We Want Portho Stick In Our Belly Right Now

By Bill McCool

If you’ve ever had a friend that doesn’t like popsicles, then you should longer be friends with this vile, wretched human being. Who hates a popsicle? Hell, they even put them in cocktails now. They’re delicious.

There’s no argument: popsicles are truly awesome and there’s perhaps no better packaging that celebrates frozen treats and all their glory better than Portho Stick. Released by one of Argentina’s finest purveyors of ice cream, Portho Gelato needed an eye-catching package with a distinctive identity for their line of popsicles.

“It needed to be a practical and simple box,” designer Maria Oldecop says. “Easy to pack and carry with an adaptable image for different formats and a fun style to attract a young audience. Once we got that clear, I started the illustration process. After the style was approved, I developed different prototypes for the box, until I came up with a closing system that adjusted perfectly to the popsicle stick.”

Having recently graduated in 2016 from San Juan’s National University in Argentina, the design for Portho Stick was one of Maria’s first commercial projects. And judging from the expertly crafted design of the package, you wouldn’t know that it was her first time creating digital illustrations as she had to learn on the fly as she was drafting up the work. “I have learned not to limit the solutions to the skills and resources that I have and to challenge myself,” she says.

The playful illustrations are no coincidence as she wanted to capture all of the feelings you have when you eat ice cream.

“I come from a very hot city,” Maria says, “around 40° C in summer [editor’s note: that’s 104° Fahrenheit, you non-Googling Americans]. So ice cream is a very important part of our diet. Having an ice cream on a really hot day can change your entire mood. Even for a moment, you can escape from the heat and your body feels like a little snowflake. That's what I tried to reflect in the illustrations, how it would be inside the world of the snowflake.”

Filled with mountains of popsicles, cones, strawberries, and ice cream, it’s exactly the kind of cheerful and fun packaging that will appeal to ice cream lovers of all ages.

“I really like the aesthetic, it kind of feels like childhood to me,” Maria says.


Bill McCool
Bill McCool is a freelance writer based out of Los Angeles. Though new to the world of design, he has always been a storyteller by trade and he seeks to inspire and cultivate a sense of awe with the work and artists he profiles. When he's not winning over his daughters with the art of the Dad joke, he is usually working on a pilot, watching the Phillies, or cooking an elaborate meal for his wife.