Own Label: Sainsbury’s Design Studio 1962-1977Previous project Next project
180 × 220 mm softback
In 1962, when Peter Dixon joined the Sainsbury’s Design Studio, a remarkable revolution in packaging design began. The supermarket was developing its distinctive range of Own Label products, and Dixon’s designs for the line were revolutionary: simple, stripped down, creative, and completely different from what had gone before. Their striking modernity pushed the boundaries, reflecting a period full of optimism. They also helped build Sainsbury’s into a brand giant, the first real ‘super’ market of the time. This book examines and celebrates this paradigm shift that redefined packaging design, and led to the creation of some of the most original packaging ever seen.
Produced in collaboration with the Sainsbury family and The Sainsbury Archive, the book reveals an astonishing and exhaustive body of work. A unique insight into what and how we ate, the packaging is presented using both scanned original flat packets and photographic records made at the time. With an essay by Emily King featuring interviews with Peter Dixon and Lord Sainsbury of Preston Candover.
The nostalgia from this collection of vintage Sainsbury's packaging is almost overpowering. The stripped down, geometric designs from the 60s and 70s were ground-breaking. Modern, distinctive design delivered at a time when Sainsbury's was in the vanguard of a revolution in British shopping and eating.
For British people of a certain age, FUEL's new book, Own Label, will prompt waves of nostalgia. In fact, nostalgia was what tempted its editor Jonny Trunk to propose the book in the first place after a visit to the Sainsbury's Archive. The supermarket's lovingly preserved packaging samples stirred Proustian memories in Trunk of a time when no Abigail's Party was complete without a few taramosalata-topped Snax biscuits.
The pared-down yet bold, geometric packaging of Sainsbury's Own Label products not only helped build the supermarket chain into a national megabrand but influenced a whole generation of designers. The approach to graphic design was so fresh that the packaging could easily sit on supermarket shelves today.
A bafflingly beautiful book. Bizarrely intriguing.
Robert Elms, BBC London 94.9