Trashed and Found

Debbie Millman designs packaging. Sometimes she comes across her own work abandoned in the streets.
Burger King wrapper, Los Angeles 
No matter when it happens, it stops me in my tracks. I could be rushing to work, racing through an airport, or out for a night on the town, and it still causes me to pause, stare, and smile. Please note: I’m not referring to a celebrity sighting or a particularly angelic baby. What causes my knees to quake, what provokes my heart to quiver and my soul to sing is the sight of garbage. But not just any garbage—it has to be my garbage, the trashed packaging I helped design. Whenever I encounter the banished, empty wrappings, I can’t resist taking a photograph to immortalize the moment. To me, it is proof that someone, somewhere, enjoyed something I put my heart and soul into, and which I bravely and sentimentally released into the world. I only hope these castoffs end up recycled.
Twizzlers wrapper, Brooklyn, New York
Hershey’s wrapper, New York City
Tropicana bottle, Chicago
Rubbermaid tub, Denali National Park, Alaska
Häagen-Dazs carton, San Francisco
Pepperidge Farm package, Los Angeles
Celestial Seasonings pouch, Los Angeles
Orville Redenbacher’s bag, New York City
Kleenex package, Neenah, Wisconsin 
This article is from the August 2012 issue of Print, which is devoted to trash. Purchase the issue, or download a PDF version, at
Article, Featured, In Print

About Debbie Millman

Debbie Millman is a designer, author, educator and brand strategist. She host of the award-winning podcast “Design Matters,” the world’s first podcast on design; Chair of the world’s first Masters in Branding Program at the School of Visual Arts; the editorial and creative director of Print Magazine and President Emeritus of AIGA. She is the author of six books on design and branding.

One thought on “Trashed and Found

  1. KirkLittell

    “Whenever I encounter the banished, empty wrappings, I can’t resist taking a photograph to immortalize the moment.” Is this “article” some sort of joke, Print? What a load of pretentious BS. Memo to self, cancel Print subscription.