Flora Margarine in Sweden
Flora Margarine Repackaged
Flora in Sweden have recently re-designed their packaging. And I’m more than excited to say that the new margarine tubs and associated products feature my illustrations of White and Red clover!
The new designs have been done by Pond Design for Unilever, and I think they look really good. There’s a range of products on offer. Margarine spreads, and some mysterious bottled products which, alas, my Swedish isn’t up to translating.
Pond design have tweaked the original illustrations very cleverly, and I’m very impressed by the way they’ve used the different elements to decorate the surfaces of the Flora margarine tub.
Red and White Clover original illustrations
What makes this whole job even more marvellous is that I didn’t need to pick up a paint brush! The two clover species had already been completed a year earlier for the Field Studies Council and were used on fold out identification charts. In fact, both have been framed and the White clover Trifolium repens original has been sold. (The red clover Trifolium pratense is still available for sale).
So when I was approached by Pond Design, we were already discussing re-licensing fees rather than creating original illustrations. This re-licensing can be tricky, and the Assocation of Illustrators were very helpful in figuring out the correct agreement and budget.
Flora Margarine products
I was intrigued to see the layout documents showing the design specs as well as the finished article. I’ve not seen these up close before, and the detail and attention to minutiae that go into making the designs fit the container perfectly is impressive.
Here are the side and top views of the Flora margarine tubs. The white clover contains normal salt, whilst the red clover is extra salty. With the two products are next to each other, you can see that both feature leaves from both species of plant; it’s just the flowering heads that have been swapped out.
The other products are, according to Google translate, “Vegan alternatives to Cream”. Translating “Visp” and “Mat” was harder for Google, although I think the translation of “whipped” and “food” refer to one being whipped cream and the other one a spread?
The last set of products are a mystery. I believe they are for the Finnish market, not the Swedish one. The Google translation is “Food black beans” and “Whisked beans”. I’m guessing someone with a good grasp of Finnish would give a clearer explanation! Suffice to say I think they’re vegan alternatives to dairy products.
Subsequent to writing this blog, Siru Curzon ( a Finnish reader of my blog) read my blog and explained that these are Finnish whipped cream products. They come in different flavours (such as garlic, or fish spices) and are used both as additions to a meal, and in cookery.
Siru also clarified that this particular whipped cream is made from beans, so Google translate wasn’t far off after all! Many thanks to Siru.
Hanging onto copyright
I have always been a stickler for hanging onto the copyright of my illustrations. This was drilled into me over the years at various seminars conducted by the endlessly wonderful Association of Illustrators.
I’ve turned down numerous jobs which demanded my copyright. I spend long hours poring over the fine print of contracts making sure everything is as it should be. Ah me, it’s not all glamour and painting when you’re an illustrator!
This job was lucrative, swiftly conducted, and I love how they’ve used my work. All those times I’ve wondered if I was simply being stubborn for refusing to concede my copyright seem to fall away. Vindication is sweet.
Copyright – when to sell it
I suppose my main reason for posting this isn’t to gloat. It is to emphasize how vital is is for illustrators to fight copyright grabs and hang onto their copyright as much as possible. Yes you may have to turn down work which other illustrators will pick up. Sometimes a job comes along which pays so well that selling copyright is acceptable. Logos and very high profile ad campaigns come to mind. There are a couple of clients who demand copyright as they’re legally obliged to. Stamp and bank note or money designers always ask for universal copyright. If you kept your copyright in these cases you’d literally be in a position to print your own money!
However, in most cases, don’t do it! Educate your clients, many have no idea what financial implications selling their copyright means to a creator. Hang onto your copyright. Ask for adjustments to a contract. Accept that you lose some jobs. Join the AOI and ask them to help you negotiate contract law. Work with them to fight the insidious creeping nastiness that is copyright grabs.
The rewards for winning this fight are clear. I have an online library of over 2000 completed illustrations that I have universal copyright on. This means I can earn money for licensing these just by writing a contract and sending a scan across the internet. About half my annual takings are from this re-use library. And there’s no reason on earth why the same thing couldn’t be happening for the majority of illustrators around the world.
For a step by step guide to how I went about completing my botanical illustration of the Red clover, have a look at my earlier blog.