WMB spices up potatoes

It’s a rare client who believes ‘we’re running a brand, not a democracy’. But when someone with clear vision is involved in a project, the resulting design is more likely to break the mould.

This is the experience London branding consultancy Williams Murray Banks has had over the pack design for McCain’s European portfolio of potato products. According to WMB creative director Garrick Hamm, working with ‘Dutch visionary’ Folkert Sneep, chief executive officer of the Canadian company’s Northern Europe division has created ‘a good example of developing the brand in an area full of me-toos’.

The product range covers three areas: the basic range, including the famous chips; ‘home-cooked’ products including Croquettes, Rosti and Noisettes; and a range of American-influenced products. The three ranges are distinguished by the pack colour – orange, black and red respectively – and by the style of imagery on the packs, created by illustrator Mick Branfield and photographer Alan Newman.

According to Hamm, the McCain logo has been retained, but integrated more fully into the design of each particular pack. ‘It’s part of the surprise,’ he says. ‘We kept the logo, making the most of it.’

WMB created the names for the products, including two new lines, using words that will be identifiable across national boundaries. Because the products will be sold in countries covered by around a dozen European languages, it has devised a system of universal symbols to indicate cooking instructions where possible.

Client: McCain Northern Europe Division

Design: Williams Murray Banks

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