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Museum piece

A quick trawl through the current crop of Superbrands reveals a fair sprinkling of goods that might never have attained such kudos without their inimitable packaging.

Coke and Perrier bottles, Nivea’s familiar blue and white livery, the current shelf-appeal design for Oxo and, of course, Kit Kat are instantly recognisable.

Sadly, pack developers tend to be thin on the ground at Superbrands tribute events: a case of they also serve who only promote and protect.

The irony is that we had a bang-on celebration of our own that we’ve rather allowed to slip through our fingers – not just an occasional one-night stand but Robert Opie’s year-round affair in Gloucester.

While the Opie museum remains out of public view, behind the scenes activity has made a future renaissance much more viable.

Not only has the collection been carefully stored and archived but things have been set in motion towards achieving charitable status. This should pave the way towards a whole raft of longer-term benefits.

There are more immediate issues to be resolved – not least the urgent requirement for new storage space when temporary warehousing facilities cease to be available come this October. More pressing still is the need for an industry backer to share Opie’s vision in the most practical of ways.

Heritage can sometimes be an overplayed value. But, with consumer enthusiasm for brand unabated, both Messrs Knobil and Opie regularly comment on the issue for the national media – this priceless testament to packaging’s contribution to defining contem-porary culture is surely worth holding on to. If you can help, or know a man who can, call Robert Opie on +44 (0)208 997 6419