chipiddy do dah
My much anticipated Jan/Feb 08 issue of Saveur arrived – the one where they showcase their top 100 favourite things of the past year. Listed among plenty new-to-me tasty treats, I found some of my longtime loves: Big Turk, the fantastic Canadian chocolate covered turkish delight bar; Gastronomica, a magazine that probes a little further into the hows and whys of what we eat; and Marks and Spencer’s Crisps.
These crisps might taste like ordinary potato chips (they don’t), but the packaging has them looking like they’re in a whole different strata-sphere.
Munching on these makes me feel less like I am noshing on some pedestrian high-fat, low quality, faux-food snack and more like I am treating myself to something just a little bit upper crust. Now, I am not sure if all the credit goes to the clear, sharp, refined packaging or if it is the word ‘Crisps’, that also causes me to sit up a bit straighter and actually use a napkin (though they do deserve to have every last morsel liked off of the fingers).
At any rate, the clean white bag lends a healthy vibe, the bold lettering in bright colours with a simple stack of the chips alongside easily denotes the flavour – no mistaking them, even from across the store. The gourmet taste is matched well to the premium look of the package…and to my tastebuds.
We did it. We went for broke and gutted our house --- while living in it. I know, I know: we were warned. Six months of washing dishes in a storage tub with the garden hose (sadly, I am not joking…), half-installed floors, a smattering of working light switches, and the ever-present troupe of contractors has the upcoming holidays seeming even more daunting.
With step-daughter Madeleine flying in for the week, I would have loved to have our new kitchen installed in time to cook up a gourmet’s feast, served atop a beautifully dressed table, using our finest china, and savouring it all. But it just isn’t going to happen. Rather, we’ll be squatting on paint cans, balancing paper plates of take-away (still having a good time, thanks to the company). So, in that frame of mind, I thought I’d look at some innovative take-away food packaging design. Because, hey, if I can’t have the gorgeous kitchen in time, I’d at least like the best looking indoor picnic I can muster.
When Vikram Vij, the Chef and Owner of Vij’s in Vancouver’s South Granville neighbourhood, chose to open a little sister to his world renowned, contemporary Indian restaurant, he got creative:
Before & After: iloveRobots
Old Design Top, New Design Bottom.
We haven't really featured too much toy packaging over the years, but the new I Love Robots packaging designed by Perspective: Branding is worth a mention:
"A new U.S. toy brand to debut at the internationally renowned Toy Fair in New York City, iloveRobots, crosses the robotics genre into the children's world at a time where the toy industry is overrun with manufacturer-originated and formulaic boxed products. This with the unorthodox help of internationally renowned packaged goods design and branding firm Perspective: Branding.
Pittsburgh-based Bossa Nova Robotics, iloveRobots' parent company, commercialized advanced robotic technologies from Carnegie Mellon University into innovative and entertaining consumer products. Having individual models created specifically for the children's genre but needing a competitive edge at retail, Bossa Nova Robotics reached out to long-time collaborators Perspective: Branding to create a unifying brand and genre-distinctive packaging.
"Bossa Nova's CEO Martin Hitch knew we had considerable success with food and consumer goods packaging. He wanted a totally fresh look from the outside on the formulaic approach the industry uses on packaging and branding," said Perspective: Branding's Chief Strategy Officer and Co-Founder Cal Walters.
"A manufacturer looks at their products differently than we do," continues Walters. A manufacturer doing packaging usually just thinks whether it will be fun for kids - using lots of wacky type and colors.
Breaking through the toy industry's packaging clutter meant creating a unifying global brand identity for both boys' and girls' toys. Perspective: Branding's Chief Creative Officer and Co-Founder Simon Thorneycroft explains how.
"In the branding and packaging design world, you either have to stand out or go home. At a toy store, there's an overwhelming amount of flashy products competing for both parents' and children's attention. When we studied children and how they react to various things in life: they either love or hate everything---their latest friend, teacher or toy. There isn't any lukewarm feeling. Children have 100% commitment to everything. So we created a visceral brand that reflects the ultimate fantasy of how story-book robots make a kid feel, rather than revolving around the functionality of the product. The brand name iloveRobots is an idea and visual identity that both parents and children can relate to."
Continue reading about iloveRobots and more images of the new packaging after the jump.
