Kooky Kans


From the “Mixo” dual oil & vinegar bottle of the previous post, we now turn to a different Mixo whose “Kooky Kans” are the latest enterprise of serial entrepreneur, Mike Becker (who previously founded Funko and Flapjack Toys.)

Mixo’s first product line, Kooky Kans combine the look and nostalgia of tin lunch boxes along with the fun of your favorite action figures. I’m filling my Kooky Kans with two things, delicious candy or our super amazing instant playsets we call Kookycraft. Kookycraft is kind of like Japanese Origami meets cereal box cut-outs… of the 60 & 70s.

Mike Becker, Chairman of Fun

 An example of Kookycraft is shown below…


Note the can-shaped man in the apron. This is Mr. Mixo, the presumptive company mascot. I was struck by his uncanny resemblance to another anthropomorphic packaging mascot: the Big Shot soda jerk…


(A couple more photos, after the fold…)

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Mated Container Pump Cruet


I don’t know too much about this “Mixo” oil & vinegar package. The designer of the bottle apparently won an award at SIAL, Paris in 2009, but I can’t tell you who that designer is. (via: BlogPack)

What I can tell you is that the bottle(s) falls into that category of “mated container units” that we were looking at a few weeks ago.

Randu Ludacer
Beach Packaging Design

Plain Cigarette Packaging


Expanding on Australia’s “plain cigarette packaging” initiative (under which all cigarette packaging would be made generic), Jennifer Noon & Sarah Shaw have envision anti-ergonomic, trapezoidal packs:

PackPocket “Our primary aim was to change the structure of the pack making it less ergonomic. The pack was developed to be difficult to use and carry, it is hard to fit into pockets due to its triangular shape and the angled inner means the cigarettes are hard to get out. The lid is designed so that it closes efficiently but after a few uses it becomes weak, meaning the cigarettes can fall out if being stored in a ladies handbag.

We decided to use an off putting colour on the outer of the pack choosing a yellow green which was identified to have negative connotations. We then added a mould texture to really emphasise the disgusting feel of the pack and reduce the glamour appeal for young people.”

The idea of deliberately engineering a “weak” lid is interesting… like planned obsolescence, but for a good cause.


Note: the alternating right-side-up / up-side-down close-packing arrangement…


…and a rare example of “open mouth” packs that feature human mouths, rather than cute animal mouths.

Randy Ludacer
Beach Packaging Design

Bassett’s Horehound Troches

HoreHoundTrochesOn left: photo from Sheaff-Ephemera; on right: a photo from eBay

Bassett’s Horehound Troches: another product from the same company that sold Bassett’s Egg Shampoo Cream.

“Troches” is a word we don’t hear much these days. If this product were around now, the word would be “lozenges” or “cough Drops.”

Would have been nice to find a photo of their 25¢ “elegant glass bottle” (a torpedo bottle), but this bottle-shaped trade card is all I could find online.

Before starting the Basset Supply Company, Albert G. Bassett was in the drug store business. Judging by the last line on the back of the trade card, Horehound Troches were also sold on trains.

(See also: Die-Cut, Package-Shaped Recipe Booklets)

Randy Ludacer
Beach Packaging Design

Bassett’s Egg Shampoo Cream


Egg-shaped tins from 1909 that once contained “Bassett’s Egg Shampoo Cream”

Unusual packaging for a shampoo, but the Bassett Supply Company of Rochester, NY may not have been the only company to use it.

There was also a “Marvelette” brand Egg Shampoo Cream using “a unique package in the form of an egg” on the market in 1910. Also based in Rochester. For all I know, Marvellette Laboratories may have just been a division of Bassett Supply Company.


See also : Silly Putty & L’eggs

Randy Ludacer
Beach Packaging Design

2 Oranges: Geometry, Packaging & Ultaviolence


Violent, polyhedral orange chocolate packaging—two kinds:

1. Jessica Comin’s “laranja mecánica” chocolate package (based on Anthony Burgess’s A Clockwork Orange) starts out as a rhombic-dodecahedron which can be turned inside out to form a cube. Although the book and the movie made “ultraviolence” a household word, Comin’s packaging concept is violent only to the extent that one empathizes with a box being turned inside out. (via)


One remarkable thing about her transformable pack, is that both shapes—a cube and a rhombic-dodecahedron—will “close pack.” In fact, the rhombic-dodecahedron was the one close-packing shape that I was still on the lookout for. (The other four close-packing polyedrons with regular faces were already accounted for.)


Like our own interactive Gumball cube-pack, “laranja mecánica” is a novel candy package holding a minimal amount of candy. I figure, only 6 chocolate eyeballs, assuming that one goes into each of the 6 pyramid shaped compartments below.


A similar polyhedral model was constructed by W. W. Ross in the late 1800s. His “Exploded Cube” (below) is part of The University of Arizona’s collection of his dissected wooden polyhedrons.


And there’s an animated illustration from Apollonius Math showing how this transformation works…


2. Terry’s Chocolate Oranges (below) also involve polyhedral dissection, but, in Terry’s case, it’s a sphere of chocolate that gets dissected along longitudinal lines.


