Archive for February 2014

The art of packaging: emotional response

In his recent blog Rob Drent made a very interesting case for the supermarket as an art gallery, with packaging as its exhibits. He extended the analogy to propose different types of art, from Old Masters to the Avant Garde; and to suggest that the purpose of these ‘works’ was to provoke an emotional response…

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Missed app-ortunity?

Having given Lipton the idea of adding the sun as a sign of vitality (over 12 years ago), David is delighted to see his thinking still very much alive in the latest manifestation of this global brand identity. In many ways this design is simply following Coke and Pepsi away from the now outdated language…

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Gallery M&S

Whilst half of their Private Label range could be described as homage à sensual packaging design (the rest being Ready Meals), Marks & Spencer has added two very different offers to maximise its appeal to the middle class shopper. Firstly there’s a smattering of actual A-brands, but only an elite few that M&S knows people…

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Propagandist art

As a regular drinker of these superb beers I’ve become used to the fact that their design codes chewed up the rules of the market and spat them in the bin. But to many people browsing the beer aisle, they probably look like alien invaders. Examples of such semiotic brilliance are rare, and their power…

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Simply more complicated

Dorset Cereals Granola on Shelf

I would definitely rank myself in the top 10 fans of the original Dorset Cereals packaging. It remains a shining exemplar of the amazing power of design to transform the codes of a market, and attract a large new group of buyers to a previously tired category. If you really want to know how design…

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Mise-en-scene

Warburtons Escapes Crackers on Display

Edouard Manet famously included bottles of Bass Ale in his 1882 work ‘Un bar aux Folies Bergère’. An early example of product placement perhaps, but more likely the artist’s (or bar owner’s) attempt to express something deeper, through the Englishness that this artefact connotes. Back in the supermarket gallery there is a wonderful variety of…

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Gothic expressionism

In a healthy society it’s normal for youth to reject the codes of older generations and create its own. Codes that deliberately alienate parents and are even faintly threatening, but which unite the tribe itself and empathise with its emotional needs. Red Bull once symbolised rebellion against ‘soft’ drinks and still retains a ‘Top Gear’…

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Manga style

Visiting supermarkets in far away places is at least as much fun as going to local art galleries, even if the display values aren’t always up to the same standards. Nowhere is this more true than the noodle aisles in Vietnam, where there must be 100 brands of assorted styles of this staple food, taking…

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The sweet taste of freedom

Dutch brand Mona desserts on shelf in a Dutch supermarket

Like the vast majority of brands in the world Mona used to have a ‘holding device’ for a logo, which makes it hard to express emotions like fun or joy, or that one you feel when someone puts a monster-sized pudding in front of you. But with its letters released to dance in a field…

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The nature of the beast

I could write a book about the nature of the emotional bonds between humans and their pets, but this seemed to capture it nicely (at least for women and cats): ‘There’s something deeply fulfilling about knowing that, even in a complicated and often unkind world, you’ve managed to create a pocket of perfect security and…

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