Case Study – Walkers Snaps

Walkers Smith Snaps Crisps Pack Design

Awww SNAP!… Walkers Snaps Brand Packaging Design

Picture, if you will, the scene…  it’s 1990, Donald Trump is, well pretty much the same as today, ‘The Simpsons’ had just debuted their own show in the US and here in the UK ‘Mr Bean’ was on the telly. In this year the Hubble Space Telescope was launched into orbit, Aldi opened their first UK store in Birmingham and Maggie Thatcher resigned as Prime Minister.

At this time Baboon Creative is but a distant pipe dream of the future but one of the founders is already turning out great design for some of the UK’s best known brands! The client list back then included such household names as Boots the Chemist, NEXT, JCB, Pretty Polly, 3M, GKN Automotive… and Walkers Snack Foods. The Walkers business had been around since the end of WWII and during those post war years they built a successful business and by the 1980’s had developed an impressive snack foods range.

All of the classics such as French Fries, Ruffles, Squares, Disco’s and, of course, their extensive range of tasty Walkers Crisps were firm family favourites. But for some there was only one choice when it came to spending pocket money wisely… it had to be ‘Walkers SNAPS‘!

Walkers Snaps Original PackagingWalkers Snaps with the Original Snap Dragon

Walkers Snaps 1980's Style

Walkers Snaps had been around, albeit in different design styles, for a number of years previously. They had even had animated TV commercials voiced by none other that comedy actor Harry H Corbett of ‘Steptoe & Son’ fame. But this was 1990 and the start of a new era for ‘SNAP the Dragon’, and he may have turned out to be a very different looking dragon indeed to the one that has survived nearly three decades almost unchanged.

At the time I was a junior designer in a Nottingham advertising and design agency with ties to Northampton based Coleman Moore Associates, ‘Johnson Coleman Moore’ was one of the more established and revered, below the line, creative studios which was reflected in it’s impressive, blue chip client list.

Towards the end of the 80’s ‘Walkers Snack Foods’ featured highly in the studio as we were commissioned to re-visit some of their most popular brands. Perhaps the most challenging of all was “SNAP the Dragon” not least because it was the only Walkers product that featured a character, it also appeared that the snack was enjoyed equally by kids and their parents alike!

After several weeks on the drawing board (yes, this was all pre-Mac computer aided design and relied on raw creative talent and an endless supply of pencils, layout pads and Magic Markers) we had already commission two illustration agencies to look at the character design of our cheeky little dragon… but to no avail!

Snap the Dragon v.

All of the designs were either too “this” or too “that” and failed to answer the brief. In the end it came down to three designs, two of which had been developed in-house.

The final choice was down to the marketing team at “Walkers” to decide and the rest.

They chose my design and the rest, as they say, is history!

And here we are… it’s 2017, Donald Trump is President of the USA and ‘Walkers SNAPS’ are still going strong, are still a firm favourite, and although the pack size and the price has, respectively, seen decreases and increases over the years… the character for the pack design has (more or less) stayed exactly the same.

With 27 years in retail outlets across the UK, I’d take that as a decent design accolade!

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