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Column Bakehouse

Branding / Package Design / Words

Column Bakehouse

Column Bakehouse in Devonport, Plymouth asked Voice Group to celebrate their artisan beginnings, CIC credentials and local community links through innovative packaging. They wanted packaging that let their breads rise up and be seen on the shelf. With plans to expand into the local Waitrose, pick up and high visibility was paramount.

Devonport is rooted in major historic events, associations and people that many are unaware of. The idea was to bring local heroes and happenings to life: Beryl Cook’s saucy art, Darwin’s Beagle voyage, Captain Scott’s fateful trek, and John Foulston’s iconic architecture, including the building where the bread is baked. Since launch onto Column Bakehouse shelves in autumn 2016, the concept has been further developed with Francis Drake’s telescope, the sub dockyard at Devonport, and a police baton (the guildhall used to house a jail).

Take away packaging, especially in the bakery sector, especially disposable paper, is boring. We wanted to break category through suprise, attracting attention on shelf. But not just for the sake of it. It needed to inform and be relevant at an ultra-local level – because the client’s central focus has always been to reinvest profits to help the community that helps them do business. What better way to instil a pride and sense of place than to showcase the achievements of the characters who lived, or still live, on your doorstep?

The other reason was simply commercial: people like to see people (even if they are going to bite their heads off). But we wanted to keep it playful, so avoided any realistic or photographic route, opting instead for bright, flat colour and bold line illustration.

Importantly, the idea translates well for the ambition of the brand to develop geographically. If Column Bakehouse open another shop in Fowey, Cornwall, it could be Daphne du Maurier using her loaf. If they open in London, the possibilities are endless: Brixton, David Bowie; Blackheath, Emily Davison; Baker Street, Sherlock Holmes; Gandhi’s visit to Poplar etc with the product packaging always linking directly to its immediate environment.

P.S. In case you’re wondering, this is also a bit of an homage to Hipsters – the original ones from around 1812.

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Over the past ten years we’ve put bums on seats, increased occupancy rates, and shifted stock off shelves.

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