I took a trip to London and made a special effort to visit the Museum of Brands, Packaging & Advertising in Notting Hill. I can't actually remember where or how I heard about the exhibition, I just remember that I needed to go!
There was so much memorabilia, way more than I was expecting to see, and it was a little hard to take it all in. The exhibition was laid out through the era's, which was a great way to time travel through the ages. It began in the 1800's.
There was an obvious first impression from this era, and that was the materials, there was a lot of tin! The sweet tin boxes seem such a far stretch from the packaging materials we use now. All of the materials now are disposed of and not considered something nice to keep. From these tin boxes being able to re-use them and put them on a shelf for something nice to look at would have been valuable to me as a designer.
Based on my own design tastes I knew I would love the 40's through to the 70's the most, the packaging design was so much simpler and cleaner compared to the 80's and 90's. It was strange to see comparisons of the simplistic 60's to some of today's packaging where the design has been stripped back. The information is so much easier to read and digest, and when placed on a shelf with a product that is full of decorative elements and illustration, the cleaner design always wins the attention.
Looking through the 90's era was definitely enjoyable for the nostalgic trip. I loved seeing all the Spice Girls products and remembered that I pretty much collected them all. From all of the products that I looked through the sweet and chocolate bars probably gave me the most enjoyment from a design perspective. Also the flavours seemed so much nicer, I would have loved to have tried a peppermint crunchie! (Especially at 4p a bar.)
I think I will have to go back soon for a more detailed documentation as this visit was only brief!