Bloomsberry & Co. chocolate bars

Bloomsberry_heart u_UO 

I Heart U chocolate bar, via Urban Outfitters

Saw these Bloomsberry & Co.
chocolate bars the other day and was totally smitten with their
design. Bloomsberry chocolate bars are far from unknown, as there's
been a great (and deserved) to-do about their witty wrappers and
charming website. But I just have to chime in and reiterate that
their design sense is brilliant.

Bloomsberry_portions_UO_spoon sisters

Top: Fair Share chocolate bar, image from Urban Outfitters.

Bottom: Marital bliss chocolate bar, image from The Spoon Sisters.

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Candy Bar Wrapper Collection


I found this website doing some research for a candy project. The site design is, lets just say, less than sophisticated, but it is one of the most comprehensive collections of this category that I've found. It features wrappers from other countries, dates back years so you can see the evolution of different brands, and is actually quite a resource.  He's really done quite a bit of work collecting, scanning and cataloging all of these. I'm sure the eating wasn't bad either.

Aerosol Valu-Pack


Nice conceptual campaign by Saatchi & Saatchi for Surfrider Foundation.

Actual water-borne flotsam & jetsam collected on various beaches, then packaged and labeled like supermarket seafood. Put on display at local farmers market and photographed for a series of PSA magazine ads. (I just saw another one in Rolling Stone this afternoon.)

Needless to say, I like that the old aerosol cans, are themselves contained in a package.

(via: MarcelBatlle)

(Some more Surfrider stuff, after the fold…)

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Blockbuster to Lackluster

My background originally being in illustration, I find myself always looking for examples of it in graphic design. And being that I live in a place where the temperature has been in the single digits for several weeks, I’ve found myself renting a lot of movies lately. As a result, my need to distract myself from my upcoming heating bill has inevitably led me to spend an inordinate amount of time noticing movie packaging.

One of my observations, sadly, has been the near vanishing act of illustration from movie covers. Back in the heyday (like the 1980’s) illustrations were common on covers. Two of the more prominent figures in this arena, Drew Struzan and Richard Amsel, were among many who helped create part of movie magic.  Amsel (who passed away in 1985) and Struzan both produced work for the Indiana Jones series, and Struzan continues for such notable titles like Harry Potter, The Star Wars series, Shawshank Redemption and Pan’s Labyrinth (not to mention several hundred more). Still, the majority of his work seems to have come from the mid-1980’s.


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Tobacco Packaging & Air Guitar

I don’t know what it is about tobacco packaging and guitars but they are somehow connected. Probably it all started in the 1800s with cigar box guitars. (Subject discussed on box vox: here)

As the roll-over image above will show you, the match pack on the left contains Dunlop guitar picks, and the reused Camel cigarette pack on the right is a mini guitar amp from Smokey Amps. Both were gifts. (Thank you, Ray. Thank you, Tim.)

(See 1 more way that guitars and tobacco may be connected, after the fold…)

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I was meandering around Urban
when I saw these awesome ceramic items by design house
Seletti. (Side note: awesome site, I recommend it highly.)


Clockwise from left: ceramic detergent bottle, ceramic soda bottle, ceramic milk carton, glass water bottles, ceramic grocery bag.

In addition to these pieces (most which are
no longer up on the UO website, but are available through Via Alley
and the Design Museum Shop), there were these even more awesome

Seletti_viaalley_design museum

Clockwise from left: ceramic egg carton, ceramic pie tin, ceramic takeout box, and ceramic ring-pull cans (salt and pepper shakers).

I am
immediately charmed by such things. I covet that egg carton. How witty! How whimsical! But
why? What is it about objects in the shape of disposable packaging
that is at once so hilarious and so alluring?

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Ostalgie Repack


I finally got to see Wolfgang Becker’s 2003 film, Good Bye Lenin!

Continuing to follow the thread of communist packaging—or is it more of a cosmonaut’s tethered space walk that I’m doing, here? After all, the protagonist in the film, Alex Kerner (played by Daniel Brühl, above) grew up idolizing East German cosmonaut, Sigmund Jähn — and the Soviet space race certainly figures into the plot, but it’s really the starring role that GDR packaging plays in this story, that I want to focus on.

Alex’s mother, Christiane has been a coma since just before the fall of the Berlin Wall. When she awakens, eight months later…

Her doctor asserts that any shock might cause another, possibly fatal, attack. Alex realizes that the discovery of recent events would be too much for her to bear, and so sets out to maintain the illusion that things are as before in the German Democratic Republic. To this end, he and Ariane [his sister] return the previous drab decor to the apartment, dress in their old clothes, and feed the bed-ridden Christiane new Western produce from old-labeled jars.

from the Good Bye Lenin! Wikipedia Entry

It is the repackaging of Western products into recycled East German packaging that keeps Alex very busy throughout much of the film.

(see more packaging from Good Bye Lenin!, after the fold…)

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Cosmonautic Vodka Tube


The Russian vodka tube joke

34 years ago, when Vance Brand and the other Apollo astronauts docked with the Soviet Union’s Soyuz, they engaged in some historic packaging humor. From a press release on Nasa’s website:

Brand recalled that the docking was carried out as if in slow motion.

“We came together at a slow rate and we felt a little gentle bump when we docked. We looked through an optical sight to line it up. There was some relative movement between the spacecraft and then it quickly stopped,” Brand said.

About three hours later, Stafford and Russian commander Alexei Leonov exchanged greetings. Stafford offered his greeting in Russian and Leonov gave his in English.

“It was a joke among us that the Russians would have a Vodka toast in space. In orbit they had a tube with Vodka written on the side. It was really a Russian soup, called borscht. They had a good sense of humor,” Brand said.

Former Astronaut Recalls Historic Apollo-Soyuz Mission
July 21, 2000

Now, thanks to a company called Go More, the vodka-tube concept is no longer a joke…


Randy Ludacer
Beach Packaging Design

Instant Ramen Packaging

Taste the ramen rainbow? Originally uploaded by Flickr user Winona

It's been downright frigid recently,
and the impecunious post-college of us have been defrosting those
winter nights with instant ramen. Many's the night that I have
contemplated a Nissin Top Ramen package, and my conclusions are thus:
Nissin ramen packaging, while er, iconic, isn't really all that
stylish. For a foodstuff that a) can be truly delicious and
satisfying and b) forms a large dietary component to voracious (and
easily influenced) college students, one would think that ramen
packaging would be more interesting.

But it is! Nissin and Maruchan
obviously have reasons to continue with their easily recognizable
looks, but there are some rather nifty packages out there. The following is a salty, carb-infused exploration of instant ramen packaging. would catch my eye among all the garish colors and overcrowded labels
in the instant ramen section. (Does such a fairytale land exist? You know it

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Pop Top Ads

I learned about this Soda Seal resealable can concept from Yael Miller’s post. (Read all about it: here.)

Beside being an ordinary looking aluminum beverage can with a clever resealing feature, the concept proposes a new ad medium:

Advertising messaging can include hidden codes, prizes, logos, branding, websites, scent, flavor and other messaging technologies.

(via: ReubenMiller)

(Sample ads and another, similar animation, after the fold…)

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