While the structure and graphics of packaging often invoke metaphors to convey what they contain—(honeycomb-shaped honey jars and the like)—there are a number of metaphors that are used in packaging that point more to the roles that the packaging, itself, plays. (As product container, protection, brand advertising, etc.)
As often happens here, I began looking for a few examples to illustrate a short list of fundamental packaging metaphors, but then I found way too many for just one post. This will, therefore, be the first in a series of posts, each focusing on a different packaging metaphor.
1. Package as Clothing
Rocombe ice cream packaging by Reach Design, Ltd.; middle row, left: “Absolut Masquerade” bottle; on right: Nusa Kitchen soup containers by Thirdperson; bottom left: Zipp's Fruit Infuzions bottles by Parker Williams; on right: an Eristoff Vodka “Christmas” bottle
This relates directly to the anthropomorphic package concept, but in a more subtle way. Trade dress. The idea being, that packaging a product is like getting dressed. (And conversely, that opening a package is like undressing.) That’s the basic metaphor of it. And although it’s a clear example of how people identify with products & brands, it’s not quite as literally anthropomorphic as putting arms, legs, & facial features on a package. It’s more like the products here have somehow donned clothing—(the same as we, humans, do)—while still remaining inanimate, albeit well-dressed, objects.
Beach Packaging Design