The power of packaging

Shortbread packaging with a design by Adrian Johnson ©Adrian Johnson/Studio H

Recently I began to notice the striking new designs on the boxes of biscuits sold in National Trust shops. It turns out that the graphics have been designed by design consultancy Studio H, who commissioned artist Adrian Johnson to provide illustrations for them.

Biscuit packaging with designs by Adrian Johnson. ©Adrian Johnson/Studio H

Johnson’s work, which is bold and yet gently whimsical, seems to be building on the style of British modernism of the 1940s and 1950s.

To make the designs more specific to the National Trust, Studio H asked Johnson to incorporate visual references to Hidcote Manor, Little Moreton Hall and Seaton Delaval Hall – can you spot them?

Icons designed by Rob Hall of Studio H. ©Rob Hall/Studio H

Rob Hall of Studio H has designed a range of ‘icons’ in a similar romantic modernist style. These icons can be used in different combinations for different products.

Rob Hall's icon designs used in various configurations on National Trust chocolate packaging. ©Rob Hall/Studio H

All this is part of a programme to refresh the National Trust’s corporate brand. The main brief was to give the range of products more visual coherence while at the same time reflecting the huge diversity of what the organisation looks after.

8 Responses to “The power of packaging”

  1. Vic Says:

    Love the colors, love the images.

  2. Emile de Bruijn Says:

    Come to think of it, these designs would also work well as Jane Austen book covers, don’t you think?

  3. Hels Says:

    I don’t know about the need to refresh the National Trust’s corporate brand. That sounds like advertising-speak for grabbing new markets and raising prices.

    But I really do like the idea that designs should be more specific to the National Trust. It is smart for Johnson to have incorporated visual references to well loved sites.

  4. Emile de Bruijn Says:

    Well, if by ‘grabbing new markets’ you mean making the National Trust better known and more relevant to a wider group of people, then we are guilty as charged 🙂

    Moreover, our marketing is increasingly geared towards highlighting the unique qualities of the individual historic properties, rather than being a one-size-fits-all corporate look. Properties are encouraged to sell local products in their shops, for instance.

  5. Janet Says:

    And I can say from experience, the contents are as delicious as the packaging. I think these are so clever. A fresh take on old motifs.

  6. Emile de Bruijn Says:

    I must find out how well they are selling: the proof of the… biscuit 🙂

  7. National Trust Magazine Says:

    The Shortbread design reminds me of the slightly insane world of Locoroco.

  8. Emile de Bruijn Says:

    Amazing, a kind of post-anime Mario sort of game world, this Locoroco.

    Yes wouldn’t it be fun if you could develop these packaging designs into some kind of animated game?

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