Growing up in the 1970s in a small Welsh village provided plenty of inspiration for the budding farmer or ornithologist, but rather less for the aspiring design guru.

Perhaps the most fruitful source of graphic inspiration came from the breakfast table, where an impressive array of cereal boxes shared centre stage with the four-colour screen-printed milk bottle from the local farm.

I must have collected this one in the early 1970s, because I distinctly remember it being replaced with a cheaper, one-colour version, not long after I started my weekend milk round.

It seems amazing to me that the village farmer, with his target market of a few hundred customers, had the savvy to commission a corporate and packaging identity, even if it was (I now suspect) a templated design. It certainly had the desired effect of creating recognition and loyalty, and for me an enduring fascination with packaging and branding.

Although time isn’t always kind to packaging, this classic ‘milk’ bottle shape and graphic style evokes a simpler, more natural time and place, and has become anachronistic in a positive sense. With the ongoing resurgence of all things natural, organic and local, I am finding this bottle a source of inspiration all over again.

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