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Peter Saville designs us some giftwrap

The city’s Creative Director provides a Manchester first with some glorious wrapping paper

Published on November 16th 2009.


Peter Saville designs us some giftwrap


Pete’s been putting his designing hat back on.

The city’s Creative Director, Peter Saville, ex of Factory Records, Dior, Givenchy and so forth, has designed some special Manchester wrapping paper for Christmas ‘09.

You can judge the design for yourself on this page.

Vivid, intense, visually exciting. Saville has showered Manchester's Christmas shopping with electric rainbows, with oscillations of colour. Just to look at it lifts the mood.

Manchester’s official word on the paper is this.

‘In keeping with the city’s ‘original modern’ ethos, Saville’s aim for the multi-coloured abstract design, was to subtly evoke the warmth and emotion of Christmas in a contemporary way. It has been printed using six colours rather than the traditional four-colour process.

‘Only five thousand tubes will be available, each containing two 1 metre x 70 cm sheets and they will be on sale from 16 November from the Tourist Information Centre in St Peter’s Square, Manchester City Art Gallery’s shop, the gift shop at Urbis, Visit Manchester’s Christmas market stall in Albert Square and on-line at www.visitmanchester.com and from Vinyl Exchange in the Northern Quarter. Priced at £2.99, this exclusive multi-coloured glossy paper can also be framed, offering a unique Christmas present.’

Saville himself says: “When I was approached to design a gift wrap for Manchester I thought it was a fantastic idea and something I have never done before. Designing a successful wrapping paper is not easy but working together with colleague Howard Wakefield, who lent his technical expertise, we’ve come up with a great result.”

Mr S is forgetting here the old saying about judgement being in the eye of the beholder. But we'll let him off because we think the design is fabulous. Vivid, intense, visually exciting. Saville has showered Manchester's Christmas shopping with electric rainbows, with oscillations of colour. Just to look at it lifts the mood.

If you're one of those, a) aesthetes who are fastidious about presentation, b) an anal retentive obsessive (you choose) and care about the whole look of your gifts, from wrap to contents, then £2.99 seems a very reasonable price to pay for Saville’s lush wrap. It is better than his rather thin recent logo for Manchester shown here, and reveals his long-standing love of vivid colour perfectly.

We’re definitely going to get our hands on some of the stuff.

And one final thing.

This initiative from Cityco, Marketing Manchester and GMPTE, is apparently the first time a city has created its own giftwrap.

For Manchester this ‘first’ isn’t quite up there with initiating the first industrial society, splitting the atom or developing the first stored computer (all good Manc achievements) but it still reveals a welcome sophistication even if it is with a non-essential item. It’s exciting in all the ways the recently revealed Christmas TV ad (click here) and the railings on the tram stations aren’t (click here). Maybe we can wrap the stations in this paper.

Giftwrap is a humble commodity but this version should be given to every councillor and council officer as an example of local design standards they may want to emulate.

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54 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

Martin RetseNovember 16th 2009.

Lisa don't be depressed. What we want with our city is to be try and be the best it can about everything. To care about designing wrap. To care about kerb stones, and wastebins and always strive for the best. The devil is in the detail, don't forget that. Long live the wrap.

SimpsonnoNovember 16th 2009.

Cas, Ian Simpson is an interesting chap in many ways but he is not a graphic designer. It doesn't make any sense to make him creative director at all. You need to have a very different eye to an architect to do that. Listen this is a game with a germ of truth. It's true that Saville has form and that he still produces very good work. The game is that he has an international reputation. It would be unwise of cities not to employ those with a repute that's already established. The normal route is to work your way up to a position not be handed it on a plate on a wing and a prayer.

DigNovember 16th 2009.

I can just see the look on the faces of my family now when they open their presents to find framed wrapping paper. A look of confusion, bemusement, anger and a lot of concern about my mental health.

AnonymousNovember 16th 2009.

He hasn't changed anything at all, just copied.

CasNovember 16th 2009.

No Stephen it is not ageist, you assuming it is, is probably discriminating against older people. Saville is best known for his earlier work and his groundbreaking work was many years ago, this is where 'yesterday's man' comes from. I'm glad you mention architects as I believe Ian Simpson (older than Saville?) would be a far better choice. Number 1 Deansgate, Hilton Tower, Urbis and MOSI are just 4 iconic Manchester projects the guy has been involved with. He is also building an eye cathcing piece in the UAE as well as being shortlisted for the World Trade Center rebuild. He even chooses to spend time in our great City. Original Modern indeed.

CasNovember 16th 2009.

Why does a Creative Director need to be a graphic deisgner? Surely they would then be Graphic Design Director? I think Simpson's international reputation easily rivals and surpasses Saville's. More to the point what has Saville done for Manchester that can rival Urbis, No 1 Deansgate, The Hilton, MOSI etc? Despite being Creative Director since 2004. I don't care how Saville speaks about Manchester, I care about what someone does for my city and Simpson has easily done more and his work is much more recent. I hate the way we hang onto the Hacienda days. I'm not knocking Saville but after 5 years perhaps it's time to give Simpson an opportunity to speak on creative issues for the city. We wouldn't have to pay the ridiculous hotel suite bills for the Radisson that come with London living Saville as Simpson has a rather nice pad at the top of The Hilton.

