There is something to be said for vintage ammo boxes. They’re full of nostalgia and representative of printing and packaging technology for mass produced products of a given era. They can evoke fond memories or idealistic representations of times past, perhaps a time not even so long ago. But like all things, design must move forward, and it harder than ever to stand out on crowded ammo shelves in big box stores. Federal Premium, a long trusted and well respected ammunition manufacturer based in Anoka, Minnesota has been in the business of cranking out rimfire, centerfire, and shotshell ammo and components since the early 1920s, back when it was known as Federal Cartridge Corporation. In 1977, Federal’s Premium line of centerfire rifle and handgun ammo was launched, which were not only loaded with Federal’s bullets, but also popular projectiles from other manufacturers like Nosler—a practice that continues to this day, with projectiles like the Barnes TSX and the Berger Hybrid Hunter topping off Federal Premium loads. This was unheard of at the time and truly revolutionary. By using the top projectiles from companies across the industry and loading them under extremely tight specifications, Federal was able to produce handloader quality cartridges from their factory. This changed the company, and the ammo industry, forever—so much so that the company became “Federal Premium Ammunition.”

A new box of Federal Premium .308 Win cartridges topped with 168-grain Berger Hybrid Hunter bullets.

Over the years, Federal Premium products included shotshells, rimfire cartridges, and products in the reloading and muzzleloading categories with popular sub-brands like Black Cloud, Prairie Storm, HEAVYWEIGHT TSS, Gold Medal Grand, and Hunter Match.

This year, Federal has gotten a makeover as we approach the third decade of the 21st Century after maintaining the same logo and design for about 15 years.

Now, the world’s largest sporting ammunition manufacturer has adopted a new look and feel for every line under the Federal name, and the name has also gotten more direct as well.

The brand long known as “Federal Premium” is now, simply, “Federal.”

“For many years, we’ve been known as Federal Premium,” said President Jason Vanderbrink. “But the fact is, we manufacture a huge list of ammunition products via several sub-brands, and Federal Premium is just one of them. Granted, it’s our exclusive sub-brand crafted at the highest tier of quality, but by using it as our overall name, Premium began to lose that meaning.”

Vanderbrink says that over the years, as the company focused on its many sub-brands and launched numerous specialized products, the Federal brand itself faded into the background, losing some of its consistency and strength.

“That is changing,” he said. “We are embarking on a new, comprehensive effort to revitalize the Federal name.”

But that doesn’t mean the Federal Premium category is going anywhere.

federal ammunition
The new look of Federal Grand Slam shotshells. Federal Ammunition

“At the same time, we will also treat Federal Premium as it was always meant to be—an exclusive category of the best ammunition available,” he added.

As you can see in the photos, Federal’s new logo users a bolder font and looks more modern while still including the iconic shockwave, yet it’s simple and reminiscent of the original Federal logo.

You may have already seen the new look in print, digital, and TV ads, and of course, on the new packaging in the store.

“With so many ammunition options at retail, we made sure this packaging stands out and immediately communicates what we know consumers want to see,” Vanderbrink said.

All the products that have existed under the Federal product category will continue to do so, despite the new look, including favorites like Power-Shok, Top Gun, Speed-Shok, Fusion, and American Eagle, as well as newer sub-brands like Syntech, Train + Protect, and Non-Typical.

The Premium products are still at the heart of the company and will be “elevated,” according to Federal.

“Federal Premium products are the absolute top-performing, most technologically advanced ones in every category,” Vanderbrink said. “Whether you’re hunting elk with Edge TLR, shooting a match with Gold Medal Berger, dropping ducks with Black Cloud, or defending your home and family with HST, Federal Premium delivers what nothing else can.”

The new Gold Medal Grand shotshell box alongside the redesigned packaging for Federal Fusion soft point bonded 140-grain bullets. Federal Ammunition

Federal Premium products have received more significant packaging updates that makes them even richer and more appealing on the shelf, further separating them from the competition.

“Our very best ammunition, Federal Premium, is easily identified by high-impact packaging with eye-catching gold foil, aspirational imagery and detailed product insets,” Vanderbrink said. “This truly sets it apart, letting both consumer and retailer know the ammunition is designed for the best possible performance.”

But that’s not all. Federal’s sister ammunition companies, Speer and CCI, are also getting design refreshers throughout the year that will emphasize the brands’ quality and performance.

The new Syntech packaging is a bit more understated. Federal Ammunition

“To update the current and extremely recognizable CCI logo, we incorporated several subtle design elements that impart a more modern, stylized look without departing from the established brand identity,” Vanderbrink said. “Rather than the current three simple capital letters, we are moving to slighter thicker letters in an italic font.”

Speer’s new logo will feature a bullet in flight centered in the brand name.

“The bullet in the more aggressive logo helps set the product apart from others in a crowded field and again supports our mission of moving forward,” Vanderbrink said.