Copi: The Other, Other White Meat

If there’s an animal that could use a rebrand, it’s the Asian carp. They’re incredibly invasive, threaten the ecological health of the Great Lakes, endanger native fish species, and, when they startle due to a nearby boat or other disturbance, they can actually leap out many feet out of the water and injure people.

Entrepreneurs have tried for years to market the fish as a tasty, plentiful, cheap, protein-rich food—all true, by the way—but most consumers aren’t buying it. “Carp” have a very negative, bottom-feeder reputation. Will people like the name “copi” any better?

Inspired by the word “copious,” which the species definitely is, copi sounds like it could actually be the name of a breed of warm-water fish. The new name comes with a new logo, of course, as well as messaging that really plays down the fish’s large and aggressive nature. In fact, the creatures shown in the new branding—created by Chicago-based Span Studio—are downright cute.

From the Span Studio website:

“Simple and fun, the Copi logo contains a not-so-secret message. The forward-facing fish is created using the negative space with the ‘c’ and the letter-space reserved for the ‘o.’ The fish centers vertically within the geometric letterforms inspired by the Futura Black typeface. The stencil form balances the hard-working, utilitarian aesthetics with a playful feeling through its assembly of simple semi-circles, triangles and rectangles. This stencil approach allows each letter to be its maximum weight. The heaviness of the logo aligns with the physical qualities of these fish that can weigh over 100 pounds, reach five feet in length, and lay over a million eggs per year.”

The new branding seeks to educate consumers, not just trick them into consuming a fish that has been cleverly renamed. The website and literature contain plenty of facts that discount old beliefs—such as the fish are actually top-feeders—as well as simple recipes that sound delicious.

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