Nov 9, 2011

Style and substance

The things that different cultures decide to excel in is clearly linked to their history and geography; passion for and expertise in a particular product or service becomes part of the brand story of a country or region. But does passion and expertise automatically lead to good design? For Italian cars and clothes the answer must surely be yes, it’s part of the definition of excellence in the first place; but for packaged food and drink it can be a different story.

Italian coffee chic finds its design expression in coffee bars, coffee-making machines, and occasionally in packaging, notably Illy of course. But if Italy’s favourite coffee really is Lavazza, there’s not much evidence here that the locals care very much about how it looks. We Brits care a lot more about that, so Private Label and ‘Britalian’ brands like Costa look more the part than the real deal. Perhaps its time to let Lavazza know that it’s OK to look as good as a Fiat Cinquecento, Alfa Romeo, Piaggio, Ducati, I could go on