At least once a year I return back to the UK to visit my family and friends. I get to travel the length and breadth of England, from London and the West Country, up to Lancashire, with a good many stops in between.
Whilst there, I always try and fit in some design research. I visit as many retail stores, supermarkets, farm shops and craft brewery’s as possible, taking in new and interesting branding and packaging design. It becomes an invaluable source for my commercial design work as the creative director of a successful Cape Town based design studio.
Occasionally it can even inspire a personal project and this was the case with the Wadmans Organic Food concept. Keen to take my rough ideas through to final visuals, I found myself working in my very small window of downtime, evenings after my wife and I had put our little baby boy to bed or weekend mornings with a cup of coffee, whilst reading through the latest design press.
My mother’s maiden name ‘Wadman’ was selected for the core brand identity, as I liked how the characters could be abstracted to form an interesting and memorable symbol.
To create an iconic identity with clear consumer recognition, the Wadmans word-mark has been designed using two definitive shapes. The raised arm from the ‘n’ is removed to give the shape versatility. It’s doubled to create the ‘m’ and is then turned to form the ‘w’. The second shape employed is the circular ‘o’ form, which uses a small dropped arm to form the ‘a’ and a longer raised arm to create the ‘d’. The ‘s’ is also drawn with consideration to the ‘o’ form, completing the brand icon.
I also created a fictional story for the brand, basing it on my mother and her sisters love for creating jams, chutneys and soups.
Inspired by my deep interest in UK retail packaging design and the groundbreaking work of Sainsbury’s in house designer Peter Dixon, I wanted to create a range of products that would challenge some of the common formats of food packaging design. An expressive illustration style was selected in place of the often-used photographic pack shot. The use of white space allows each illustration to resonate and adds breathing space when the products are placed together.