I love packaging that actually does something—that changes or becomes part of the experience when you use the product. There are three classic examples of packages that I think do this. All were patented in the 1950’s or 1960’s and all are still in use today… 1. Stripe Toothpaste, 2. Jiffy Pop popcorn, and 3. Pillsbury spiral-wound refrigerated dough containers. I know there are other examples I haven’t thought of, but these are three that mean something to me.
There is something cool and surprising about seeing a pattern emerge where you would ordinarily expect a homogenized substance. Kids will always want to know how it was done. The original brand was “Stripe” (and “Super Stripe”). Super Stripe’s print ads had the word “News!” spelled out in striped toothpaste. More recently the Utrecht-based design firm at AutoBahn created a free Truetype font based on the same concept. (Today striped toothpaste lives on via the Colgate and AquaFresh brands.
(Jiffy Pop and Pop’n’Fresh after the jump…)
Expanding Jiffy Pop photos from Wikipedia
The expanding Jiffy Pop aluminum dome. A package that transforms as you watch it. An interesting and somehow sculptural effect.
Invented by Fred Mennen of LaPorte, Indiana. He patented the basic concept in 1953, experimented until 1958, and created the Jiffy Pop brand in 1959. Now owned by ConAgra Foods, this method of making popcorn has been largely eclipsed by micro-wave popcorn (another interactive package). The patented stove-top package is still being sold and remains popular for camping and cookouts.
The spiral-wound refrigerated dough container
There’s something fun about a pressurized product that bursts out of its package. I know I’ve always enjoyed hitting them against the edge of a counter. (Although I’ve recently learned that there are some people who are quite phobic about this explosive effect.)
Tube-shaped dough packaging first came out in the form of Ballard Oven-Ready Biscuits.
Lively Willoughby, a baker from Louisville, KY came up with the package in 1931. Nowadays, it’s Pillsbury that carries the torch of pressurized refrigerated dough containers like these. Which is fitting, since their “Pop’n’Fresh” doughboy mascot came to life from one of these containers.
If anyone else out there is interacting with packaging, please do comment…
Beach Packaging Design