Method Laundry - The Evolution of Laundry Detergent
Method has just taken the wraps off their next generation of laundry detergent, a patent pending highly concentrated formula, 50 loads in one small bottle:
"Big news, people against dirty! a new laundry day is dawning. we’re thrilled to introduce you to the world’s smartest laundry detergent: method laundry detergent with smartclean technology™. this revolutionary new detergent is powered by a patent-pending formula in a custom-designed pump bottle that will transform laundry as we know it. there’s no time like a new year and a new decade to say out with the big ol’ jug, and in with the new."
Drummond Lawson, Method's Director of Sustainability explains some of the eco benefits of the new Method Laundry:
"The biggest problem is that the majority of the liquid in regular 2x detergent isn’t actually detergent. it’s water. which is a pretty silly thing to buy and carry around and pour into a washing machine. in fact, we think they should all change their name to ‘detergent infused water’. the consequence of all this detergent-infused water is that each year, tons and tons of excess plastic bottling and millions of gallons of water are shipped around the country, taking up space, wasting fuel, and making laundry into one heavy, drippy headache.
We thought there had to be a smarter way, and sure enough, our green chefs found the key. they designed a high-powered, plant-based detergent to contain only the water needed to hold it all together, which means it is 4 times more concentrated than the plain old 2x stuff. it’s so revolutionary, we are patenting this formula and are calling it smartclean technology. the result is that load-for-load, method laundry with smartclean technology uses 70% less plastic than the jugs, takes out all that excess water, and gets cleaning power into a handy, lightweight pump bottle.
We also knew that the hard-to-read caps on laundry jugs mean most people unknowingly use far more detergent than they really need to, and worse yet, that the excess detergent doesn’t make clothes any cleaner, it just washes down the drain and out into the world. so we tried an array of designs, and found that making an easy-to-use, no drip pump solved both the overdosing and the blue-tinted mess. given how concentrated this detergent is, all you need is just a little amount – ¼ the dose of the leading national brand – so a pump also makes it easy to exactly measure out what you need. no guess work or eye-balling!"
Method's industrial designer Josh Handy discusses the evolution of the packaging:
"Hey people against dirty, i am method’s industrial designer which means i am responsible for the design of our bottles. i start by taking pen to paper before i move to the computer. take a look at some of the early drawings for the method laundry bottle. who knew these chicken scratches would lead to such a great product? me, that’s who!"
"In this sketch i started exploring the ways we could use an existing pump and change it so that it met our usability and durability requirements."
The Dieline Awards 2011 : Best Of Show - PUMA Clever Little Bag
Category: Best Of Show
Description: The Clever Little Bag is PUMA’s innovative replacement for the traditional shoebox; it’s a bag and box combination comprised of a flat cardboard sheet that folds into a box structure to hold the shoes, and fits seamlessly into a cloth bag, which keeps the box shape of the cardboard and protects the shoes.
The cardboard is die cut from one piece of material and has no additional printing or assembly, thus it can be returned to the stream faster and more efficiently. The excess material from the master sheet becomes the insert for the shoe, replacing the superfluous tissue used in current packaging. Not only is the design functional and environmentally friendly, the “Clever Little Bag” is an iconic brand element upon leaving the store as it replaces the plastic shopping bag. It also maintains the most important elements from the traditional shoebox – it stacks for shipment, easy to handle for transport, and protects the shoes.
It was designed to fit seamlessly within the established PUMA brand, using the same coloring and iconography to create a holistic experience that consumers can take home and use time and again. With our ‘Clever Little Bag’, Puma begins the next phase of its sustainability program, making a big impact on a big industry. This packaging solution uses 65% less cardboard than the original shoebox. The bag itself is made of non-woven polyester consisting of polypropylene, which is recyclable. It is stitched with heat, not woven, which means less work and waste during production.
The ability to re-use the bag is also a fundamental part of this design, furthering the system’s environmental reach. The millions of shoes shipped in this bag will have a dramatic effect on PUMA’s production, saving 8,500 tons of paper, 20 million Mega joules of electricity, 1 million liters fuel oil and 1 million liters of water. During transport, 500,000 liters of diesel is saved and lastly, replacing traditional shopping bags will save almost 275 tons of plastic. With this minimalist approach, PUMA plans to re-envision other product packaging systems and inspire other companies to follow suit.