Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Packaging Hunt

I have always been particularly fond of packaging (just the word gets me excited). So I've been anxious to post some of my recent findings. First, I just discovered Mariebelle Fine Chocolates has produced additions to their candy label tattoos. This adorable artwork is created by the chocolate designer’s husband, and it's enough to keep you from eating the chocolates! (Note: second photo borrowed from Jules' Cupcakes Flikr Photostream)

Second are Paulette Macarons, which I found on the Oh Joy blog last week. This was actually one of the things that got me excited about packaging again (and excited about logos; note the the mark punched out on the box).

Definitely, the sweets industry has a good corner on the market. I really love these whimsically illustrated Theo Chocolates bars, which Travis and I sampled the 3400 Phinney Chocolate factory (unusual flavors like curry chocolate).

Not having perused any design annuals recently (shockingly enough) I decided to get updated. I went to the AIGA design archives to see what the latest packaging selections were. My favorites included this candle and fragrance line, Thymes Indigenous, (designed by Duffy & Partners, who also created the Filigree packaging shown above), and the Waitrose canned foods (designed by Turner Duckworth).

My packaging hunt led me to discover a new blog, Dzine, where I discovered This Water Gold, designed by Pearlfisher; these bottles are so adorable, I cannot believe I haven't seen them before. So I checked out the Pearlfisher site and discovered the elegant black-and-white labelled spa bath products, Cowshed (odd name). The patterns on these are so inspiring I felt they deserve an entire blog post alone.

This is the perfect time to note my feelings on how terrible packaging is for the environment. No, I don't have a bunch of numeric facts to pull out; what I do know is that cardboard cereal boxes, wrappers, and cartons account for the bulk of our trash. Even though we recycle all of it, it's still a huge waste of energy. So why do I love the packaging design? I believe packaging is an art that can make objects worth cherishing, saving. So if it's beautiful enough, it doesn't end up in the trash but decorating a shelf, or being refilled to use again. For the majority of packaging,however, the solution lies in sustainable papers and environmentally-friendly dyes, etc; I'm still pretty ignorant on it all, I admit. But I have noticed that the more interested a designer is in the beauty of a product, the more likely they are to care about sustainable design.


Tysha said...

I like your commentary on the environmental impact of packaging. I run into the dilemma myself - of hating the impact, but being swept away by great packaging. It's true that it it more motivating to "reuse" well-done packaging or make excuses not to trash it. The best is when it's artful packaging made with sustainable, recyclable, or biodegradable materials! Maybe you can hunt for some of those products to tell us about! (ie. stationary with soy ink? wrapping paper that can be recycled? Hmmm...)

Rachel said...

When in Paris, my little sister Chelsea and I bought a bunch of macarons and pastries at LaDuree *just* so that we could have the boxes they came in! We will never throw them away, and every day I even use the paper shopping bag they came with to carry stuff around. :)