Top food business seeks Hallam’s skills

John Kirkby, SHU Design Futures, with packaging designed for Yorkshire Businesses.'' Photo: Richard Hanson
John Kirkby, SHU Design Futures, with packaging designed for Yorkshire Businesses.'' Photo: Richard Hanson
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An award winning Sheffield Hallam University design consultancy is celebrating a series of successes with a leading UK food manufacturer.

Hallam’s Design Futures consultancy has been working with the Greencore Group which produces chilled ready meals, soups, pasta sauces and quiches for Tesco, Sainsburys, Morrisons and Asda.

Greencore also makes products under licence for the Weight Watchers brand.

Design Futures’ packaging innovation team supports the new product development Greencore carries out for the major retailers and also provides graphic design and branding expertise to help Greencore create the products of the future.

Neil Rocklife, Greencore’s category insight and innovation controller, says the firm had previously used London-based agencies to design its packaging, but switched to Design Futures after seeing work it had done for Marks & Spencer.

“Design Futures has a different approach to other agencies – they are more realistic, grounded and consumer orientated. They have a wider knowledge of packaging materials with regard to board grades. They provide fantastic results every time,” says Mr Rocklife.

Design Future’s creative director, John Kirkby, says: “Our objective is always to think about the end user – this means that the packaging must not only look attractive but also be easy to use.

“We look at the shape, form and structure of packaging before the graphic design is considered. We have to produce something that is innovative and different.”

Design Futures was set up seven years ago as a commercially-focused product and packaging design consultancy group.

The team works with world famous brands and some of the biggest names in retail as well as small and medium sized companies in Yorkshire and across the UK.

Recent clients include multi-national companies such as Tesco, Marks & Spencer, Arla Foods UK and Associated British Food and the monks of Ampleforth Abbey. Design Futures also provides design for major packaging businesses.