Milk Carton Postcards Project


From Malaysia-based design firm, Grass Studio: a series of die cut postcards for Dasein Academy of Art that fold into miniature milk cartons.

As Dasein’s marketing communication demands more from postcard designs but production budget keep shrinking, we decided to recycle this die cut block & extend the idea into other low budget greeting occasions. Turns out, the project became a collection series that is highly sought after.

Mom Exam

(One more photo, after the fold…)

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As Seen on TV

Blister-pack/clamshell wrap rage is old news, but Larry David manages to give it a terrifying new geopolitical spin when (in Season 7, Episode 2 of Curb Your Enthusiasm) he asks, “What am I, Mohammed Atta, I gotta get a box cutter?”

Randy Ludacer
Beach Packaging Design

Packaging Jewelry

PepsiEarringsPepsi can earrings from 824 Nothing More

Following the functional traditions of jewelry-as-container—(reliquary lockets of hair, perfume ampoule necklaces and the like)—it should come as no surprise, perhaps, that many consumers are continuing to adorn themselves with packaging jewelry. This includes both miniature CPG jewelry and jewelry crafted from fetish packaging parts (like soda can pull tabs).

PackagingJewelryTop row: some soda can charms and a “crushed” silver Budweiser beer can pendant; 2nd row, left: Maison Martin Margiela’s can tab ring (via: Hybrid Nation); on right: Jack Daniel’s bottle cuff-links; 3rd row, left: Alex and Chloe’s Can Tab pendent in 14K Gold; on right Colgate toothpaste tube earrings; 4th row: Dannie Glam’s “Candy in a Bottle” necklace; 5th row: Sidney Mobell’s 1990 “Diamond and Gold Sardine Can”; Bottom, left: George Estrella’s sterling silver “Sardine Can Pendant”; Bottom, right: Ricky Boscarino’s sterling silver “Sardine Can” with bronze key and copper fish

Randy Ludacer
Beach Packaging Design

Cigarette Pack Ashtrays


From Black Market Antiques: an ashtray designed to resemble a Camel cigarette pack. The package becomes the ashcan. Acknowledging the “negative momentwhen the cigarettes are all gone and you are left with only ashes and butts, this faux cigarette pack suggests ways in which genuine cigarette packs, might serve double-duty as ashtrays.

The ashtray above seems intended as a portable, pocket ashtray, but there are ceramic table top versions (below, left) that also strongly imply that the ashes should go back into the pack.


From, (above, right) another variation of this idea: a generic flip-top-box-shaped pocket ashtray. “An interesting object on its own” according to their web site:

In the shape of a cigarette box, this all aluminum ashtray is an interesting object on its own. Or used, it may be closed and carried to another location keeping ashes and butts off the street and in your portable ashtray.

Not surprisingly, this concept has been suggested (and patented) for use in actual cigarette packs, but for some reason has never caught on. Perhaps it’s a testament to the negative power of the post-consumer-moment, that consumers generally want to jettison their waste a.s.a.p.


(Another cigarette pack with built-in ashtray, after the fold…)

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Controller-Shaped Underwear Packaging

X-BoxUnderwear Upper photo: from AsusEpoxy’s PhotoBucket; Lower photo from Aksys Nation! blog

Search online for “underwear” + “control” and what do you find? There’s women’s “control underwear” (AKA: “shapewear”—descendants of girdles). There’s men’s scent control underwear (for hunters).

And now: underwear for gamers—this one packaged in an X-box controller-shaped tin. (Other shapes too.) Game tie-in product licensing, run amok? Or is there something more behind this underwear-as-gamegear trend?

Consider JennyLC Chowdhury’s Intimate Controllers:

“Intimate Controllers” is a platform where video games are played by couples touching each other.  The platform consists of two controllers, a bra for the female player and boxer shorts for the male player.  Each controller is embedded with 6 sensors placed with varying degrees of intimacy in relation to the body part with which they correspond. Players must pass game levels together and in doing so, game play results in increasingly intimate positioning. The goal of this project was to research and create objects that challenge the traditional notions and orientation of video game play.

from JennyLC Chowdhury’s Graduate Thesis for
NYU’s Interactive Telecommunications Program

(An Intimate Controllers diagram, after the fold…)

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Fabrice Peltier’s DesignPack Gallery

We’re all packed and ready to go on vacation today! Therefore: for the next 8 days, box vox won’t be updated as frequently. I do have a couple of posts timed to go up automatically next week. (But not every day.)

Where are we going? I really can’t say… but one thing I definitely plan on doing while we’re there is to check out Fabrice Peltier’s DesignPack Gallery:

Located at 24 rue de Richelieu, between the Louvre Museum, Decorative Arts and the National Library, the Designpack Gallery is a space dedicated exclusively to the art of packaging design.

Fabrice Peltier is also the founder of the agency, P’Référence and writes a regular column for Emballages Magazine. And (as if that weren’t enough) he also makes artwork from discarded packaging.

(See his Christmas-Tree-as-Recycling-Bin project, after the fold…)

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Canned Camera


Not a packaging camera, but a cross-category, canned camera.

Unbelievably, the whole cat motif is based on the idea that this is a camera designed specifically for taking pictures of cats. The camera has flashing colored lights and “meows” to attract a cat’s attention. Not so good for taking candid shots of cats. Although if we define a “candid photo” as one taken without the subject’s knowledge, then, perhaps, it’s debatable. What does a cat know? Does looking at the camera make it “self-conscious” ?

Huh! It’s gradually dawning on me that this “cat” camera is packaged in a can as a reference to cat food. I didn’t get that at all until just now. Maybe this is because the graphics on the can are not particularly cat food-like. Never-the-less, I do like the way the photo is cropped. (Imagine cropping out the cat’s eyes…)

(Another Holga, canned cat camera, after the fold…)

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Supergraphic Wacky Packs


60s kid-satire, “Wacky Packs” meets early 70s, “supergraphics” via Philadelphia-based LTL Prints’ peel & stick wall graphics.

Last year I was touting my decorating acumen for having framed a Wacky Pack press sheet to decorate our office. But these large-scale Wacky Packs (available in sizes up to 7 feet tall) raise a serious client-relations question. How far do I dare go with the Wacky Packaging decor?

Some of these mock packages actually imply that the products they contain are maybe not so good. Is that the message I really want to send? Certainly not the usual market-speak of a consumer packaged goods design firm. Maybe that’s refreshing.

What do you think? If you were a client, would it alienate you? And which one of the Wacky Packages below, do you think would look good, say, seven feet long over our conference table—I mean, without damaging our credibility with you?


(Another room photo, after the fold…)

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