Explosive Packaging Experience – ‘Breaking Bad’ Desk Ornament

When you combine certain elements, the results can be explosive. Just ask Walter White, the rogue science teacher in AMC’s beloved crime drama “Breaking Bad.” To commemorate the end of that landmark series, the network came up with an equally explosive combination all its own when it said “Let’s cook” with the creative printers at Highresolution [website/projects] to craft a truly unique work of art, as well as an exquisite packaging experience.

Explosive Packaging Experience - ‘Breaking Bad’ Desk Ornament - PaperSpecs

Mysterious Packaging Experience

When first presented with this item I had absolutely no idea what I was in for. In other words, it was like your typical “Breaking Bad” episode 😉

The package itself consists of a heavy-weight, turned-edge sleeve and a super-heavy drawer, both wrapped in Hollander’s Arrestox Bookcloth using the same technique employed in hardcover bookbinding.

Explosive Packaging Experience - ‘Breaking Bad’ Desk Ornament - PaperSpecs

The fabric is actually made from 100% cotton material with a water based acrylic coating for extra resistance to tears, scratches and stains. And as you can see in this case the Fern Green option was used, which is a good choice considering the show’s brand colors. On the top of the sleeve, Highresolution rendered the “Breaking Bad” logo in Green hot foil.

Explosive Packaging Experience - ‘Breaking Bad’ Desk Ornament - PaperSpecs

A Multi-Dimensional Tribute to ‘Breaking Bad’

Pulling a handy Green ribbon on the side of the drawer-box packaging dramatically reveals the contents. And quite frankly, this is where a video is worth a thousand words. That’s because what awaited me was something not just unique, but multi-dimensionally unique in a way we just don’t see that often.

Explosive Packaging Experience - ‘Breaking Bad’ Desk Ornament - PaperSpecs

For starters, a peek inside the sleeve reveals a velvet lining to ensure a smooth removal of the drawer – absolutely vital considering its weight.

Explosive Packaging Experience - ‘Breaking Bad’ Desk Ornament - PaperSpecs Explosive Packaging Experience - ‘Breaking Bad’ Desk Ornament - PaperSpecs

Fitted inside the drawer is a 2-inch-thick piece of padding – foam covered in Black velvet – containing four identical cutouts. Snuggly resting in two of them sit a pair of 2-inch acrylic cubes, each containing a glass vial at its center.

Explosive Packaging Experience - ‘Breaking Bad’ Desk Ornament - PaperSpecs

The first vial contains Bromine, the second Barium, or so the accompanying screen printed acetates inform me, as well as relaying each element’s chemical symbol and atomic number. Look closely and you can see these are actually embedded in the acrylic! (To guard against scratches to the surface, Highresolution polished each cube by hand with car wax.) Both symbols are used to make up the B’s in “Breaking Bad’s” logo, and are also visible at the bottom of the other two cut-outs.

Explosive Packaging Experience - ‘Breaking Bad’ Desk Ornament - PaperSpecs

As nothing seemed to be ticking, I went in for a closer look.

What Lies Beneath

Removing the cubes and Black padding from the box reveals that the large Green chemical symbols are actually part of a 5” x 5 “ x 1½” custom-poured acrylic base, the letters and numbers screen printed reverse image in Green, White and Black. And thanks to the transparency of the acrylic and the way they were printed, they’re visible from practically every angle. To give you some idea of the level of detail Highresolution went into with this piece, the two removable cubes are held in place by 1/8-inch routed notches on the base.

Explosive Packaging Experience - ‘Breaking Bad’ Desk Ornament - PaperSpecs

Explosive Packaging Experience - ‘Breaking Bad’ Desk Ornament - PaperSpecs

An Appropriate Ending

And because no “Breaking Bad” episode would be complete without a last-minute twist, lifting the base out of the box reveals a parting gift: a bunch of (sadly shredded) $100 bills. Not only did they help to protect the printing on the bottom of the acrylic, it’s also a subtle nod to how everyone’s ambitions in the series usually ended up being realized in ironic, tragic ways.

Explosive Packaging Experience - ‘Breaking Bad’ Desk Ornament - PaperSpecs

A Parting Gift of Our Own

Sorry “Breaking Bad” fans. Only 20 of these beautiful pieces were made, and this one is going back to Highresolution. But that doesn’t mean I’m sending you away empty handed – uh uh. To get you started on the path to designing your own amazing packaging, be sure to download the free Packaging Cheat Sheet we’ve created just for you. You’ll find it at http://bit.ly/PackagingCheat

Project Details

Title ‘Breaking Bad’ Desk Ornament Client AMC Design AMC, Highresolution Print Highresolution Paper Drawer box: Hollander’s Arrestox Bookcloth

Production Details

Printing Method Screen printing Finishing and Binding Box wrap, foil stamping, custom acrylic pieces, padding fabrication, hand assembly
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