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Pot luck

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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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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What are ogres like?

Shrek 3D carton shaped selling onions

Well as nearly everyone on the planet knows from the first Shrek movie: “Ogres are like onions. We have layers…” This could be the motto for all older children’s hero characters, because it’s having layers that creates a truly complete character, with massive appeal across the age spectrum, including adults. This, along with major advances…

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Food, but not as we know it

Here’s a challenging brief: sell the kind of food that authentic hunter-gatherers actually eat to rich westerners, right on the front end of the ‘early adopter’ curve. Resisting the temptation to show picturesque locations or exotic tribal dress, the ‘edible’ brand opts for a combination of retro Sci-Fi logo, scattered infographics and pharmaceutical packaging.

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Reusable branding

Chiquita boxes

Despite being a pack format that people don’t actually buy (unless they’re having a very big party for really healthy kids), our banana box for Chiquita still enjoys an iconic role within the consumer landscape. That’s because it is the storage box of choice for many market stall holders and car boot sale afficionados, and now I’ve told…

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Which came first – the chicken or the egg?

Happy egg boxes

In this case both. The delightful ‘egg-chicken’ character perched on a friendly, natural typeface makes a truly effective brand identity. The genius here lies in the name because it tells a bigger story: happy eggs means happy chickens means happy customers. Not in this shot but the brand offers an extra large size called ‘Biggies’,…

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Branding in the fast lane

Despite being a ‘public service’ (as opposed to ‘commercial’) broadcaster, the BBC puts many big-spending corporations to shame when it comes to brand creation. Quite apart from its expertly managed own brand, and innovative sub-brands like BBC i-player, it has also created global programme brands, tapping into universal human needs for connection, empowerment and…. driving…

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Cat tales

Cat food section in a supermarket

In 1991 I wrote some copy for the first Design Bridge brochure, including an account of our recent highly successful redesign of Felix cat food. ‘The faithful companion, the athletic adventurer, the Vogue model; take a look at the cat food shelves and they’re all there’. They’re all still there, and it’s good to see…

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Off the boil

Clarence Court Ostrich Eggs Packages

Whilst I can’t even begin to imagine the target group for marketers of Ostrich eggs, I can say with confidence that they deserve a better story than either of these. Choose from: “we couldn’t be bothered to package it” or “purveyors of ostrich eggs to a minor Royal”. Come on, show me that weird bird,…

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