Archive for the ‘Packaging’ Category

Recession Aesthetics

June 20, 2009

DishSoapCompositeThanks to the tanking world economy, this year I suddenly found myself confronted by a perfect storm right in my very own kitchen: I needed to obtain the vast quantities of calories required by a ravenous teenager and his younger brother without having to declare bankruptcy. The blissful era of strolling around the local food co-op with a petite handheld basket containing a single grass-fed steak at $26 and a recycled-paperboard pint of $5.99 organic raspberries was over. And so it came to pass that in January I bravely pushed a doublewide chrome shopping cart into the land of excess that is Costco. I quickly realized that shopping there isn’t just about food, the experience is an education in the subtleties of how the graphic design of brands sells products to their intended audiences.

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Like Peanuts

March 16, 2009

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One last comment on vintage vending machines: Look how happy this model is pretending to be about her purchase, Love Among the Haystacks. Other books on offer here include Tropical Passions, Kept Woman, and the disturbingly-titled Finger Man. Would readers buy The Odyssey or Moby-Dick from a vending machine? No, because the context devalues the content to the level of a snack: cheap, easily consumed, not very nourishing or filling, and disposable.

‘Round the Clock Protection

March 14, 2009

Original Dial

Shut me in a room with access only to Flickr, and I’d be happy as a clam. Roadsidepictures has an incredible album of vintage packaging, you know, back when products where fun. Look at that package of Dial soap! Wouldn’t you much rather have that sitting in your bathroom than this?

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