Keeping it sweet

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For anyone who’s seen Kate’s work, and its clear love of bold colour, it will probably come as no surprise that one of her favourite things is sweets, and, more specifically, the packaging they come in, both now and in the past. We spent a little time with her to find out how big a role this area of design had played in the development of her own style.

What are your first sweet-related memories?

Going to Woolworths on the weekend with my best friend Sigrid and buying sweets. To be honest, I think I spent all of my pocket money on sweets since day one. Buying penny sweets made you feel like you had £100 not £1!

Did you have favourite sweets as a child?

I think I liked too many to have a favourite. I did love sherbet fountains, Fruitang (apple), Bubble Yum (banana and strawberry), Wham Bars, Iron Bru bars, Fizzy Jerkz, cola frosties, and giant cola bottles. 

Have your favourites changed as you got older?

They’ve had to because most of those don’t exist anymore. I still love Wham Bars, and cola bottles. I have no prejudice with sweets, I love them all. Even the dry hard candy sticks.

How much of a role do you think packaging had on which sweets you wanted or chose?

Packaging was everything, bright bold, weird, silly, it just needed to look awesome. And the more American-looking the more appealing it was to me as a kid.

And which packaging do you think has most stood the test of time?

Some of those classic lock-ups still exist today, or they have been slowly tweaked over time. I always reference Jason Liebig’s online collection of candy wrappers and packaging. It’s an amazing resource and has some really amazing features where you see the wrappers evolve over time. I also love going to the Museum of Brands in West London, as they have lots of original wrappers.

How much of an impact do you think sweet packaging has had on your own visual aesthetic?

A huge impact, but it was completely unconscious. I only realised a few years into my illustration career how much my work looked like candy wrappers from my childhood.

Have you ever been commissioned to create packaging for confectionery?

No. I wish. it’s on the bucket list! The Cadbury campaign was as close as I have been.

Are there any products you have your eye on in case the opportunity arises?

Any bubble gum!