Robert Brownjohn’s ill-fated “Bachelor” cigarette pack concept from 1961: a great example of how a package can illustrate its contents with literal isometric views on each side. (Similar to the Long Egg 10-pack carton)
Seldom straying far from a smoker’s hand, a cigarette packet is a de facto personal accessory. As such, it must be stylish and, from the tobacco company’s point of view, it should advertise their product as explicitly as possible. Brownjohn’s design for Bachelor cigarettes achieved these two aims with perfect conceptual economy. In terms of stripped-down chic, the Bachelor packet is unbeatable. Moreover, there is no better way of identifying a product by its package than simply illustrating it on the surface of the box. Why this design never went further than maquette stage is something of a mystery. Player’s Cigarettes, the manufacturer of the Bachelor brand… remained a highly conservative concern. …it is easy to imagine Brownjohn’s lack of inhibition did not endear him to the traditionalists on the Player’s board.
According to Alan Fletcher, Player’s Cigarettes reneged on the design because Brownjohn bragged about his idea around town, effectively pre-empting the product launch.
Willie Landels remembers Brownjohn filling his maquette with tampons and handing it around to the clients. This gesture is unlikely to have gone over well. In addition to straightforward provocation, it was a brilliant subversion of the box’s pretence of transparency. Brownjohn was exposing his own collusion with the social norms that govern which items are fit for public display and which must remain hidden.
(Another version of Brownjohn’s Bachelor pack, after the fold…)
(More about Robert Brownjohn, tomorrow.)
Beach Packaging Design