I particularly love Christmas, not only just for the presents but for the atmosphere created by various aspects of design that floods into shops through different kinds of packaging, advertising and shop dressing.
One of my particular favourites was the work of Sanna Annukka for Marks and Spencers in 2010. Being a half British and a half Finnish designer, she uses a strong nordic identity seen throughout her body of work of which her whimsical folk style works well around the Christmas period.
Fig 1 Marks &spencers Christmas Biscuit tins
Fig 2 side view of Biscuit tin by Sanna Annukka
Fig 3 Another Biscuit tin designed by Sanna Annukka
She predominantly uses the typical colours of green and red for the tins but also uses cold tones of blues to represent winter.
Her work is very playful and the organic shapes and her use of hand, screen and wood printing gives it a certain aesthetic. The work often contains a mixture of earthy tones, very reminiscent of the 1960’s and 1970’s contrasted with the brighter more saturated colours for her packaging for Marks and Spencers. She uses a white or a neutral colour as a highlight, giving it quite a simple and clean look, complimenting her heavy use of organic geometric shapes. I also noticed how symmetrical her work is as her work often seems to mirror. This can be seen through all the small intricate shapes, placed with other shapes to create more complexity.
Her vibrant work is very reminiscent of Marimekko design and printmaking. Finnish folk art typically is heavily inspired by nature and animals and contains many references to the natural world such as woodland creatures, leaves and intricate organic shapes.
In a way, this can be seen as ironic as ‘Marks and Spencers’ is known for its “British-ness” and its Christmas packaging takes point from an entirely different culture of Scandinavian folk art and typical Finnish Design.
All be it pretty to look at, packaging, especially at Christmas produces around 125,000 tonnes of waste in Britain alone. We collectively would be able to wrap the world nine times over with our 226,800 miles of wrapping paper.
Her body of work also extends to other packaging such as pop artists Keane album cover for ‘Under the Iron Sea’ in 2006. She created both the CD packaging as well as fold out storybook style digipak.
Again she uses quite a limited colour palette, of blue and green tones against the contrast of white of the background and the highlights. I also noticed how she uses the complimentary colour of orange to create a fitting contrast details on the digipak.
Fig 4 Digipak design for Keane
Fig 5 CD cover Design for Keane
Fig 1 -3 http://lovelypackage.com/ms-christmas-biscuits/#more-16895
Fig 5 http://www.doobybrain.com/2007/12/04/keanes-album-art-by-sanna-annukka/