Creativity in packaging design is still thriving

I’m one of Richard Murray’s fans and was, therefore, surprised to read his pessimistic column (Private View, DW 24 July), mourning the loss of creativity in packaging design. Where is the evidence of this creative decline?

Creating excellent packaging is not the sole responsibility of the designer. It should marry the skills of marketers and technologists and ignite these with a creative spark from the designers.

His critique of current education is debatable, for art colleges to ignore the commercial world in providing briefs for students is naive and irresponsible. Good problem-solving is not crushed by providing a realistic framework – constraints can make solutions more creative.

The argument that Mac technology is crushing good design is tired and false. It’s a tool, as many others, and has provided an additional platform for a broader vocabulary of solutions.

I agree that if you have to have suits, they must appreciate design. Therefore, you should make sure you work with good “suits” who can contribute to your design solutions.

If clients are stifling your design and you cannot establish a rapport where they believe in consultancy and trust your creative judgement – dump them. The idea that only breakaway agencies can provide creative originality smacks of big is bad. Good design will be produced by new small companies and large established multinationals alike.

As a creative director in a worldwide group, I see designers from a broad range of cultures and I know that UK packaging designers are held in extremely high regard. I now see students who are more commercially aware, with a broad range of creative (and technical) skills which bodes well for the future of our industry.

In the case of this particular cup, Richard – I think you’re wrong, it’s half full.

Bill Wallsgrove

Creative director

Coleman Planet

London W6

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