Jun 1, 2012

Flag fatigue?

What’s a designer to do when presented with a commemoration packaging brief in 2012? What with the Queen’s jubilee and Britain’s hosting of the Olympics falling within 6 weeks of each other, the shelves are groaning with vain attempts to use the Union Jack in a ‘creative’ way.

Marks and Spencer have so many souvenirs of the event(s) that several of them are bound to be good, and indeed the biscuit tin collection manages to rise above the cliché very well. Three designs each cleverly combine multiple symbols of royal pageantry and Britishness, with barely a flag in sight. And then there’s that ‘controversial’ Olympic logo, which actually improves by being Union-jacked.

Perhaps this multiple choice tells us something about the design sensibilities of the Great British public (or are the contents different? I assumed not). Certainly in this London store my favourite design was nearly sold-out, so I had to make do with a slightly dented one. I can’t wait to play ‘count the symbols’ at the village tea-party next week.