Steve Osborne’s review of the redesigned Mr Kipling range was fascinating (DW 3 February), especially as it appeared in the same edition as Adrian Shaughnessy’s piece on of the lack of genuine critical scrutiny in the design industry.
Occasionally, I buy a pack of Mr Kipling French Fancies for my children. I buy them not because they are ‘an honest, warm and traditional product’, but because they look celebratory in an authentically childish, cake-loving kind of way.
I pull a pack of those garish treats from the cupboard expecting squeals of delight from progeny and assorted tea-time friends. They, the Fancies, disappear in a crumby, sugary flash.
Placing the beautifully redesigned pack in front of them caused barely a ripple. Only when the cake was out of the box did any excitement surface. The total experience from anticipation to demolition was greatly diminished for those literal consumers by no product shot, or window, heralding the delights within. For the first time ever, I was left with cakes uneaten – no dividing remainders into improbably svelte slivers to satisfy the Law of Fairness.
Subjectively, I appreciate Turner Duckworth’s packs for their excellent attention to detail, but they are less likely to persuade me to buy the product as they lack the ‘plastic cake’ honesty of the old range.
In terms of brand design, the old packs may be tired, but they are nearer the mark than the upmarket new pretenders – and that kind of longevity really is a mark of good graphic design.
I will eat my hat (and the leftover Fancies) if this redesign turns out to be a great move for the Mr Kipling brand.
Independent brand consultant
(The last word in the cake debate? – Ed)