Packaging Design

Packaging design is the visual skin that covers our world, and Print brings you the latest, most innovative projects. Print features not just beautiful, eye-catching work but sustainable, creative packaging design that reduces waste by limiting materials. We cover everything from large-scale branding initiatives to new ideas in food-label design, by the top packaging design firms everywhere.

The Fab Four's Surreal Christmas

Want a surreal Xmas treat? The Beatles’ annual Christmas records were dada, punk, and hipster rolled into one crazily irreverent, hilariously spoken and musical concoction produced on flexi discs and mailed to members of the official mop top fan-clubs in the U.K. and U.S. They were issued each year in limited editions from 1963...

When Book Jackets Were Bad, Hawkins's Were Good

Arthur Hawkins, Jr. (1903-1985) was the longtime toastmaster of New York Art Directors Club galas (he was also the Club’s president from 1945 to 1946). I saw him in that role for the first time at an awards evening at the Waldorf Astoria in the early ’80s. He was an old man then and...

Design Is Everywhere

Hotel luggage labels are jewels in the graphic design crown. Mini posters, they rank up there among other miniatures for graphic and typographic virtuosity—razor blade wrappers, poster stamps, matchbook covers, etc. There’s no wonderful Latin-sounding word for collectors, but you can be sure they are serious nonetheless. And why not? These labels in the...

Big Problem, Small Page

Big problems can be solved on small pages. A little book produced in 1919 titled Solving Advertising Art Problems, produced by Advertising Artists, Inc., a commercial art service agency in New York, was published to show commercial artists successful work—particularly the work that their artists produced. There was one mantra in this book that...

What Number Brush Did You Use?

In the pre-computer days, comps were painted or drawn, or sometimes collaged, in rough form. Art school emphasized hand skills, lettering with brush and gouache. The following painted “sketches”—from a collection of over 50 found in LA by my colleague and friend Jim Heimann of Taschen Books—are either student work for a packaging exercise,...

Great Album, Feeble Cover

You can’t tell an album by its cover. And you can never predict what Bob Dylan is really doing next. His latest album, Tempest, is amazing—possibly the best in decades (especially the title song, a rambling historical ballad about the Titanic disaster). But the album cover is feeble and amateurish. The undistinguished hand-lettered script reminds...

Corn Pone and Politics

Cornstarch is a fine, powdery starch produced by grinding, washing, and drying the endosperm of the corn until it reaches that powdery state. Cornstarch is gluten-free. It is also a staple that has become a lightning rod in corn politics. The Washington Post reported back in 2011: The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) wants to...

Elegantissima!

Louise Fili is the most elegant woman I know—no exaggeration—so I had to smile when I learned the title of her monograph was Elegantissima (Princeton Architectural Press). She’s also the most Italian Italian-American I know. (She gets Italian cable!) Louise teaches a summer workshop for the School of Visual Arts back in the old...

Still Life with Trash

Proving that one man’s trash is another man’s limited-edition silk-screen print, Dan Ibarra and Michael Byzewski, of the Minneapolis-based studio Aesthetic Apparatus, are putting a new spin on up-cycling. Seeking inspiration for a workshop, the duo, revered creators of band posters and brand identities alike, began collecting trash along Minneapolis’s Midtown Greenway, a 5.5-mile...

About to Explode . . .

On June 22 and 23, at 10 a.m., thousands of fireworks went up in auction. Morphy Auctions in Denver, Pennsylvania, had what must be a day of the rockets red glare, with more cracker packs than you could light in a lifetime placed on the block. I missed it, which is why I am...