Truly great packaging doesn’t just protect the product within, it communicates creatively without fear of ridicule or contradiction. This week we celebrate three bold examples of this, including the only product of this year’s electoral process that doesn’t cause heartburn, a paper promo that’s as cute as it is clever, and a clothing accessory package that encourages you to have your decoder ring at the ready. (Previous Cool Packaging of the Week can be found right here.)
Harper Macaw Political Collection Packaging
If you think you are sick of political talk, spare a thought to the poor people of Washington DC who are exposed to more political wonkery than anyone. You can sense some of that fed-up-ness in the packaging for DC chocolate maker Harper Macaw’s political collection, designed by the district’s own Design Army. These chocolate bars feature humorous, eye-catching wrappers that playfully skewer political discourse in America today. The line includes Left Wing (“A defiantly democratic mix of diverse dark chocolate combined with liberal amounts of socially conscious hazelnuts”) and Taxation Without Representation (“The sentiments of DC dwellers, expressed in bitter chocolate”) – choose from six bars in all.
‘Goaty’ Paper Promo Packaging
How do you demonstrate the versatility of a company’s specialty packaging papers? By creating a miniature goat barn to house delicious fruit, of course. As design agency Eminent Creative explained to Packaging of the World:
“We came up with an interesting solution to steer away from the unsightly, old wooden crates and designed a unique gift for Fine Paper Takeo’s customers – mandarin oranges housed in a vividly inked wooden ‘kandang kambing’ (goat barn) complete with 8 ‘Malaysianised’ goats! Details such as gold foil hot stamping made the printed visuals pop off the matte paper, and the convenient handle allowed for easy carrying and presentation of the fine quality of Takeo paper.”
Upton Belt Packaging
Encinitas, Calif.’s Wedge & Lever is fast becoming one of our favorite creative firms. Last time it was the glorious design riot of a book “View from a Blue Moon” – now it’s their gleefully mysterious packaging for online retailer Upton Belts. As they explain:
“We knew a unique means of communication would help foster a sense of familiarity and loyalty with our customers. Inspired by the 1930s radio show “Little Orphan Annie,” we created a secret alphabet and integrated a decoder system into the packaging. Messages and puzzles—which offer rewards— are decipherable only by those who purchase a belt. This builds curiosity, rewards repeat customers, and turns the unboxing experience into a moment of discovery. The customer’s initials are hand stamped in our secret alphabet on the back of each belt.”
Whoever thought you could have an exciting unboxing experience with a belt?!