Package and Pointillism

A bit more about round dots…

Like the color halftone screens and Ben-Day dots that we touched on last Friday, there’s been a growing tendency (in package design and elsewhere) to visually point out the mechanisms of color reproduction. Not entirely clear why this should be so.

With pointillist painting during the Impressionist period, (my impression is that) the viewer would first see a painting from a distance where the subject would be easily recognized. The fact that the image was actually formed by the additive color mixture of pointillist dots would only become apparent upon closer inspection.

Nowadays, this is mostly done the other way round. Now we start out up close and personal with an abstract pattern of dots or pixels and it’s like an intimate puzzle. A pointillist test of pattern recognition where sometimes you have to squint and stand back to make out what it is.

How come? Maybe it’s because we grew up interpreting primitive pixel mosaics on 8-bit screens or because we have a greater cultural acceptance of abstraction. I dunno.

1. The Abstract Packs of Jones Knowles Ritchie (and Gary Andrew Clarke)

“I was struck by this interpretation of the Mona Lisa by Gary Andrew Clarke – while remixed down to 140 exact circular dots it still has a familiarity, despite being very abstracted.

I wondered how many ‘iconic’ pack designs would fare if treated in the same way, so I asked the artist to road test a few. He kindly obliged and below are the results…. enjoy them as ‘art’ first perhaps, then try and pick out the brands.”

–Jones Knowles Ritchie (via: Packaging of the World)

2. The Krylon cans mosaic by DJ Neff

Top: Furious Five by DJ Neff at CanLove; bottom: photo of vintage Krylon spraypaint cans from UltraFlatWhitey’s Flickr Photostream

This recent work is my way of giving back to the classics. Krylon’s unique brand has been a staple for graffiti and before the cans were coming from everyone and their mother, they held it down. Jungle Green, Icy Grape, Aqua and Chrome Yellow all graced the yards and walls that build graffiti art from the beginning. Thank you Krylon, for those good years. I give you the Furious Five, created from 759 spray paint cans. (Not all Krylon though… of course )

–DJ Neff

(One more photo of DJ Neff’s Krylon can mosaic, after the fold…)

See also: Packaging Icons, Bean Can, Package as Pixel and Pixelated Products

Regarding Kellogg’s Corn Flakes and Krylon Spray Paint, we’ve done entire weeks on those subject. Krylon’s was a 3-day week, starting with a post entitled, William Burroughs: Plinking as Painting. Kellogg’s Corn Flakes got a 6-day week starting with a post entitled, Variety Pack Revisited.


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