Designers should say no to lookalike branding

Graphic designers should pull together and refuse to carry out lookalike packaging, said Interbrand creative director Chris Lightfoot last week.

He was speaking along with British Brands Group director John Noble at the Packaging Solutions Advice Group’s debate on lookalike packs, The Right to Brand. The debate took place the week that ASDA’s redesigned Puffin packs were unveiled following a High Court ruling in favour of McVitie’s Penguin biscuits.

Lightfoot made an “impassioned plea” for the design industry not to produce designs which unintentionally or accidentally confuse the consumer.

“It’s copying, it’s theft,” he said. “Our industry needs to pull together to battle the perception that what we produce is a commodity,” and protect our own designs, he added. “If we as an industry simply implement what we are told to do, then we will always face the commodity status problem.”

Noble called for brand-owners to “protect every time and build a reputation of being strong and protecting your brand assets.

“Lookalikes attack the very essence of branding and remove the distinctiveness and added value. [They] are parasites on brands,” added Noble.

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