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Sainsbury’s Own Label – In House Graphics 1962 to1977

November 15, 2011 4 comments

I read recently in one of the weekend papers that a new book about Sainsbury’s in-house graphic design team has just been published.

Called Own Label, it looks to be a compelling survey of packaging design from the early 1960’s to the late 1970’s, and I imagine like many 40 somethings, sets bells ringing from my childhood days.

From the images I have found online, the simplicity and consistency of the work is what really stands out. Most of it was printed using only 3 colours and from what I understand, individual designers were given an unusual degree of freedom to suggest different designs for each of the various products, with all final decisions overseen by the head of design, Peter Dixon. There appears to have been no overriding approach to design (other than keeping it modern) and as such there is a variety that is sometimes missing from the suited approach of much of todays designs.

Some of these images I can clearly remember, the cat food with the yellowed eyed black cat on the blue background and the smiley sun in the cornfield of the cornflakes being the most immediate.

Many of these designs have a contemporary feel that will help the book sell not only to those like me that remember them the first time round, but also to new designers looking for simple and stylish ideas.

I for one will be putting this on my “wants” list from Santa…

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