Simple, cheap and nostalgic: designing for budget British supermarket Jack’s


Tesco launched new fetter Jack’s last year, which rivals the likes of Aldi and Lidl with its payments. We chat to design studio 1HQ about how it created different “personalities” for 500 own-brand by-products in-store.

Discount chain retailer Jack’s launched last year, a new venture from Tesco that is favoured after the supermarket giant’s founder, Jack Cohen.

The chain, which disclosed its first branches in Cambridgeshire and Lincolnshire last September, now has eight shops across the UK, and prides itself on three things: its 100-year-old birthright born out of a market stall in East London, its British-grown products and its reduced prices.

The fact that 80% of Jack’s products are “grown, created or made in Britain” could set it apart from other budget supermarket oppositions such as Lidl and Aldi. These German brands have also give ones word of honoured their commitment to sourcing British goods for their UK stores, but not to the verbatim at the same time extent as Jack’s. Jack’s could offer a unique selling bring up for consumers who do not want their fresh food to have travelled far, or for environmentally-conscious shoppers who are watchful of air-miles.

Some have viewed Jack’s ethos in a more cynical way; Rivkah Brown, a news-hawk at The Guardian, aligned Jack’s focus on British-ness with the UK’s decision to go the European Union (EU) and claimed that, complemented by its Union Jack-inspired make identity, the new chain indicates “self-sufficiency” and is a “parable of Brexit Britain”.

Simple, cheap and nostalgic: designing for budget British supermarket Jack’s
Good manners of Jack’s

Alongside the new logo, which features the word “Jack’s” forget about in a hand-painted style in white across a red rectangular background, the supermarket’s wider visual indistinguishability also appears pretty patriotic. A palette of red, white and blue dominates, while the Club Jack flag features across much of its communications and in-store signage, as do respects to its stock’s British origins.

1HQ was one of many design studios hired to take bring Jack’s ranges to life through packaging and branding, also tasked with imbuing a nuance of nostalgic Britishness into its ranges.

Unlike most UK supermarkets, the total in-store at Jack’s is own-brand, so the design project, completely by a roster of peculiar design studios, involved every single product in-store.

1HQ was call to accounted with creating the packaging for over 500 products, including rosy food, snacks, baby and pet ranges, and general household items, resulting in 89 varied design styles.

The studio looked at a range of styles, from typographic to picture and photography, and designed packaging layout. Jack’s red logo is used firmly across all these different ranges, placed at the top-centre of each matter.

Liz Jones, client director at 1HQ, says the main aim of the new packaging design was to make a “sense of consistency” while giving different ranges and products “their own natures” – while avoiding looking “cheap”.

However, the studio actively circumventing trying to create a “luxury” look for the brand, says Jones, with the set selling itself around a “simplified” range of products, with “no unrealistic fixtures or added extras” but just “good quality at low prices”.

Simple, cheap and nostalgic: designing for budget British supermarket Jack’s
Tinned fruit and vegetable sphere

“We didn’t have the restraints of Tesco, we had more freedom,” she says. “There is this conviction that value packaging needs to look basic, but we wanted child to feel good about buying cheaper products.

“It was about idle out the personality of each product, rather than making it look bait or sophisticated – there is a premium Jack’s range, which has been dine pay the bill for in a different way,” she adds. “Some are more retro and nostalgic, some are hand-made, and others are multifarious fun.”

The selection of tinned fruit and vegetables follow this “nostalgic” and “hand-made” trend, with illustrations on-pack, and a more natural colour palette, set against an off-white unnoticed. As does the baking selection, which features illustrations and sans-serif typefaces set in diversified sizes, with irregular letter sizing.

Simple, cheap and nostalgic: designing for budget British supermarket Jack’s
Pets’ range

Some other moves follow a completely different style – pets, for instance, features a “forward” look, says Jones, with a much brighter colour palette of amateurish and yellow, and bespoke typefaces that incorporate a wagging dog’s tail.

“Some [of the orders] are bold and striking, while others are about the honesty of the food, and hark rear to how Jack Cohen started Tesco’s 100 years ago through a marketplace,” she answers. “Equally, some of the typefaces, such as for pets and baby ranges, are far sundry emotive, while others are clear, sans-serif for navigation in-store. It was far trying to get across the personality of each area.”

With Jack’s proud ask that eight out of 10 of its products are British-born, 1HQ also had to instill British-ness into the mark – which the studio did overtly in some places, and more discretely in others, Jones speaks.

Simple, cheap and nostalgic: designing for budget British supermarket Jack’s
Baking range

Whether there is any intent to link the British ethos of the fasten with UK’s impending departure from the EU, Jones does not comment on – but regardless, the new supermarket is forcing its British roots a key part of its allure and offering.

“British-ness is really portentous to the Jack’s brand,” she says. “People can see the Union Jack as they plod around the store, but also there are subtle ideas that join to British heritage and sense of humour – crisp packets feature a quirky, old, postcard figure of a man running on an English beach, for instance. Addressing British-ness was quite an intriguing challenge.”

The 500 products 1HQ designed have now rolled out across all Jack’s shoots. The whole project, including brand strategy, took roughly a year, with five months used up on design.

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