Top left: an Etruscan canopic jar from The British Museum collection; top center left: a man-shaped bottle from Antique-bottles.net forum; top center right: Mrs. Butterworth’s pancake syrup bottle photo from Roadsidepictures’ Flickr Photostream; top right: Mr. Bubbles bubble bath bottle photo from Roadsidepictures’ Flickr Photostream; bottom left: one of the many torso-shaped Jean Paul Gaultier perfume bottles; headless “Bare All” juice drink bottles (via the dieline); headless Calvé sauce bottles (via Enveloop.com)
4. Package as Body
The package is a little body and the product is its soul. At its most literal, this idea goes back to Egyptian sarcophagi & canopic jars—which are, after all, a sort of packaging for the deceased…“to protect the corpse and serve as a house for the ka.”
In our more recent examples, the bodies of product mascots serve as the packaging: Mrs. Butterworth, Mr. Bubbles, et al.
Often the body is truncated. I’m not sure why this is deemed acceptable. In the case of Jean Paul Gaultier, it may be an appropriate fashion reference. Those armless, headless bodies allude to dressmakers’ dummies and store manikins. But what happened to the heads of the “Bare All” juice drink and the Calvé sauce bottles? Are the bottle caps meant to suffice?
Actually, I quite like the way there is nothing at all body-like about the “Bare All” bottle shape. The metaphor relies entirely on a few well-placed lines. (Similar to last month’s Miracle Whip)
There is something limited and literal-minded about full-on representational statues as packaging. I like it much better when the metaphor is more subtle and abstract. For example…
(See subtle and abstract examples, after the fold…)
These cans and bottles all allude to different human body types—without going overboard with the anthropomorphic detailing. The most well known package of this type, of course, is the Coca Cola bottle. So well understood as a metaphor for a shapely female figure was the Coke bottle, that the comparison now cuts both ways, as in “Marilyn Monroe had a Coke bottle figure.”
Beach Packaging Design