More recently this year, I’ve completed modest yet ultra-fascinating work about which I can say very little. What a pro.
What I can say is that I admire Polman’s vision for long term targets – to begin cleaning up their FMCG act. But whatever the industry owns up to, I’m guessing the truth must be worse. As a designer with a conscience, its good to finally work with solutions and engage with nascent sustainability issues.
I first worked with Unilever back in ’98 in my Fusion Creative partnership days. First off was an Impulse branded POS piece for one of the bigger towns in China – at that time just one city = UK market opportunity. I remember the 70Mb photoshop file was by far the largest image I’d ever worked on. I had to borrow a more powerful Mac to complete the work.
Later at Epoch, our Unilever account developed from their old Kingston-upon-Thames HQ. Then one day in the very early noughties, quite out of the blue, I first met a sassy Yorkshireman called Paul, then a Production Manager at Port Sunlight’s huge APA facility. This meeting turned out to be an unexpected opportunity to work on my first ever packaging brief. Oh deep deep joy.
Unilever was one of our first accounts to reach the big £1M annual milestone.
We produced NPD including primary & secondary packaging for Sure/Rexona and Dove branded Deo Wipes – for multiple European territories in double-quick time. And I had such a laugh, loved every minute. But what’s more, we also swiftly pioneered a bespoke online artwork approval system (partnering with Xavier, James, Pete & co at pre-bubble-burst Insanely Great) to get design & artworks fully approved in ultra-record time (ie a matter of weeks rather than several months). Still without doubt, one of the most technically challenging and rewarding projects I have yet worked on – a project that was easily a few years ahead of its time.