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Illustration and Packaging Design: A Perfect Pairing!

Urban Cordial’s packaging and branding has just picked up a Silver Award at the Pentawards the only worldwide awards to exclusively celebrate packaging design.

We were absolutely thrilled to see a project with illustration front and centre receive such high industry recognition. The 15-strong international jury, made up of respected designers and marketing heads of major global brands, was impressed by the characterful, witty redesign and the quirkiness of the character illustrations that appear on every bottle.

Commissioned by the team at Jackdaw Design, a playful set of illustrations was created and used not only on the product packaging but across a range of media and branding, including online and social media campaigns, corporate stationary and limited edition pins. This inspiring project was a masterclass in how to use illustration to its full potential.


Two Meiklejohn artists Ana Seixas and Hannah George we’re thrilled to work on the project. The two differing but equally playful illustration styles, added a huge injection of fun to the design. Amanda Jackson, Director of Jackdaw, said ‘Urban Cordial is made by only using locally sourced lumpy and bumpy seasonal British fruit. Each flavour has its own traits. This led us to create a range of characters with distinctive personalities for each of the eight cordials.’

Illustration was the obvious choice to bring the concept to life. Capturing the ‘personality’ of a flavour is no easy undertaking, meaning commissioning the right artist was key to the project’s success. Amanda continues ‘The artist’s styles had to be characterful and engaging and it was important that the illustrations would be bold enough to stand out in a retail environment. Hannah’s fluid ink drawings are fun and full of life. Ana’s bold vector style is vibrant and playful. It was the perfect pairing!’

As a design agency, Jackdaw is no stranger to commissioning illustration and has used it to great effect on several other projects. Amanda clearly sees the benefits ‘For us, collaboration is key to creating exciting new work. People with different skills – illustrators, lettering artists, photographers – all bring a fresh perspective to a project.’ Amanda also sees a positive future for illustration in the world of packaging ‘Photographs tend to be more grounded in reality than illustrations. Illustrations can freely ignore reality to express and engage the imagination.


With such positive thoughts, we’re excited to see what innovative ways illustration will be used next.




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