Packaging that is too beautiful to open

A recent obsession of mine is the site Behance. For those of you not in the know, Behance is a online creative platform which allows professionals to showcase their own work and discover other talent. Talent being the crucial word- I have spent the day (a less busy day in property management) both envious and inspired by the material on Behance- envious because I wish I was that good, and inspired as the site makes me want to go all creative, which is always a good thing on a Monday morning. While, I could fill this blog up with my Behance discoveries (warning- more examples will definitely feature later), I have chosen the stunning work of Mauro De Donatis as my starting point.

Mauro’s brief was to design the packaging for a limited edition of one can of virgin olive oil, with the premises being that-
1) The packaging had to represent Italy.
2) The company manufacturing the product are Think Global Taste Local (TGTL), a food hunting company that that aims to present the best gastronomic products from specific countries. As such, the packaging design had to be reflective of a high quality food product and also be unique- matching TGTL’s efforts to source outstanding products from small producers and find new fantastic flavours. Yummy. Plus on top of this, all TGTL products are carefully tasted by the Michelin Star Winner Nuno Mendes. Doubly delicious then.

So what exactly did Mauro do? Without much ado, here is his wonderful solution-

Mauro themes his idea around the Carnival of Venice– the typically Italian tourist scene (Merchant of Venice, anyone?), but also dramatic and captivating. The masks is also a clever touch- evoking the sensation of revealing something exciting underneath and discovery, thereby mirroring the basic purpose of the packaging.

An Italian starting-point

Mauro then steps up to a new level of ingenuity and frankly artistic genius– by modernising and personalising this traditional Venetian scene, through effectively colour-blocking and pixelating (wrong word I’m sure, perhaps veering more towards cubism..) the photo. The scene now looks like some expensive and exquisite painting. Good enough to look at, let alone eat.

And then boom- picture the whirring of the printing press and the design is on the packaging… I love how opulent the design looks, almost like a smart box of chocolates rather than olive oil. I also like how well the colours work against a sophisticated black, and how the design has a well-crafted, nostalgic quality that distinguishes it from a mass-produced product. So would I buy it? YES of course, the only problem that might arise, is that I would not want to open it.. so it is a good thing that olive oil does not go off.


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