Simulated Novelty Container Capable of Movement

During eyeglasses-week, I happened to find Takara’s 1994 patent for “Simulated Novelty Container Capable of Movement.”

We’ve seen other toys that take the form of brand packaging. (FBI Junior Spy Toys, for example)

And we’ve been noting the anthropomorphic packaging thing for a while now.

Inventors, Yasuta Satoh and Yasuyuki Moriyama hold a number of patents for these toys. Drawing from an earlier version for a “Figure Moving Article” are shown below…

In contrast to the more recent patent drawings with sunglasses…

They also hold design patents…

Besides creating a booming licensed product category—(not just for Coke, but for any number of other beverage brands, including soda, beer and energy drinks)—Takara’s dancing cans also express various dualities… male/female (expressed by gender style of glasses frame, above), cool/nerd (depending on whether the container wears sunglasses or eyeglasses) and even a can/bottle duality (since Takara also came out with a similar “Bopping Bottle” product)

[Read more…]

26 Brands

For our last day of calendar-dictated content (October 26th) we have twenty-six “26” logos.

1. Above is a logo by Carlos Segura for the T26 Digital Type Foundry that he founded in 1994. As with several other logos in this round-up, the “26” refers to the number of letters in the (Western Latin) alphabet. (See also: 3, 4, 5)

2. On right is another “T26” logo. Here, however, the logo is for a 26 foot Tanzer sailboat.

3. Michiel van der Born’s logo for his “Twenty-Six Characters” website is below…

4. Below left is Rebecca Neimark’s logo for Twenty-Six Letters, a graphic design studio, specializing in book covers.

5. Above, right is the logo for Brian Jaramillo’s Agency 26.

6. Below left is Danny Skinz’s logo for “Movement 26” an artist collective.

7. Above right is a similar maze-like treatment of the number “26” which is part of the logo for Stable 26—a sock manufacturer named for the number of bones in the human foot. (Packaging and logo, below)

8. Some logos for a numerical company name will use all or part of the number as a superscript. Below left, the logo for Fine 26 (a maker of “great metal based consumer products”) is like that…

9. twenty6 (a business communications and marketing consulting firm) also has a logo that uses a superscript. (above, right) This logo also divides the number into two parts, spelling out “twenty” but using a numeral for “6.” The two logos that follow also do this…

10. Twenty6 Products makes aluminum mountain bike components. (An example of their packaging appears below)

11. Below left, is the logo used online magazine, Twenty6

12. Above right is a logo by Thomas Fethers, also for a Twenty-Six Magazine.

13. Below: Lauren Li Porter’s masthead for her blog, Twenty Six. (our only cursive example) Why twenty-six? Twenty six is my lucky number as well as being my Birthday, and these two facts are not completely unrelated.”

(13 more “26” brands, after the fold…) [Read more…]

La 25: a fanciful, trademark-infringing tongue?

Sometimes the line between homage and trademark infringement may be a bit blurry. The logo on the left is the famous “tongue and lips” Rolling Stones icon designed in 1971 by John Pasche and described as a fanciful “tongue and lip design” in the band’s 1977 U.S. trademark registration.

The patch on the right is one of various logos for the Argentine rock band, La 25, whose name was based on an article of clothing once worn by Mick Jagger…

Their story began in 1996 in the city of Quilmes (Buenos Aires) when a group of friends, fans of the band The Rolling Stones, raised money to buy a shirt that Mick Jagger had used years ago at a concert. This shirt had the number 25 printed on it, and since then the group of friends began to be known as “Los pibes de La 25” (“the kids of the 25”).

Wikipedia entry on La 25

The friends started a band and the name was shortened to “La 25.” (AKA: “La Veinticinco”)

The shirt seems to have served as a fetishistic, talisman in the band’s mythology. In the early days, members of the band purportedly took turns wearing it. Later, the Jagger 25 shirt would be hung up on a mic stand during La 25 concerts.

I’m not aware of any litigation over their adaptation of the tongue and lip trademark, and with a band as established as the Rolling Stones, you have to ask yourself, “How likely is it that a music consumer would ever be confused?” —Even if La 25 does occasionally cover a Stones song. (And even if their song “Solo Voy” does sounds quite a bit like “Let it Bleed”…)


(More about the Jagger shirt, after the fold…)

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23 logos for a molecular genetic consumer product

Following the numerical sequence begun with yesterday’s 22-Pistepirkko package design, I thought I’d look for a brand with “23” in its name.

There were a several choices to consider… 23 Degrees is a coffee brand named for “the Bean Belt, the land 23° north and south of the equator, where most of the world’s coffee is grown.” Bulova 23 is a line of watches named with 23 jewels in the movement.

I went with 23andMe, a company named for the number of chromosomes we have:

The company is named for the 23 pairs of chromosomes in a normal human cell. Their personal genome test kit was named “Invention of the Year” by Time magazine in 2008.

