We’ve already featured a few of Robert Brownjohn’s ground-breaking graphic design ideas.
Here’s another one: the package is just a small part of a larger whole—(i.e.: the display.)
By itself, the package and its message may seem truncated and incomplete, but lined up in a row or stacked one on top of the other, a bigger picture emerges.
During his time as partner at Brownjohn, Chermayeff & Geismar Associates, Brownjohn is credited with designing the 1959 proposed packaging for “Wash Up!” moist towelettes, above.
Among the designs in BCG’s portfolio was a package for ‘Wash-up’ cubes… with a quirky typographic wrapping. Individually they are hard to read, but stacked one of top of another, the message is clear.
For rectangular boxes, applying this technique is often a simple matter of letting the type—(or photo, or graphics, etc.)—wrap around a corner. Seen by itself, at a 3/4 angle, everything is visible and perfectly legible. Judiciously stacked together, each box can be made to complete the cropped panel of its adjoining neighbor.
These “You Complete Me” packs are not really incomplete, but one at a time, in isolation, they may be hard to fully comphehend.
Top row: 1973-74 Poloroid packaging by Paul Giambarba; 2nd row, left: the Andy Warhol-style bottle illustrations by Design Laboratory at Central Saint Martin’s School of Art & Design join at the corners when displayed in a group (via: The Dieline); oon right: Maikiibox packaging for USB pendrives (via: Packaging of the World); 3rd row, left: on right: Guzman Gastronomia boxes by Marnich & Associates with super-graphic, wrap-around typography (via: Lovely Package); on right: Minute Maid cartons by Duffy & Partners and CMA Brand Presence; 4th row, left: Colin Dunn’s vitamin packaging; on right: packaging for Mesoestetic’s line of men’s skin products by Espulga + Associates—these boxes have numerals that wrap around a corner, although their photos here are slightly misleading (upper photo shows two “1” boxes & two “2” boxes in a row, while lower photo shows single “1” & “2” boxes, shot at an angle); bottom row: Comtech light bulb packaging by ONY (via: Lovely Package)
Surprisingly, a similar idea is sometimes attempted with cylindrical bottles and cans…
(Cylindrical completion, after the fold…)
Makes for a good online photo, but here’s the problem:
The Coca Cola case only works here because each bottle was carefully oriented to face its logo in our direction. Seen from a different angle—from just about any other angle—and the logos would no longer line up so cleverly. (Unlikely that anyone would bother to set it up this way in a store display.)
Even with the rectangular boxes, it’s much more likely that the “Wash Up!” cubes or the “Minute Maid” cartons would be displayed correctly, since all the action is on the front panel and there’s no need for alternated stacking.
If the person stacking packages in the grocery store is willing to make the effort to alternate the orientation—(and it’s a big “if”)—then maybe boxes like the Poloroid Boxes or the Guzman boxes get displayed in the optimal “You Complete Me” manner.
Beach Packaging Design