Accordion Packs


Although one of the packages above is literally an accordion-shaped package, by “accordion pack” I really mean it more generally, as packages, designed “with features resembling an accordion or its bellows.”

With a need to contain varying quantities of a product, the bellows-like ability to smoothly expand and contract is a useful feature that many packages aspire to. The folded gusset of the once ubiquitous brown paper bag is, perhaps, the simplest application of this mechanism.

Here are 5 (more recent) examples:


1. Auberge du Soleil’s “squeeze box” package (designed by Evelio Mattos of Design Packaging Inc.) uses an accordion-like structure, first to protect, and then to expose its contents…

Built completely out of folding board, the squeeze box concept developed for Auberge du Soleil Napa Valley is 100% recyclable. The hand-made truffles are well protected by the internal divider which moves with the box and allows for optimal product display.

Evelio Mattos, LuxCrux


2. Camille Bloch’s “Accordéon” is an assortment of 6 Swiss chocolate bars, contained in a “twin-pack” of tins, connected by a bellows. According to Global Packaging Gallery, this package includes a “music module which plays Swiss music.” I’m interpreting that to mean that the bellows are merely conceptual, that electronic accordian music is emitted and that this package is a simulacrum and not a fully functioning “wind instrument.” (Correct me if I’m wrong.)


3. Popular Noise’s record cover construction for their series of 3-issue “record releases” is also an accordion related package. (via: The Dieline) The bellows-like expansion, is particularly remarkable, considering it appears to be made from a single, unglued piece of rectangular paper:

“The packaging folds out to a beautiful letter-pressed poster containing information about the Journal, the musicians, and the compositional process.”

The Journal of Popular Noise

(Examples 4 & 5, after the fold…)


4. Yuan Gao’s pasta box expands to reveal a hidden message:

This virtuoso pasta package is built on a bellows system adjusting the box to its content. Once the box gets its minimal size, it is suggested to give the rest of the pastas to the community. The typography stretches and the initial word “pasta” becomes “pastas are made to be shared.”

–Sylvain Allard, Packaging UQAM


5. CrushPak applies the accordion principle to yogurt cups…

CrushPak containers are moulded with accordion-style pleated sides… The packs are deliberately not labelled on the sides to allow the consumer to see the bellows of the accordion design.

Danimals Yogurt in CrushPaks” Best in Packaging, 2009

Randy Ludacer
Beach Packaging Design



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