Winter 2012

Off the shelf

Own Label

By Jonny Trunk
Designed & published by Fuel, £16.95

Jonny Trunk is obsessed by the childhood memory of a cornflake box seen on family shopping trips: ‘It was white with orange circles on the front. The design was simple enough to be unforgettable … I had to see this packet again.’ Own Label (designed & published by Fuel, £16.95) is the result: a voyage into the archive of Sainsbury’s in-house studio, which designed that cereal box and hundreds of others for the supermarket chain’s own-brand products in the 1960s and 70s. There was a direct working relationship between studio head Peter Dixon and chairman John Sainsbury (‘Mr JD’), uncluttered by focus groups or brand guidelines. ‘If you have a big batch of red labels one side and … green on the other, then it’s best to design a white label, stark with interesting typography, which would stand out from the other brands,’ says Dixon.

First published in Eye no. 82 vol. 21 2012


EYE82 cover

Eye is the world’s most beautiful and collectable graphic design journal, published quarterly for professional designers, students and anyone interested in critical, informed writing about graphic design and visual culture. It is available from all good design bookshops and online at the Eye shop, where you can buy subscriptions, back issues and single copies of the latest issue.