The role of design in artisan food packaging

Thanks to Kristin (whose blog is dinnerdujour) for the hat tip which lead to this post.

Written by Alexandra Lange on the design blog the full post entitled What Should Food Look Like poses a series of questions around the percieved norm in packaging design for food products which are artisan/ local/ healthy/ organic/ different in some way.

Using a range of examples Alexandra suggests:

If we want to cross class lines, and get everyone to eat better, wouldn’t it make sense to come up with packaging that was neither tacky nor classy? We need a new identity for plain, simple, grandmother-would-recognize food? Not patronizing, not upscaling. Middlebrow chips? Neutral beverages? We need supermarket aisles stocked with food, not messages about our income level.

Which is an interesting question. And to be honest for me is completely irrelevant for most of the food producers I write about. While passion for a society which eats better and which respects food which is produced properly (however defined) is core to every artisan producer I would suggest it cannot override the need to develop a brand (logo, name, packaging materials, fonts, colours, photography) that allows for clear and immediate positioning on the shelf edge.

Yet maybe there is something in the proposition to think about. A shift down a gear or two with a less pronounced high-brow brand and a more accessible visual impact could produce higher volume sales.

What do you think? For me it is a brand by brand decision and cannot be accommodated in a sweeping discussion which belongs at government or lobby group level.


2 thoughts on “The role of design in artisan food packaging

  1. That post made an interesting observation, but I don’t think any artisan producer who makes a high-quality product is then going to turn around and cheapen it with the packaging. It also assumes people aren’t looking at the prices of products, which people are more aware of than ever these days.

  2. Agree with you. There are two completely different goals for the packaging here and a better for society goal cannot be allowed to complicate things for a producer.


Comments are closed.