Ketchup & Catsup Bottles on the Vine


However you spell it (Ketchup or Catsup) their bottles sometimes aspire to become metaphors for what they contain.

The Heinz Ketchup ad on the left is part of the same advertising campaign that gave us the sliced tomato Ketchup bottle we featured last September.

HuntsTomatoBottle The Hunt’s Catsup bottle above is shown growing on a vine—(from SA_Steve’s Flickr Photostream)—and as a tomato with a cap and a label on the right. (Photo from eBay)

See also
Packaged Water Towers
Consumer Packaged Goods Tattoos
Chris Von Szombathy
Sket One’s Anthro-Packs
Jar & Bottle Shaped Packets

Randy Ludacer
Beach Packaging Design

More Open Mouth Windows


Pearlfisher’s new packaging for The Natural Confectionery Company uses the same open-mouth-window idea that we’ve looked into before…

“The product window is now integrated as part of the dominant character—viewing the product inside pack through the character’s mouth.”

Here, as with other food packaging using this concept, it’s animals whose mouths we view the product through—rather than people. Why should this should be so?

For parents, struggling to teach their children not to chew with their mouths open, a package featuring a view of its product through a gaping human mouth might be deemed an unhelpful influence. In this context, animals—(even anthropomorphic animals)—somehow fare better.

(via: the dieline)

Randy Ludacer
Beach Packaging Design

Cross-Category Yogurt-Wristwatch Packaging


TooLateWatch Nooka & Karim Rashid’s collaborative wristwatch called “Yogurt” (above) comes packaged in a cross-category food-pack. Not the first wristwatch packaged like food. Another brightly-colored silicone watch that we looked at in 2009 was the Too Late wristwatch, which came packaged in a small jar. (on right)

As with many cross-category packages, the conceptual connection between this wristwatch and creamy yogurt is pretty tenuous.

Their press release talks about: the synergies of “democratic design” and “universal language”—but I’m not sure how that leads to the idea of yogurt, the food. (Is it about “culture”?) Anyway, the Yogurt’s color choices are expressed as fruit-flavors à la early iMacs.

(Via: Lovely Package)

Launch video below:

Randy Ludacer
Beach Packaging Design

Kirsten Justesen’s Sculpture #2

2Views Kirsten Justesen, Sculpture # 2, Ed.7, 1968

Kirsten Justesen’s 1968 Sculpture #2:

“It started with the cardboard box in 1968, Skulptur II. Basically, a sculpture is a plinth with a form on top — and it’s often a naked woman up there. My Skulptur II is a cardboard box with a black-and-white photograph of me inside. So it’s identical with the basic sculpture: the cardboard box is a plinth you can walk round, and there’s a woman in it without any clothes on. And what is more, it’s the artist who has entered into her own work. It can be folded up and it’s easy to transport. It is nothing less than the ideal sculpture…”

Kirsten Justesen interviewed by Malene Vest Hansen

On the one hand, the photo on the box-top of Sculpture #2 functions as a less-than-convincing form of trompe-l’œil, as if one might be fooled into thinking that there’s actually a woman curled up in this box.

On the other hand, Justesen was curled up in this box at one point (or a box like this) in order to take the photo. As with any orthographically-projecting package, the photo on the top of the box speaks to us about the box’s contents, but here there is misdirection. The box is presumably empty and the orthographic projection is of the box’s former contents.

Randy Ludacer
Beach Packaging Design

Flat Bulb Box


From 2008: Joonhyun Kim’s “Flat Bulb”

As the era of incandescent light seems to be waning, Joonhyun Kim offers one last idea for an object that has long served as a symbol for ideas:

“I designed bulbs which would be disappeared that I felt like last time to design.”

Using the orthographic projection technique, the box shows an actual size diagram of its contents, but only from one familiar-looking angle. In another context—(a thicker, less flat box)—this diagram might seem deceptive, but the flatness of the box, combined with the product name help gets the idea across in a flash.

(Photos of Joonhyun Kim with his prototype, after the fold…)

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Lamp Packaging / Packaging Lamp


EtchBoxInset 1. Lamp Packaging: As a designer of polyhedral lamps, Tom Dixon is no slouch in the area of complex symmetries, but the packaging for his Etch Light (a deltoidal icositetrahedron) is a standard rectangular box.

In fact, the only polyhedral package for a Tom Dixon lamp that I’ve ever seen was the dodecahedron-shaped box for his discontinued “Star Light.”

The rectangluar box for the “Etch Light” was designed by Mind Design:

“We designed a functional packaging range and a series of different patterns for Tom Dixon’s new ‘Etch Light’. The first versions of this self-assembly lamp shades were launched in Milan as part of the Tom Dixon Factory. Respect to the Op-Art masters of the 60’s who designed even more complex graphic patterns without any help of a computer…”


DesignBoxInset 2. Packaging Lamp: While the economic constraints of carton construction & shipping may have led Dixon away from polyhedral packaging for his own products, he has recently gone in the other direction and made polyhedral lamps from rectangular boxes.

