No Name Packaging

Photo: hi and low

When first unveiled in the mid-’80s, Don Watt’s concept for Loblaws no name products was radical in its sparseness and Soviet-esque uniformity (it has since softened considerably). Every package was devoid of imagery and contained the same black and red Helvetica fonts on a yellow background (a sign of the times, perhaps, as Watt’s schema is legible only to literate, English- and French-speakers). “This is like a Peter Saville album cover,” says Michael Erdmann. “It’s so brave, and so unbelievable that Watt actually convinced Loblaws to do this.” Todd Falkowsky notes that, as the product line evolved, different colour combinations were marketed across the provinces: B.C.’s packaging was blue and yellow; Saskatchewan’s was white and black.

-David Balzer

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