• PrintMag

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 MyDesignShop.com.