His “Comet Lamp” (above right) was made from reconstructed Veuve Clicquot “DesignBoxes” as part of their “Out of The Box” promotion:

“I created the Comet lamp… while looking at the DesignBox and thinking of the technical complexity of the cardboard object with such a simple appearance. Think of the beauty of simple shapes, of the way in which the geometry is everywhere present in design, and then think of the natural progression of simple mathematical forms, from the cube to the square; this enables us as designers to create infinite possibilities by starting from the simplest point of departure! … A Comet lamp, beneficent and sparkling, like champagne, based on the universally attractive laws of geometry, from the starting point of a simple, well-made cardboard box”

(Both lamps in the light of day, after the fold…)

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Beverage Brand & Body Image


The recent negative publicity surrounding the Fashion Week introduction of Diet Pepsi’s new “skinny” can design just goes to show how closely we identify with our product packaging. (See: Package as Metaphor—Body)

While it’s generally understood how photographs of emaciated fashion models might have a negative impact on a person’s body image, it’s surprising, perhaps, that a skinny soda can could be deemed a similarly harmful influence.

What did Diet Pepsi do to provoke such a backlash? It wasn’t that they used their new can shape to suggest that drinking Diet Pepsi might make a person skinnier, but in suggesting that their “slim, attractive new can” was an apt metaphor for “beautiful, confident women” in general.

The skinnier can shape is nothing new and has been in use overseas for a while. The Australian Coke can (above, right) is not a diet drink, but it has the same narrow shape. Its Coke-bottle-figure pictorial logo, however, has long been associated with a certain non-anorexic body type. (from: Roberta W.B.’s Flickr Photostream)

And diet product packages that emulate body types is also nothing new—as the 1963 Slim-Mates bottle, below, will attest. (from RoadsidePictures’ Flickr Photostream)


(See also: Damnation & Diet Delight and The Concept of Coke & Pepsi)

Randy Ludacer
Beach Packaging Design

Maker’s Mark Trademark


And speaking of bottles and drips

Maker’s Mark is sold in squarish bottles which are sealed with red wax… Samuels’ wife, Marjorie “Margie” Samuels, gave the whisky its name, drew its label, and thought up the wax dipping that gives the bottle its distinctive look. It was introduced to the market in 1959.

Wikipedia entry on Maker’s Mark

Introduced in 1959 — trademarked in 1985 (below), in 2003 Maker’s Mark (above, left) sued Cuervo for violation of trademark due to Reserva tequila’s similar dripping red wax seal (above, right).

This lawsuit dragged on for seven years, but Maker’s Mark ultimately prevailed. (See: Maker’s Mark Trademark Wax Seal Is Affirmed)

How it is done:

(More about Maker’s Mark, after the fold…)

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More Drips


More drip/droplet packaging. Following up on an earlier post about this trend, I’m seeing more examples…

1. Magic marker brand, Krink is doing the Absolut Vodka thing, on left—thereby making the connection between packaging drips and graffiti absolutely explicit. (via: PopSop)

OilY 2. The single golden drip featured on Moruba’s label design for Karey Olive Oil (center) is more an illustration of package contents and about as far from expressionistic graffiti style as you can get. Have to admire the astute typographic insight that enabled the designer to see the discreet teardrop that was always latent in that sideways “y.” (via: the dieline)

3. Mystery packs: I don’t know where I found the blue-yellow-red bath set bottles, on right. I have lost track of my source. (If anyone knows, please tell me; I don’t like making them anonymous.) The dripping paper collar loops that cover the caps and tuck-in are interesting. The connotations here (for dripping primary colors) seem to be more painterly—less “street art.”

(A video of the Krink/Absolut bottle, after the fold…)

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Frack Pack


Saw Gasland on TV a while back, so I knew about “fracking” and how it had seriously contaminated drinking water here in the United States, but I didn’t know that Canada was thinking of competing with us in the area of flammable drinking water!

Schiste2 Goût de schiste (“Good Taste of Quebec Shale”) is Valérie L’italien’s concept for the commercialization of this particular type of firewater. (d’eau flambé?)

Turning the perceived flaw of flammability into a product feature, she brings us: packaged (flammable) water.

Done as a project for Sylvain Allard’s packaging class at UQAM, Professor Allard has this to say about the new beverage:

… after having promised the moon to oil and gas companies, our good government finds itself in trouble because of the negative reaction of Quebecers who fear the environmental consequences of shale gas. In fact, dramatic stories have been reported in some American states where groundwater got contaminated with the shale gas. Pictures of taps that ignite were shown in the media…

Never mind, we must move forward announced Minister Nathalie Normandeau hammering that shale gas must create wealth. She never explains how this wealth will eventually come back to us though. In fact, like all our natural resources, profits seem more a vision of the mind than a reality. But Nathalie seems convinced that people just don’t get it and that against all odds, her government has the mandate to go forward.

In my packaging class, we believe we have the real solution to increase the collective wealth. Because shale gas is likely to contaminate our groundwater, why resist the temptation to exploit the bonanza? Indeed, what may seem like a catastrophe could become a true treasure. I named the shale gas carbonated water developed by my student Valerie Italian. After Perrier and Sanpellegrino, we would have the Good Taste of Quebec Shale. This particular carbonated water would be available in several flavors and come with a match to burn the excess gas

via: Packaging UQAM (Read the full story: here)

(See also: Toxic Trail Mix and Elizabeth Royte on Packaged Water)

Randy Ludacer
Beach Packaging Design