For the next few days there is an exhibition running In London celebrating the history of care packages. Initiated at the end of World War Two these packages initially spread kindness and goodwill from the U.S. to the starving refugees of Europe. A gesture that could not be more timely given events in Syria.
If you look at these images the packaging is a model of simplicity and heartfelt sincerity. “Honest, Decent and True” was a brilliant play from the BBC in the eighties about the shenanigans in advertising – the title was deliberately ironic.
I think the point is that design can be these things, but generally when the design itself is artless rather using artistry. As an industry we award and applaud ourselves for our ‘craft’ and artfulness. At the same time giving ‘a sense’ of authenticity is often the holy grail of design strategy. But the photographs shown here show how powerful it can be to try less and mean more.
To learn more about the exhibition at the Oxo tower look here: