Alex Lee – Starbucks packaging


Starbucks Corporation is an American global coffee company and coffeehouse chain based in Seattle, Washington. Starbucks is the largest coffeehouse company in the world, with 20,891 stores in 62 countries, including 13,279 in the United States, 1,324 in Canada, 989 in Japan, 851 in China, 806 in the United Kingdom, 556 in South Korea, 377 in Mexico, 291 in Taiwan, 206 in the Philippines, 171 in Thailand, and 167 in Germany.

The first Starbucks opened in Seattle, Washington, on March 30, 1971 by three partners that met while students at the University of San Francisco; English teacher Jerry Baldwin, history teacher Zev Siegl, and writer Gordon Bowker. The three were inspired to sell high-quality coffee beans and equipment by coffee roasting entrepreneur Alfred Peet after he taught them his style of roasting beans.Originally the company was to be called Pequod, after a whaling ship from Moby-Dick, but this name was rejected by some of the co-founders. The company was instead named after the chief mate on the Pequod, Starbuck. 



The 1971 Starbucks logo was the old sixteenth-century Norse woodcut logo of a two-tailed mermaid, or siren, encircled by the store’s original name, Starbucks coffee, tea and spice. That early siren, is supposed to be as seductive as the coffee itself.


In 1987 the logo had a transformation as the melding of the two companies Giornarle and Starbucks came together. They came up with a design were they kept the original siren with her crown, but made her more contemporary, dropping the tradition-bound brown, and changed the logos colour to a green.


Now the logo has revolutionized again in 2011 the logo has lost the title of Starbucks coffee that boarded around the image of the girl and the negative space that was once black and white is now green and white. The packaging logo has now evolved itself to a point where it will look more suitable for the future. 




Andru: tea packaging

We can see a return to the original imagery used on tea packaging back in the early 1900’s. Originally the Indian iconography played a major part in tea packaging, as tea company proprietors wanted to market the product as an “exotic” product from a far away mystical land. This was later phased out as I suspect rich white people didn’t want to be reminded of the fact that their morning ‘cuppa’, was the result of third world labor and unethical trade. Today, many tea companies are proud of their efforts to make tea production farer for all, and even the most common brands such as Taylors and Nerada, offer fair trade products within their range.

The use of traditional Indian paisley patterns has been adopted by several present day tea packages, giving the product an authentic vibe. Most ’boutique’ style tea packaging these days has some sort of vintage style contained within in. Whether it be the typography or the photography, elements of the old are all the rage……for now.

Darjeeling Orange Pecco Tea Sample Tin: Dates from c 1905.riquet-darjeeling-sample-60 Sir_Thomas_J_Lipton_Darjeeling_Tea_Bag_0000x0000_0



Cigarette Packaging Designs


Back in the 1960’s the packaging on cigarettes show smoking as cool and fashionable, with advertising campaigns portraying smoking as stylish, feminine, sophisticated and quite attractive.

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Virginia Slims by Philip Morris (above) was introduced in 1968. This cigarette packaging depicted women as independent and successful with catchy tag lines such as the infamous “You’ve Come A Long Way Baby.” It portrays female smoking as a way to express one’s independence, as well as a way to be particularly stylish and sexy.


Now days the packaging has changed dramatically due to the harm cigarettes are causing, using graphic pictures of things like diseased lungs and rotten teeth that appear next to the text warnings. It is quite obvious that they are trying to get a message across on how harmful and deadly cigarettes are.

Milk Advertisement in the 1960th and Today

In the 1960th

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Historically, dairy advertising and public relations efforts, along with government programs, had helped to build the widely held belief that drinking milk was the key to good health, particularly for children. Drinking milk linked the consumer to the dairy farms out in the rural countryside, a space implied to be healthier, both morally and hygienically.

The Milk labels in the 1960th displayed happy healthy children drinking milk, mothers feating the children milk or young slim sexy women drinking milk. The labels were colorful and bright, the typography playful, handwritten brushstrokes were used widely.

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Today Milk Labels are simple and clean. They are often displaying nature elements, like leaves, the rising sun, flowers, happy animals (in the 60th happy children – in 2010 happy cows or goats). The variety of milk products is abundant and the competition high. Companies that want to stand out and be competitive in the market focus on organic, clean milk. Although alternative milk product not produced from Cow Milk are more and more popular and in focus of advertisement campaigns such as Rice Milks, Nut Milks, Goats Milk.

X-Men Comic Covers/Packaging

X-Men comics covers have changed over the decades in various ways and artistic forms. The original covers in the 1960’s were an eye grabber. They would showcase the protagonists incredible abilities in hand-drawn and starkly coloured images. It would depict the group in heroic deeds or facing some form of epic battle. The font would seem to leap off of the page and draw you in as did the characters appear to themselves. These were enough to draw in the market decade. Now, much more is expected from the once child-aimed market of comic novels. As the children who once bought these comic books in the 1960’s have grown so to has the form and execution of art. In this day, X-Men covers are barely recognisable from their original heritage. No longer do they display massive battles and retro colour schemes and the execution of superhuman abilities, though some still appear. The current X-Men covers have matured alongside their fans. They are darker and far-more thought provoking then their 20th century counterparts, reaching out to the expectations of an eager audience. They encompass more mature concepts such as violence, war, sex, death, discrimination and loss. The covers have also become more character orientated, exposing generally a single character. These elements are showcased on the covers and are as eyegrabbing for fans now as the original ‘retro’ covers were in the day. However, we still see these original concepts are occasionally seen in various covers.ImageImageImageImage

Lego Packaging Design


Ole Kirk Christiansen was a carpenter trying to make a living in the farming village of Denmark. When the depression hit his construction orders dwindled to nothing and he began to make small wooden toys to survive. Soon these wooden toys became the focus of his business and in 1934 he renamed his “company” Lego. After the war he invested in a plastic injection molding machine – the first in Denmark. By 1949 he was manufacturing a variety of plastic toys including a building block named the Automatic Binding Brick.


By this time his Ole’s son, Godtfred was helping with the management of the family enterprise. Unlike his father, who was happy to wrap his wooden toys in brown craft paper, Godtfred believed in the idea of proper packaging and promotion. The Automatic Binding Bricks were among the first to receive a 4-color illustrated box



Of course Godtfred still had no concept of brand identity so every early box was a one-off design exercise. The Automatic Binding Bricks didn’t sell particularly well, but Ole and Godtfred stuck with the idea. In 1952 they came up with a shorter, more descriptive name – Lego Mursten.

1955 Godtfred organized all of the Lego Mursten sets around a single, common theme – the Town Plan. He called it the System i Leg (System of Play) and with this System came new boxes.


Lego had been sold as basic or gift sets small supplementary sets, but the new town plan introduced the concept of specific model sets. Over the next two years Lego released several architectural sets that were packaged in what many consider be the most beautiful of all Lego boxes.

In 1959 Helge Torpe was employed by Godtfred as the marketing director and they opened a photography department. It was Helge who became responsible for the increasingly sophisticated graphics and displays, as well as a much more comprehensive approach to marketing. In 1960 he completely revamped the promotional materials for the company. The cartoon-like LEGO Mascot, dating back to 1954, was replaced by a new robot-like mascot made, appropriately, from LEGO Bricks. The mascots were used in all of LEGO marketing including boxes, idea books and advertisements


These new boxes, which featured a series of professionally shot images using actual models, were intended to be used in all of their European markets. It was the company’s first attempt to create a unified graphic approach to their marketing and advertising. By the 1970s Lego was sold in Europe, North and South America and Japan. The beautiful 1973 box and logo redesign, clearly Swiss influenced, was the first attempt at a true international standard:





Behind the squeaky clean….


As is prevalent with most trends, what goes around comes around.

This same rule even applies to mundane products such as soap, with companies repackaging and rejigging their image by taking things back to basics and marketing old school styles to appeal to the modern day customer.

Take a look at the packaging used back in the 1893.


not too dissimilar to the look of the products we use today…..

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So how did we get here? Through a widely, overexercised use of color, excessive branding and cheesy shapes and designs.

The 90’s in particular saw soap designs merging into novelty shapes such as butterflies and love hearts to rope in the younger market.

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And while this style was hugely popular with the youth market (we all fell victim to the odd body shop birthday gift purchase) this method detracted the older and more lucrative market, by cheapening the product. In turn soaps then took on the olden day, classic aesthetic of the 1920’s and 30’s soap designs which is what has been more heavily used today.