Back in the sixties Sainsbury's played a big role in the development of the retail experience. Arguably the first UK supermarket, it set the standard others would reach for. I guess it was a model-shifting time for the graphic design business too.
A few things helped:
Clearly, the times they were a'changing and the public were hungry for a tasty new shopping experience. This was also the time when foreign travel was becoming way more accessible to many for the first time and with that came tasty overseas delights. A prime time for the more adventurous.
Technical advancements in graphic reproduction must, I imagine, also have played its part - it was Penrose Annual's heyday, with the printing industry forging ahead at quite a pace.
And then there was that one vital component for this kind of thing to achieve momentum: a forward thinking champion at board level. While much credit can be given to in-house design supremo Peter Dixon, his work would has soon floundered without the full backing of company director John Sainsbury.
Clearly, the Sainsbury organisation had the right idea at the right time and it looks like the superretailer took full advantage of the opportunity for own label products to become a core part of their business, fuelled (pardon the pun) by exceptional graphic design.
It's a great book: a fantastic snapshot of an optimistic time.