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Sainsbury’s Design Studio 1962-77

It always struck me that a good indicator of the general public’s awareness and appreciation of design could be judged by product packaging on supermarket shelves. Perhaps an unexpected source of good graphic design – the Sainsbury Supermarket’s in-house design team (which launched in 1963) took design very seriously during the 60’s and 70’s. They produced some truly fantastic packaging solutions for everyday products using bold geometric shape and colour. Here are a few examples but you can see more at the Museum of London Docklands. There is also a book available – Own Label: Sainsbury ‘s Design Studio, 1962-1977, by Jonny Trunk by Fuel (found at the Guardian)

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Have your say

    Rob
    16th Nov 2011
    12:55 pm
  1. Why can’t all packaging be like this?


  2. Matthew N
    16th Nov 2011
    3:14 pm
  3. Love.

    It.

    All!


  4. Andrew Golden
    17th Nov 2011
    12:22 pm
  5. They should give these designs another go, rerelease all their products in this style!


  6. Tom
    21st Nov 2011
    9:27 pm
  7. I saw that top image and thought ‘Wow, that must be the new packaging for their cat food, how nice.’


  8. Andi
    6th Feb 2012
    11:23 am
  9. The Golden Age. So much better than the majority of current packaging, although there is still some good stuff about – I like the simplicity of Sainsbury’s herbs and spices and a lot of Waitrose packaging is very elegant.

    None of it matches this though.


  10. Richard Williams
    8th Oct 2012
    3:08 pm
  11. Remarkable. I couldn’t believe this when I saw your site. I designed the Sainsbury’s pet food packs. The cats, I thin there were three cat food tins, were drawn using photos of my own cats and the dog belonged to Peter Dixon, my head of design at JS. It was a really happy time in my life – just starting out on a design career that led me to setting up Design Bridge and, latterly WMH.


  12. Luke TongeLuke Tonge
    8th Oct 2012
    7:15 pm
  13. @Richard, thanks so much for commenting! Many of us bought this book and love its aesthetic – so it’s fascinating to gain a bit of an insiders viewpoint. If you have any more stories to share we’d love to hear them!

    For any of our readers interested these comments are great too: http://www.williamsmurrayhamm.com/blog/about/


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Chatter

Nice article – its good to hear the experience of other designers who have started up. Myself and partner have just made it through our first year, i can see some parallels so comforting to get a solid view point

jess codrington on Ten Tips To Starting An Agency

Really nice work. Love the Nike campaign.

Peter Scott on Studio Feixen

Absolutely stunning work!

– Natalie www.workovereasy.com

Natalie on Studio Feixen

A few highlights from a colleague here if you need any reminders: https://www.whitelightmedia.co.uk/news-articles/a-thoroughly-modern-magazine

Matt on ModMag16

Thanks for sharing this post about the Jan font. I love the typography of how the letters are formed. Also, it makes me happy to hear that numerous versions were created. As a designer, it is irritating when you want …

Design Cache on F37 Jan

I love how much people are actually just making the things they discuss over coffee rather than just going oh that would be a good idea – such a lovely product really well executed!

– Natalie www.workovereasy.com

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