AnonymousNovember 16th 2009.

Let me get this right. As a city we hire a Creative Director and get him to design Manchester wrapping paper. Call me old fashioned but I'd have thought a decent website (other than this fine publication) for tourists should have a higher priority. So we do all this marketing and smoke blowing and then direct them to what? What?????

AnonymousNovember 16th 2009.

that article is so funny.might buy a tube if i get round to it, in the sales! or else i could just print off the copy i saved from this site. hmm...

JimmyNovember 16th 2009.

Listen this is good very good. Love it. Not the most surprising perhaps but perfect for Christmas. Jeez there aren't half some whingers about. Just as you mock the significance of giving wrap significance you give it significance by mocking it.

CasNovember 16th 2009.

Perhaps you have a point and it fits in with his green credentials. Recycling. 'O', you tell me though what makes that wallpaper MANCHESTER wallpaper? I just think someone's given him the brief and he's thought he can't really be that arsed and used an old piece. Keep in mind the fact he didn't design it for wrapping paper but it was already an artwork of his and think about these comments: MCC 'Saville’s aim for the multi-coloured abstract design, was to subtly evoke the warmth and emotion of Christmas in a contemporary way' SAVILLE 'When I was approached to design a gift wrap for Manchester I thought it was a fantastic idea and something I have never done before. Designing a successful wrapping paper is not easy but working together with colleague Howard Wakefield, who lent his technical expertise, we’ve come up with a great result.'

scoteeeNovember 16th 2009.

I still think its too much like Paul Smith's designs.I bet Nottingham havent got any from him yet, because he like they have taste.

Lawrence Llewelyn BowenNovember 16th 2009.

Dear Manchester City Council, will you let me set up my Christmas lights on King Street? It needs reviving like Blackpool!

Burt CodeineNovember 16th 2009.

Glad the rants took on a more positive angle.If I were a visitor to this City then this is the kind of thing that would add to the experience much like having Gaudi's (or Picasso's et al for that matter) stamp over the tourist 'paraphernalia' in Barcelona.However I can't judge the design until I see it in the flesh...certainly can't comment on the work from that tiny pic outside of Marks and Sparks.

Vern1970November 16th 2009.

The council could have said lots of money by offering the design of the wrapping paper up for competition so that young designers/design students in Manchester could produce something more imaginative and fresh. Saville was a genius but it would not have taken long for one of his minions to knock that up in Photoshop. Disappointing.

Darren ScottNovember 16th 2009.

Why not set up a Manchester Creative Committee that includes a Branding Expert, an Architect, a Planner, etc...

BlameNovember 16th 2009.

How much do we pay Peter Saville again?

DigNovember 16th 2009.

Sorry, wrapping paper, not wallpaper! That small part IS insignificant in my significant point. Apologies to significant ranters for my small insignificant mistake in my significant rant.

mark mNovember 16th 2009.

I guess if you read the article Helen your answer will become apparent.

wrapitupNovember 16th 2009.

What the hell is GMPTE doing commissioning wrapping paper when our trams and transport system are in the mess they are?This is taking the Michael. What's gift wrap got to do with the city? I'm glad my council tax (Salford resident) isn't being wasted on this one. So angry.....

Karen HNovember 16th 2009.

Clare half the ranters are praising the wrap. Why don't people read things properly? Love it. The paper that is.

ONovember 16th 2009.

It may not be original but why is it not modern? The aesthetic of Modernism is based on using the past to create a present (present - no pun intended).

Darren ScottNovember 16th 2009.

We designed our own wrapping paper this year too...see it here!http://truthdesign.typepad.com/truth_design/

mark mNovember 16th 2009.

Of course there was

Darren ScottNovember 16th 2009.

Stop F****** around with our money on wrapping paper and sort out some of the great buildings that are decaying in our city like the old Fire HQ near Piccadilly Station. Why control what our wrapping paper looks like, but then let everyone and anyone build ugly ‘off the shelf’ buildings in our city. Get a real creative director that deals with real city issues!!

sackthecreativedirectorNovember 16th 2009.

Wrapping paper. What a wonderful use of our money. Oh no, hang on, it's not. ANd haven't I seen stripey wrapping paper before? Hardly Original or Modern is it. What an absolute waste. Tosh.

Rob CNovember 16th 2009.

Great idea, and given the man's history we should all be thankful it didn't turn up next Easter...

ClareNovember 16th 2009.

Everybody is slagging this paper off, but it has still sold out on visitmanchester.com. Somebody must like it!

JayneyBabyNovember 16th 2009.

Ha Ha ha, it's Paul Smith all over again!

DigNovember 16th 2009.

