When we finally got our hands on the new Morrisons ‘savers’ packaging, we got around a table to review it.
Our topline thoughts?
There’s not a great deal not to like… quite literally. It’s ‘less is more’ and then some… almost pharmaceutical in its swagger. It’s less ‘essentials’ – which can still be ‘designed’ – and more army surplus.
Under more detailed scrutiny…
– It looks very different to the last iteration of Morrisons’ value tier packaging: M Savers has become simply, ‘savers’, with a lower case ‘s’ for ‘savers’ and lower case for the product name. Lower case makes the tone feel more like, ‘by the way, if you want to save money, here’s a range for you’ than screaming ‘VALUE!’ The lower case approach aligns with the Waitrose ‘essential’ and Sainsbury’s ‘basics’ ranges.
– The simplicity and lack of ‘fluffy’ marketing spin on-pack does make a refreshing change to the rows of shouty /overly complex product sometimes found in supermarket aisles.
– The range really stands out as a waymarker in-store, so if you’re looking for the cheapest item in a category, you can spot these products a mile off, making them a very practical navigation device.
– It’s bold: it definitely feels brave to strip things right back and to rely on the strength of the ‘savers’ brand and the product inside, instead of relying on imagery, marques, complicated descriptions etc. That confidence should have a positive, halo effect on the master brand.
Naturally, as picky (some might say pedantic!) designers, we considered what we’d do differently…
– We’d reduce the amount of white space on the packs, particularly on some of the larger products (and it’s pretty unusual to hear a designer complain about white space!) In doing so, Morrisons could still have achieved that minimal look but without packs looking too bleak. A good example of a brand achieving a brilliantly executed minimal look is US brand Brandless (see our blog on the brand, here). The brand makes use of a white tile, containing minimal information, placing it on top of a background colour. Cut-through typography brings through the background colour.
– We’d have used the product names to greater visual effect – or at least given them greater prominence over the Morrisons master brand and ‘savers’ logos – similar to these Selfridges’ own label designs by R Design – here.