New Designers judges swayed by a quick fix

Regarding the Bateman Brewery identity (First Sight, DW 9 August), I designed the Bateman logo from scratch nearly 30 years ago and used it on their bottle labels, beer mats and other point- of-sale items.

Originally, the actual brewery tower was pictured on the labels. I much simplified it, adding the crossed sails to show the windmill origin of the tower and surrounding it with the “four-leafed clover” to make it less serious. The Bateman identity has been my only real foray into graphic design and I am pleased that the logo is to be continued.

At that time I was product design consultant to Norprint, which is situated close to Bateman, and was designing the NOR 2 supermarket labellers. These labellers, which I designed from first principles, are still in production, and as well as generating profits in seven figures have also sold billions of labels.

In the same issue as the Bateman article is a letter from Lee Carnihan on the New Designers exhibition awards with which I am sure most product design consultants would agree. Sams Design has continued to design from initial concepts with such products as Novopen II for Novo, Denmark, winner of many awards, including the BBC Design Awards of 1990.

I believe that designing innovative products for worldwide competition is the job we should be doing and would ask whether the judges really considered the impression the award would have on future design students? As a visiting lecturer at the Central School in the late Sixties and early Seventies I saw similar mundane products dressed up to look precious as a quick fix Рand it was a clich̩ then.

Bernard Sams

Sams Design

London N11 3EU

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