories.


The design system has grown to incorporate all media executions and experiential installations. From digital to broadcast to retail, the Champion brand clearly communicates its point of view with this iconic graphic system. The new design has been a driving force behind major auto parts retailers, like Pep Boys, adopting the full-line and giving it primary placement within their stores. The new design has also been adopted by Champion’s parent company’s international units, driving the new look and feel across the globe.

This new look continues to meet our objectives of increasing consumer, retailer and installer interest in the brand. The design makes the undeniable statement that Champion is here to ignite the will to win in everyone and every machine they support.

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