Wikipedia’s entry on 23andMe

The company’s branding, logo design and “personal genome test kit” —also known as their “Spit Kit”—were redesigned in 2008 by MetaDesign. They created a set of 23 brand logos—one for each chromosome…


“The variety of 23 distinct yet visually unified logos plays conceptually on the human chromosome, while a bright color palette highlights the boldness of 23andMe’s unique immersion into consumer genetics.”

(from MetaDesign’s website)

Today is also National Mole Day:

Celebrated annually on October 23 from 6:02 a.m. to 6:02 p.m., Mole Day commemorates Avogadro’s Number (6.02 x 10^23), which is a basic measuring unit in chemistry…

For a given molecule, one mole is a mass (in grams) whose number is equal to the atomic mass of the molecule. For example, the water molecule has an atomic mass of 18, therefore one mole of water weighs 18 grams. An atom of neon has an atomic mass of 20, therefore one mole of neon weighs 20 grams. In general, one mole of any substance contains Avogadro’s Number of molecules or atoms of that substance. This relationship was first discovered by Amadeo Avogadro (1776-1858) and he received credit for this after his death.

National Mole Day Foundation

(See also: Nano-Bio Kits)

Record Numbers

I’ve had this image ready to post for nine months. To give it more numerical relevance, I’d been trying to remember to post it on the 22nd of the month. But month after month, the 22nd would roll by and I would miss it. Until now.

A double album cover for the band, 22-Pistepirkko, this is one of those strikingly clever packaging photos that really only work from one particular vantage point. In other words: the “22” is only visible if one purchases the double album, takes it home and simultaneously pulls both records halfway out. Which could be a cool surprise, but not much of a selling point for someone flipping through the record bins. (if there were still record bins to flip through)

I first saw it on the “Typographic Research” Tumblr site which identified it as the work of Gary Rizzolo“Gary Rizzolo designed a great 22 Pistepirkko LP.”  The photo was “reblogged” with those same credits on at least 18 other Tumblr sites.

Looking in vain for a different picture of this album cover (without the two records sticking out), I began to suspect that it wasn’t really a part of 22-Pistepirkko’s discography at all. The band did release a 22 song double album, but its cover didn’t look like this. (See also: 69 Love Songs)

Sure enough, it’s a concept image rather than a real record release. But its designer is someone else entirely.

From German designer, Johannes Rantapuska’s website:

22-Pistepirkko (2008) Vinyl cover art for Finnish long-term indie rock band, 22-Pistepirkko. School assignment.

I’m guessing that whoever first posted it as Gary Rizzolo’s (rather than Johannes Rantapuska’s) work, made a sloppy, but unintentional mistake. As a result, if you now search online for “Gary Rizzolo” + “22-Pistepirkko” you get 2,780 results. Yet if you search instead for “Johannes Rantapuska” + “22-Pistepirkko” you only find 1,010 results.

The popularity of the blog post with the misattributed cover design, combined with the ease of reblogging it on Tumblr has, in this case, enabled misinformation to trump correct information by a factor of about 275%.

As tempting as it is for me to declare October 22 “set the record straight day,” it turns out that this date is already spoken for. October 22 is International Stuttering Awareness Day. Any connection between the repetition of digits in this date (two-two) and the speech disorder is probably coincidental. But I have problems of my own with double digit dates. (See: Birthday Mathematics)


Eyeglasses as Packaging

A random roundup of packaging patents involving eyeglasses: cartons & carriers with built-in 3D glasses, cardboard sunglasses with promotional branding, a bottle with a resealable eyeglasses compartment, a 1966 eyeglasses design with screw-on bottle attachments over each eye for “facilitating the self-introduction of medicinal drops in eyes,” and “sunglasses incorporating a fluid sunscreen dispenser” with a bottle attachment for refilling.

Rosé-Colored Glasses

Getting back to “Package & Eyeglasses Week” —(not that the previous post was a complete digression, what with binocular vision and optics and all)— let us now consider wine bottles with eyeglasses.

Luks Piekut’s “Pink Glasses” label concept for a California Rosé uses the wine’s color to make proverbial “rose-colored glasses.”

Do you have any doubts that the pink glasses have the amazing power of mood improving?


As with Tuesday’s Drinking Glasses, “Pink Glasses” also serve a double meaning. (eyeglasses & wine glasses)

Like Monday’s Crystal sugar Specs box, we’re given eyeglasses shaped windows to look into, but here it’s not so much to see the product as to see through the product.

Is this the only only “rose colored glasses” wine label?

(Asked and answered, after the fold…) [Read more…]

Re: Paul Ryan’s Head

I know this is old news, coming as it does on the heels of the second Presidential debate, but I’ve been obsessing lately about the head-bobbing mannerism that Paul Ryan exhibited during last week’s Vice Presidential debate.

