Recently spotted at Barnes & Nobel: Issue No. 36 of McSweeney’s Quarterly—a “head box” with illustrations by Matt Furie. (Note: Illustration on bottom of box shows that this is actually a severed head box.)
This package features the kind of orthographic graphic design we’ve discussed before, but usually it’s the contents of the box that are projected onto the side panels. Here, it’s more like a “serving suggestion” of what you might make of the box’s contents—(your head being the presumptive destination of the ideas contained).
But besides serving as a repository for literary contents, an orthographically projected head also makes a nice diagram to explain our human predisposition toward rectangular, Cartesian coordinates. With eyes facing forward, an ear on either side, it’s only natural we navigate the world in egocentric, rectangular directions: forward, backward, left, right, up, down.
In an earlier post about close-packing polyhedrons, I wondered why packaging so often seems to skew rectangular. Egocentric coordinates could be one explanation. Our skulls may be round, but our ideas are definitely square.
The video below shows what’s in the box.
(The sound track is: “Poodle in the Hen House”)
Beach Packaging Design