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    Flora Margarine in Sweden

    Flora margarine
    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.

    Flora margarine

    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.

    Flora margarine

    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.

    Flora margarine

    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.

    clover, trifolium, meadow, botanical illustration,

    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.

    Flora margarine

    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.




    1. Fantastic blog Lizzie! Really useful information and beautiful packaging. Shame they used some of the trifolium rapens leaves on the trifolium pratense packaging but they wouldn’t know! Really impressive

      1. Hi Jackie,

        I know, how funny. I’ve seen that before, packaging companies taking liberties with botany. Guess the T repens leaves are prettier…. Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment, and for reading the blog.


    2. I’m a Finnish person and can help you out ?

      You helped to design products that are plant based substitutes for milk. Those products are made of Broad bean or Vicia faba. The bottles are either for cooking or for use as whipped cream.

      So in Finland there is a big market for ”food cream”/ruokakerma. I’s basically like half-and-half but ”food cream” is specifically made for cooking whereas many people use half-and-half mainly for coffee.
      Food cream don’t break down in high heat and it’s very popular among ”box/casserole” dishes. There are also many flavored creams, 3 cheese, garlic, some for chicken and some for pork etc. For example if I did a fish dish in the oven I’d add food cream that has spices which boost fish flavor.

      ”Vispikerma” means whippable cream.
      Hopefully this helped 🙂

      1. Dear Siru

        Thankyou so much! Not only a very helpful translation, but also a thorough explanation. I also really like the idea of it, that sounds delicious! Thank you so much for taking the time to write and clarify that, I’m so glad to know what I’ve been doing! Thankyou!


    3. How did we not get told about this? We’re using huge amounts of plant based products in our diet now, Sweden is brilliant for it.
      Hah, time was, you could have come and drawn those clovers up by our bee hives!
      I’ll keep an eye out for these in our local ICA, definitely needs a purchase.

      1. Darling Kate, go and buy! Not sure how much (if any) kudos you can get by telling your buddies in Sweden that you’re mates with the lady as wot painted the clovers on the margarine tub, but there we go – perhaps it’ll lead to all your dreams coming troooo. Ah, lovely bee hives. Got any over there in Sweden, or not yet?

    4. I think “Flora Mat” is an alternative to cream when cooking and “Flora Visp” used instead of cream when making whipped cream. A direkt translation of the noun “visp” is whisk, but here maybe a kind of short for “vispgrädde” (cream with more than 40% fat, used for making whipped cream).

      1. Hi Anders

        That woudl make perfect sense, right? SO a vegetable based / vegan alternative to cream? And why on earth not, I think it’s an excellent idea. Thanks for untangling that which Google Translate could not – it makes much mroe sense now. Thanks for taking the time to comment, it’s appreciated.


    5. Hello, I’ve just discovered you blog and work which are great. Thank you very much for sharing all this !
      You said that you have many images on an online library. Is it a library like Shutterstock ? Could you tell me which one you chose? Thank you very much, your work,is really wonderful !

      1. Hi Eva

        Yes, I do indeed have an online image library: https://lizzieharper.co.uk/galleries/

        I dont use Shutterstock or any of the sites where you can instantly buy an image for re-use. The reason for this is that each use needs to be costed separately, depending on the way its used, where its used, what the purpose is etc. So let’s say someone wanted to use an illustration of a blubell in a book; as a one-off, that would probably cost them about £40. However, is another person wanted to use that same illustration on a billboard, internationally and exclusively for 5 years…that’d be more like £8000+! Setting these prices is so tricky, I find the Association of Illustrators is very helpful, and lots of good resources.

        So the way I run my library is literally to have all the illustrations up there, and then point people to my email. I set the price as each enquiry comes in, and that way stay in total control.

        Hope that’s helpful? Many thanks for you kind comments about my work


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    Lizzie Harper