Archive for July 2013

Is grey the new black?

Welcome to the latest Shelf Life, a smorgasbord of images from assorted categories of food and drink around Europe, with special guest country: Russia! The image here shows what you’re not allowed to bring in to a shopping mall in Moscow, though I presume you can actually buy a trolley bag and take it out.…

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50 covers of grey

Bookshelf with Mother's Day special offer

Is the Harry Potter-esque success of the ‘Fifty Shades’ novels anything to do with the Author’s decision to brand herself through initials? If sales are anything to go by, ‘E L’ could be the new ‘J K’. They also both specialise in fantasy, though the tools of the protagonists’ trades are somewhat different. From a…

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Full metal jacket

Premium spirits spend a lot of time and effort getting the label (and closure) printing right, to convey quality, craft and attention to detail. But when everyone’s brand gets gold-foiled details, textured matt paper, realistic ink signatures and embossed medals, where do you turn for a point of difference? Bring on the Blacksmith! Beluga’s super…

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Ripping Yarns

Different Spanish Wine Brands on Shelf

Design is full of clichés (that lovely French word for overused metaphors) because they work. The idea of a winemaker jotting down and signing a personal message to you, the buyer, is made even more powerful when you imagine that he also tore the page from a crisp, white, estate-stamped notepad. The design challenge is…

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The Delft treatment

If there was such a thing as design Twitter, then the kind of packaging that wants to be your friend (AKA ‘do me an innocent’) has been trending for years. It even attracted a rather sarcastic blog. Whilst the UK may be a bit tired of ‘wackaging’ it’s still spreading throughout Europe, but here in…

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Collective power

Spices Bottles in a French Supermarket

A client recently told me that they were hoping to persuade the trade to group all their products in one place, in order to act as a beacon for consumers. The advantages to the brand are obvious, but this can work equally well for the retailer if the category is young and your brand has…

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Fresh thinking

Frozen Pizza at the Supermarket

Vacuum packing is making a bit of a comeback in chilled foods, saving a lot of plastic in the process. The trouble is that the effect can look quite technical or even worse a bit weird, to those of us not familiar with another hot trend – cooking food ‘sous vide’ in a warm water…

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Fish with no tale

Salmon packages in a Russian Supermarket

Staying in the fresh aisle but moving two thousand miles North East, who wouldn’t be tempted by these juicy steaks of trout and salmon? Assuming that the product’s going to look this good anyway, what’s the job of the brand here? Surely to make me choose the most convincing and reassuring story of freshness, origin,…

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Farmer cool

Drinkable Yogurt in a Dutch Supermarket

Campina is The Netherlands’ national dairy brand, enjoying the status of ‘last man standing’ following numerous mergers of the previously regional players. But with lively competition from Denmark’s Arla, nothing can be taken for granted, hence this dramatic new look for Campina’s organic sub-brand Boeren land. No more peaceful rural ‘view from the barn’, but…

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Team players or every brand for itself?

Several Cereals Packages on Shelf

The cereal aisle is a busy place, the visual equivalent of Times Square mixed up with Piccadilly Circus on New Year’s Eve. For a Mum with kids, trying to decode this lot must hurt her eyes. But looking closer at this fixture in Nicosia, it’s clear that the two big players Kellogg’s and Nestlé have…

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