We’re all aware of the post Christmas detox; after the gastronomic delights of the festive period, Jaunary is time to compensate for the overindulgence of food and drink consumed. Gym memberships will be soaring, joggers fill the streets and salads have never been more popular, but does this extend across to branding and brand design?

Many would argue that Christmas has moved away from its religious foundations to become a celebration of consumerism and indulgence, and this has clearly had an effect on design. As a agency we are taking Christmas themed commissions from mid-October as clients work to get their promotions and advertising all lined up and ready to ‘hit the shelves’ as soon as winter decends. Limited edition, Christmas-themed packaging and advertising has been a regular staple for some time now. Every banner of every website suddenly becomes red, green or gold with many a snowflake, holly sprig and icicle plastered across in order to catch the eye and push a certain product or promotion.

Perhaps as a backlash to this phenomenon, or maybe just as a general stand against the consumer nation we’ve become, high street shop Selfridges has taken a stand. This month they have launched their ‘No-Noise’ branding range which they have summed up in the following manner:

As we become increasingly bombarded with information and stimulation, the world is becoming a noisier place. In an initiative that goes beyond retail, we invite you to celebrate the power of quiet, see the beauty in function and find calm among the crowds.

This interesting concept is bourne out of the history of the traditional store. When the shop was originally opened in 1909, the owner (Harry Gordon Selfridge) decided to create a Silence Room where busy shoppers could “retire from the whirl of bargains and the build up of energy”.

Stripped back branding is proving popular – several large brands have come on board with this initiative, as can be seen in the images in this post. Perhaps the most interesting thing about this project is the way in which the brand shines through, even without all the details plastered across the package. Does this initiative prove that less can indeed be more, or is it simply a pointless PR stunt by a high street name? Either way, the debate and intrigue it has caused has brought up some poignant questions for the design and branding industry.

For more information, visit the dedicated site here to watch the video.

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