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We liked our old packaging. It looked clean and fresh like our products. There were elements of the design that looked natural, showing hills and open fields, and there were elements that were fun. There were references back to the West Country where we are based – farmland and the distinctive Bristol balloons . It even featured ‘mini Me’ characters of our co-founders Jason and Phillippe out in the countryside they grew up in or out exploring new flavours of the world. And the full range hung together nicely… But…
As with the recipes for our products and the make up of our ranges, we never stop looking at ways that we could improve things from subtle tweaks to, occasionally, more radical moves.
There were times where the outside of our boxes didn’t quite reflect the great flavours on the inside. So, rather than something that was too pale, we wanted to create a range that looked bold, was fun, and made it easy for customers to find the type of sandwich they wanted.
Back in April we started work on a radical new look that would borrow elements from our old designs but that wouldn’t be afraid to take things in a whole new direction. An early choice that made the cut was to take a background element – literally – of clouds and have them front and centre. They would need to look ‘light’ like clouds but would need to have a definite presence so we used a speckled ‘screen-print’ look to achieve this, which then spread to other elements. The coloured clouds were joined by more, but different, rolling hills and fields to create boxes with bolder colour which would help identify the filling of the different sandwiches – chicken, fish, etc. We added in flat ‘cut-out’ silhouettes of the different ingredients to populate the landscapes. There’s been months of back and forth as we’ve developed elements to get them just so. As each element was altered so those changes would necessarily ripple through the entire range, and we would then reassess to see if it worked for all. With dozens of products this is a lot of work. But it’s not just the backgrounds that are important.
We’ve not moved. We are still based in Bristol, so the balloons are still featured. Big and bright, they now carry even more prominent information about calories and other ‘nutritionals’. We also now use further annotation on the packs to help explain why you should be choosing our sandwiches. Our banner-carrying plane is still there performing a similar function of aerial advertising (“High protein”, “Low in Sat Fats”) and the little birds are still darting around. Jason and Phillippe’s mini-me characters aren’t as prominent across the range of boxes, but they still feature on our ‘specials’ and pop up on other Point of Sale advertising.
There are other bits and pieces you’ll notice on our core range but our ‘specials’ are where things go really wild and we turn up the colour to high saturation. Our Basil Chicken is a kaleidoscope of tasty pesto and bright tomato colours. Our brand new Spicy Indian Chicken is a feast of spicy orange and purple, and crazy, spinning mendhi-esque patterns. Our specials are often where we explore a whole world of flavours and we wanted the boxes to celebrate this in eye-popping technicolour glory.
See that white background? Look again. It’s a very, very pale cream. And that section where there’s nothing printed? There’s a feint speckled texture that is not immediately obvious. These more subtle elements just help to make things seem a little warmer and less clinical.
It’s always a tricky balance. We don’t want to look sombre and dull with our products – nobody reaches enthusiastically for a boring lunch – but we want to show that we take making delicious food seriously. We don’t want to look like a novelty option or just plain silly, but we don’t mind looking light-hearted. The names of our sandwiches, and the style in which they are written, is somewhere where getting this right is vital. We tried out dozens of typefaces that came close before deciding on one that struck the right note, and even then it required customisation for each of our products to make sure they received the individual attention they deserved…
When it comes to our sandwiches we always aim for a filling that is even and consistent. The people that love our sandwiches need to be confident about what they are getting. But we never expect things to look absolutely identical. These aren’t plastic sandwiches made by robots. We make great real food, so we needed our boxes to reflect that. Look closely at the lettering on our new packs and you’ll see tiny gaps where things don’t quite match and titles, a bit more obviously, are all at irregular angles. It’s done on purpose, just to let you know that we celebrate realness, and things being a bit askew. If things line up and are perfectly symmetrical – and there is probably some science behind this – people tend not to see them. Whereas nobody misses a slightly wonky picture frame. We want people to notice our sandwiches, so you’ll find our new boxes have all sorts of elements that are not un-wonky.
We think it looks a little more fun and a whole lot brighter…