British child redesigns Waitrose sauce packaging

Published:  August 28, 2014

We’ve all caught ourselves having a moment where we’d like to readjust a typeface or alter a drop shadow, yet very rarely do we actually communicate our aesthetic frustrations with the designer in question. Harry Deverill, on the other hand, is seven years old and already making it clear that he’s got a valuable voice when it comes to packaging that he uses – he was dissatisfied with the award-winning packaging of Waitrose‘s brand brown sauce, so he redesigned it.

In a letter to managing director, Mark Price, Harry (six at the time), explained that he was confused by the existing illustration on the label, and if they’d like, he’d be able to rework it:

Dear Mark Price,

I am writing as the other morning I had Waitrose essential Brown Sauce with my bacon sandwiches. I asked Daddy what the picture is of on the label. Daddy didn’t know and neither do I. Please could you let me know. Mummy says I am good at drawing so if you would like me to draw a new picture for the label I would be happy to.

Kind regards, Harry Deverill, aged 6

Created by the in-house design team at Waitrose, the original packaging had won the DBA Design Effectiveness Award Grand Prix in 2011. But Waitrose were open to the offer (and, presumably, the associated PR story) from Harry.


Left: Harry’s new design – Right: Original design by Waitrose

“When we heard Harry’s offer and read his letter, we couldn’t resist,” explains Waitrose sauces buyer, Jo Heywood. She is quoted on Design Week as saying, “We love our customers to tell us what they think of products, and when they’re as creative as Harry, it’s a pleasure to be able to do something fun like this.”

Released as a limited edition, the brown sauce bottle now features an original illustration by Harry of a full English breakfast featuring all the usual elements – bangers, toast, beans and a fried egg.

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What this means to the democratisation of graphic design is probably very little — the label, instead of illustrating in a naive style, have gone straight to the source, and used the optics of a child. The results are an effective collaboration between honesty and established marketing.

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