Cook is a UK-based company producing frozen, convenience foods free from additives and preservatives, made with a handmade, home-cooked philosophy with each product bearing the name of the chef who prepared it.
Love Creative, the agency behind the packaging of Cook’s gourmet line, developed the design solution for their more recent One Pot range - a ‘flavour-packed meal for one’ inspired by Indian, Mediterranean, Moroccan, Mexican, Caribbean and Oriental cuisine. Employing a rich, illustrative, oven pot approach to convey the hand-produced and high quality nature of brand and product.
It is a significant departure from their gourmet range, replacing fine, monochromatic, etched illustrative detail and plenty of space with a more cheerful edge to edge coloured pencil solution with texture and natural, humanistic imperfections that have a more personal sense of handcraft and care, countering any enduring vision of industrial out-of-town pre-pack facilities with a rustic kitchen aesthetic.
There is a clear, adult understanding of light and shade, so while it is playful in its ideation and execution it is far from childish, achieving a great sense of depth - without the expense of an emboss - and a slight glazed ceramic sensibility that adds the perception of shape to what looks like an off-the-shelf pot and sleeve combination.
A bright and earthy colour palette mixes a cooking creativity with the beneficial qualities of the ingredients. Each appears wholesome rather than synthetic, elevated by plenty of texture through the strokes of the pencil and the use of a number of different shades. Comfortably dividing pot varieties alongside subtle details that convey - perhaps a little stereotypically but largely communicatively - the international inspiration for each recipe. The sticker set at the centre cuts through each colour and functions well as the handle but also as a craft sticker, uniting product information and brand in a pretty straightforward monochromatic manner.
These kinds of meals rarely look as good as their vanity shots so there is an honesty and pride in the way this solution openly displays contents through the window and chooses to avoid photography. It appropriately manages expectation and fits neatly into the pot concept, appearing to provide a cheeky glance or a quick taste before the batch is ready.
The combination of ‘raised’ radial detail and sans serif typography set across the surface of a number of brightly coloured pots subtly appropriates the high quality, premium sensibilities established by the enamel coated ironware brand Le Creuset. Adding a little more dimensionality to the heartier, wholesome and a personal warmth of its illustrative execution.
Richard is a British freelance design consultant and writer who specialises in logos, branding and packaging. He has written for Brand New and Design Week, featured in Computer Arts magazine, Logology, Los Logos, Logolounge, The Big Book of Packaging and runs the blogs BP&O and Design Survival.