Some have characterized Ryan’s trademark head maneuver as bobble-head like, and indeed a Paul Ryan bobble-head doll does exist.

Clark Toys actually makes “bobble-head” toys of all the high-profile political candidates, but Ryan is in the unfortunate position of being a particularly apt subject for this kind of toy. (See also: bobble-head doll syndrome)

With this in mind, I somehow got it into my head to take a crack at capturing Ryan’s side-to-side head movement in an endlessly looping animate gif.

Everyone has their personal idiosyncrasies and it’s not really my intention to mock the congressman. What I mostly want to know is: What exactly is this movement meant to express?

A form of emphasis, I suppose, moving the head from side to side while maintaining eye contact, as if to underscore some particularly persuasive argument. The trouble is, as body language, the underlying message is rather predatory, I think…

Cats will often sway their head from side to side very quickly just before they pounce on their prey. This is important so that when they do pounce that they do not miss their target.

Cats have binocular vision which when they shake their head quickly allows them to accurately judge just how far away their prey is and so gives them a better chance at hitting their target.

Cat Hunting

Nothing wrong with a little binocular vision in a vice presidential candidate, but consider the optics of what programs Paul Ryan, might pounce on, were he a cat.

Vice President Biden’s laughter got more media coverage, but researching online, I find that there were others, for whom Ryan’s head was the bigger story.

(A sampling of other opinion re: Paul Ryan’s head,  follows …) [Read more…]

Drinking Glasses

Another product that uses the same basic design as Friday’s “Candy Filled Sunglasses” are the eyeglasses-shaped drinking straws sold under various names, including the cleverly confusing: “Drinking Glasses.”

Seems likely that the design of the product began with Lipson’s 1987 design patent for a “Tubular Eyeglass Frame.” Although Lipson failed to claim “drinking straw” as an embodiment of his invention, he later patented designs for a number of novelty drinking straws.

A demonstration of the product from the Container Store:

Other names for the same product include: Wacky Glasses, Sip ’n’ Swirl, Silly Straw, Straw Glasses, etc.

(Packaging examples, after the fold…) [Read more…]

Crystal Sugar Specs: Four-eyed Packaging

Friday’s “Candy Filled Sunglasses” made me want to take a look at some other optically-inclined packages.

Back in 2009, one of the die cut window packages we featured (in a post about meaningful die cut windows) was a vintage Crystal Sugar Specs carton from Dan Goodsell’s online collection. Lots of packages have a window that reveal the contents inside, but this is the only example I know of, where you saw the contents of the box through four eye-shaped windows.

Information about this product is sketchy. It appears to have been a “sprinkles” type product that was marketed as a cereal topping. (“kids love ’em on cereals”) Must have looked neat to see multicolored sprinkles through the Cellophane lenses of the bespectacled children on the box—a boy on one side, a girl on the other.

I found a couple pictures of boxes that were sold on eBay, one of which reveals that the product was manufactured by the John E. Jennings Company of Milwaukee.

That information helped me find this trademark…

Did they make any other products? (I have no idea.)

Candy Filled Sunglasses


Following our “Nerds” thread leads us to a brand new subject: eyeglasses.

We’ll be focusing first on the Nerds “Candy Filled Sunglasses.” The package above is from Waffle Whiffer’s Flickr Photostream. According to WW, the product dates back to 1986 and this one was purchased at Toy R Us.

The patent drawings are from Eric Lipson’s design patent for a “Tubular Eyeglass Frame.” The patent was filed in 1985 so it seems to match up.

In a later utility patent, Lipson described a number of possible contents that his tubular eyeglass frames might contain, including colored liquids, vinegar & water, beads and even live brine shrimp.

(A page from Lipson’s utility patent, after the fold…) [Read more…]

Nerds Specialty Packaging

Stephanie Toole’s “Nerds Specialty Packaging” uses amorphously shaped “Easter eggs” to contain “Nerds” candy.

The abstract forms are “Nerd” shapes, based, not on the shape of the candy’s anthropomorphic mascots, but on the same amorphous candy shapes that the armless mascot creatures were also meant to resemble.

Even so, these containers still seem more anthropomorphic, than abstract. (In a Henry Moore, Venus of Willendorf sort of way.)

Another thing about Toole’s concept: any package designed to resemble its contents is inherently self-similar, and possesses a certain fractal dimension which can actually be calculated. We will not be calculating that here, however, because (in the words of Paul Ryan) “I don’t have the time. It would take me too long to go through all of the math…” and  “I don’t want to get wonky on you…”

As high-concept an idea as this is, it’s not the first nerds-shaped Nerds Candy container ever conceived of…

(Another example from 1985…) [Read more…]