Monday, 30 November 2009

Getting It Right

"Close your eyes and hold out your hand" the Youngest Boy said. Usually I recoil at the thought, knowing that I could so easily be the recipient of a slug dragged out from under the shed. But as he was still in his pyjamas I allowed myself the treat of having this tin presented to me. "It was going to be part of a new space rocket, but as you like old-fashioned things I thought you'd better have it". "Thankyou very much", I said, and really meant it. The thing is, of course, is that it's not a 1950's grocery item, or particularly nostalgic for the good old days of cocoa drinking in slippers by open fires. No, this is the result of Waitrose's designers knowing a thing or two about, well, good design. And you just know that it won't be replaced in a couple of weeks' time by yet another tweeking presented at the Monday morning strategy focus outreach meeting, a fate that regularly befalls it's better known competitors on the adjoining shelves. Good design like this is timeless. The right colours, the right type and a classic wood engraving that tells us what cocoa actually is. (Is this one is by Christopher Wormell?) So yes, it will be up there on the kitchen high shelf with Ovaltine and Milo and the Quaker Oats tin from a Greek holiday many years ago. Just because I really, really like it.

9 comments:

Diplomate said...

mmmmmmm - interesting that one - very reminiscent of a bit of seventies Sainsbury which I have always admired for its simplicity. A propos nothing - how come Clarkson omitted the Aurellia in his brief homage to Lancia last night?

Peter Ashley said...

Because Jeremy only knows what he knows. Like the only thing I really know about the Aurelia is that Edward Fox resprayed one in The Day of The Jackal. I think.

Martin H. said...

I must confess I'm a bit allergic to Clarkson, so I didn't see the programme, but the Aurelia is a very significant motor car. The coupe is often described as the first ever 'GT', and it featured the first mass-produced V6 engine. Oh yes, and apparently it's a stonking drive.

Back to Peter's original post: I agree,it's a good bit of design. I particularly like the typeface. Perhaps, being an 'in-house' product, it is not subject to the same perceived marketing pressures as the independent companies?

Diplomate said...

I do like hi-jacking lord ashley's blog - have a look here Martin H

http://sweatsteamgasoline.blogspot.com/2007/12/pisa-expressway.html

oh bollox - how do you slide a link into these comment boxes ?

Philip Wilkinson said...

Stunning vehicle, DIplo - thanks for the link. Now I know what they're going on about, and why.

Philip Wilkinson said...

Re putting links in comment boxes, it tells you how to do it here.

ChrisP said...

I love Christopher Wormell's delicate cuts. He did one of a covey of Partridges for a book we had printed for my father's 80th birthday. A great bit of work.

Jon Dudley said...

Nice packaging - all the right elements. Let's hope we see a bit more original illustration too rather than all the usual library stuff. The Lancia Aurelia is absolutely wonderful but then so too (although a prewar design) is the charming little Aprilia saloon. Now a mug of cocoa in either of those would be a singular pleasure.

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