I think Jimmy's rant lacks significance, whilst attacking the significance of my rant at the significance of giving Peter Saville's wallpaper as a significant Christmas present does not lack significance. I think you will find significance in the receiver of insignificant presents and not vice versa. Unwrapping and ripping significant wrapping paper to uncover framed, wrapped wrapping paper is insignificant. The significance holds value in the wrapping and has no significance as a gift. I think you will find that point significant.

helenNovember 16th 2009.

Where can I buy this? Could someone let me know?

Private&ConfidentialNovember 16th 2009.

Curious that GMPTE seem willing to sponsor the city's creative director to create some bloody wrapping paper but not in an influential capacity on a really high profile and important project like the new Metrolink branding; instead lumbering us with the decidedly un-modern and un-original merseytravel derivative yellow / grey mess. Curious too that ManCon seem unwilling to criticise something that was created by an agency who were near neighbours of theirs when based in the Northern Quarter!

CasNovember 16th 2009.

Burt, I know what you're saying I just don't think Saville is the man. I mean, why is he? Why is he a better choice than Simpson for Creative Director, a man who has acheived far more than given credit for. On top of that he lives in the City.

Lisa MNovember 16th 2009.

Manchester becomes the first city to design its own gift wrap. Seriously? I am embarrassed. Taxi to Leeds anyone?

Una PlannerNovember 16th 2009.

For any Mancon readers wanting to recreate an Ian Simpson inspired wrapping paper this Christmas rolls of clear cellophane can be obtained from any good stationers! The recipients however may not appreciate the transparency involved.

CasNovember 16th 2009.

Sorry to go on but Manchester's Creative Director, who can't be arsed living in Manchester is asked to design a wrapping paper for Manchester. He puts that much effort into that it comes out exactly the same as an artwork he did previously. Neither original or modern then.

Bridget Riley FanNovember 16th 2009.

Jerome, please don’t compare Bridget Riley who spent a long time hand painting intricate patterns by hand, with a man who has got someone who can use photoshop (because he can‘t) to apply a motion blur filter to a photograph. One is a skilled craft the other is a smoke and mirrors cop out.

oh for gods sake...November 16th 2009.

What a sarcastic, condescending post, mark m. Was there really any need to be so patronising???

sproutNovember 16th 2009.

@ Anon - cheers for the pointer. I'd say that www.parriswakefield.com/…/Waste-8#… is pretty much exactly the same thing. And how much has this cost!?

Stephen CooksonNovember 16th 2009.

Yesterday's man. That's a bit ageist, so only the young can design? That's why great artists, architects and musicians never do anything good after 29 is it? Like the design, like the idea well do to the city.

Trevor GormaneNovember 16th 2009.

Best rant sentence this week about the other ranters: "just as you mock the significance of giving wrap significance you give it significance by mocking it.” Exactly, yes and I love it too.

JeromeNovember 16th 2009.

I like it there's something Bridget Riley about the whole thing.

TyerenceNovember 16th 2009.

Private & Confidential your last sentence makes no sense. So are you saying Mancon are biased about a giftwrap rather than the editor probably just liking it. And did you not read the sentence in the article above that reads: 'It’s exciting in all the ways the recently revealed Christmas TV ad and the railings on the tram stations aren’t.' Not sure that is a ringing endorsement of the design agency.

Disillusioned DanNovember 16th 2009.

I like Peter Saville. He's a 'green' and obviously cares about the environment (and not just the visual landscape...) - Google his 'Waste Paintings' series and you'll see how he's recycled them for his wrapping paper.

err?November 16th 2009.

if he was a 'green' he wouldn't be designing wrapping paper at all would he?

AnonymousNovember 16th 2009.

Cas, Have you actually heard Saville speak about the city, his role and his ideas?

scoteeeNovember 16th 2009.

hahahaha @ dig

AnonymousNovember 16th 2009.

you may want to check out Saville & Howard Wakefield's 'Waste Paintings' that they've been producing for some time now - Look remarkably similar to Saville & Wakefield's 'Wrapping Paper'?www.parriswakefield.com/…/waste-paintings…

CasNovember 16th 2009.

Darren, I agree. Saville, Simpson, a Tourism person, Sports person, Arts and Leisure. I'm sure Schofield could sneak upon it. That would be some committee.

CasNovember 16th 2009.

*wrapping paper*

BlameNovember 16th 2009.

So has he just copied an old design he'd already done and just changed the colours slightly?

It's all wallpaperNovember 16th 2009.

As for how much he costs that is a point. But there's another point here. That Manchester is trying to use a respected graphic designer is a big move-on from the amateur, apologetic eighties and nineties in city council design schemes. You lot whinging are probably the lot who keep complaining we're not Barcelona, get more Saville type people in and we may get there. Positivity occasionally please.

scoteeeNovember 16th 2009.

Peter Saville,Paul Smith what's the difference?

AnonymousNovember 16th 2009.

Is this a spoof article??

CasNovember 16th 2009.

I think it's great someone somewhere is putting thought into promoting Manchester, but why the same old people and these rubbish ideas. What next? Hacienda loo roll? Surely being creative is about looking forwards and not back. So why yesterday's man again?

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