As for the violence, it’s implicit in the “whack & unwrap” instructions. Many of their television commercials have fun with exaggerating the violence required to open the package. Interesting to note that, in the photo above, the foil-wrapped chocolate orange, was, itself, packaged in a clamshell—the very thing that “wrap rage” was named for.

(The “violent” Whack & Unwrap campaign, after the fold…)

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Package-Related Music Packaging


Assuming that we can still call album “cover” artwork that accompanies a digital download “packaging” then the image above is surely part of a package-related music package. The cover of Edison’s free “Dehydrated Water” EP is obviously a roughly retouched version of the Bernard Dehydrated Water can that we were looking at yesterday.

16834225-1 Another Edison release—in collaboration with Evak—is also package-related and, in this case, there is an actual (albiet “Limited Edition”) release. Six Pack O’Death simulates the look, if not feel, of a Budweiser beer label. Artwork by Mildew.

(See also: S.A.P. and Immortal Water)

Randy Ludacer
Beach Packaging Design

Empty Cans of Dehydrated Water

Bernard's Dehydrated Water
Top row, left: from EraPhernalia Vintage . . . (playin’ hooky ;o)’s Flickr Photostream; on right: from David Reeves’s Flickr Photostream; 2nd row, left: via BackpackingLight forums; on right: via No Budget Films; below: from Sweetheartville’s Flickr Photostream; bottom: from ohkayeor (Lovin’ our cool weather)’s Flickr Photostream

Our friend Mr. Ronse recently brought a gag gift known as “Bernard Dehydrated Water” to my attention.

Packaged as if it were a canned food product, this item is clearly a part of that larger category of gag gifts: packages, containing ephemeral contents. (See: Rob Walker’s recent Design Observer post, “Rarified Air”)

The thing that’s unusual in this case is that “dehydrated water” seems to be the only novelty product of an otherwise legitimate food company: Bernard Food Industries.

Apparently on the market since 1962, their dehydrated water beverage is the only gag gift mentioned in a long list of trademarked applications for their standard label design. Also interesting, is how they’ve stipulated their trademark’s use for “novelty gift items, namely, empty cans.”

(Some trademark documents, after the fold…)

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Beverage Bubble Branding

BubblesTop left: Curious D’s  Saint Tropez label (via); top, center: Andreu Zaragoza’ s “Coma” label (via); top, right: Nordic Water’s Foss Water; 2nd row, left: Hunt Adkin’s NutriSoda redesign (via); on right: an earlier version of Dry Soda’s labling; 3rd row: Hansen’s Natural Sparkling Water (via); bottom row: ELO Design’s “Vines Wine” (via)

For carbonated or “sparkling” beverages, it’s often the bubbles that are featured on the label. Usually these bubbles are represented by solid or outlined circles. Two exceptions:

1. Hanson’s sparkling water uses astroids rather than circles. This shape is more often associated with bling-type sparkles, but, here, seems to represent sparkling bubbles at the moment of popping. And by “popping” I mean: emerging from beverage and releasing its gas.

2. The Saint Tropez bottle in the upper left uses foil blocked square bubbles to create a dissipating typography.


Randy Ludacer
Beach Packaging Design

Atom Bomb Bottles: 2 Kinds

On left: vintage “Atom Bomb” perfume by Jergens (via: iOffer “wanted” ad); on right melted bottles on exhibit at the Hiroshima Peace Museum (photo from: alq666’s Flickr Photostream

Yesterday’s post about bomb-shaped bottles leads us inexorably to “atom bomb bottles.”

1. “Atom Bomb” perfume, trademarked by Jergens in 1948, came in a rocket-shaped bottle. (Its bottle cap looks a bit like a Devo hat)

2. Bottles that have been melted by atom bombs, on permanent display at the Hiroshima Peace Museum.

AtomBombBottle2On left: melted bottle on exhibit at the Hiroshima Peace Museum (photo from: Fidel Ramos’s Flickr Photostream); on right: “Atom Bomb” perfume bottle (for sale on eBay for $24.99)

(Jergens “Atom Bomb” trademark and more melted bottles, after the fold…)

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Bomb Bottles

WineBomb“Bomb bottles” (one of the alternate names used to describe the shape of those turn of the century “torpedo bottles”) is made explicit in these two recent package designs.

Unlike a rocket bottle, with fins at the base and a bottle-cap nosecone—these bottles have their fins at the top end and it’s the base of the bottle which represents the detonating end.

With the rocket bottles, one imagines them taking off, upwards. A metaphor for energy drink as stimulant, in some cases. The thrust of the bomb bottle, however, is presumably downward. A more fitting metaphor, perhaps, for alcohol’s depressant qualities?

“Black Market Goods” packaging by Marco Manansala (at top) envisions this sort of gravity-based projectile packaging for beer. (via)

“Wine Bomb” (above, right) appears to be a Portuguese wine called “Partido Terrorista.” The photo is somewhat of a mystery. It appears on a number of sites, but I can find no mention of who designed this package, or whether it was an actual product or a one-off concept.

Randy Ludacer
Beach Packaging Design