February 13, 2014
Vintage candy box (from Etsy) & Joseph Ehrenfeld 1968 patent drawings
Heart-shaped candy boxes. Some sources say they were “invented” by Richard Cadbury, but if he did invent them, he does not appear to have ever patented the idea.
Others, however, designed, applied for (and were granted) patent protection for lots and lots of heart-shaped candy packages.
One of these was Joseph Ehrenfeld. Since the early 1900s, heart-shaped boxes were a specialty of the A. Klein & Co. that Ehrenfeld took over from his uncle, Adolph Klein. (See: Unfolding the Story of the Heart-Shaped Box)
Joseph’s design patent illustrations for heart-shaped boxes with pleated ribbons and lace are shown above and in the upper left corner of the image below. Not that his was the only solution to the problem of how to best construct a heart-shaped box.
Usually these are rigid set up boxes, rather than folding cartons, but as with most affairs of the heart, there are exceptions.
(2 vintage ideas for heart-shaped box recycling, after the fold…) (more…)
February 12, 2014
What shape is this exactly?
The Archimedean solid, known as the small (or “lesser”) rhombicuboctahedron…
…with its triangular faces forming concave depressions, in this case.
February 10, 2014
This invention is directed towards a means and method for interconnecting containers into structures, such as toys, displays or furniture as well as to provide packaging alternatives. The invention particularly relates to modifying a conventional sixpack of beverage cans so as to form the aforesaid structures without use of additional components. Beverage cans are specifically utilized as said containers. The containers themselves have been modified such that they may be fastened together in a vertical manner without requiring any collars or other types of independent connecting means. “Connectors” have been provided for connecting the cans together in a side by side relationship. The interconnected containers form functional or promotional structures or a combination thereof as well as providing for packaging alternatives. Consequently, this serves as both a conservation and marketing aid.
The patent goes on to illustrate various ways that the tops and bottoms of beverage cans could be threaded, enabling them to be screwed together.
See also: Coca-Cola Light(s)
February 6, 2014
Congressman Grimm in 2011 with a can of Coke Zero (photo by Dan MacLeod via: The Brooklyn Paper)
A former Marine & undercover FBI agent, Grimm’s first threat was to throw the reporter over a balcony. His second threat was to break the reporter in half — “like a boy!”
It’s this 2nd threat that I think is the most revealing and, depending on your political point of view, either reaffirms Staten Island’s branding or sets it back a few decades.
With Jonathan Horowitz’s “Diet Cola for Men War” we learned that, real men do not drink “diet” cola and that, for men such as these, there are manlier brands of zero-calorie soda like Pepsi Max and Coke Zero.
Judging from the words that Grimm used to express his anger at reporter Scotto (for asking an off-limits question about the Federal probe into his campaign financing) — “You’re not man enough. You are not man enough. I’ll break you in half… like a boy!” — manhood is certainly a core concern.
Some of his constituents, of course, will applaud his brash style, but others in the same congressional district may be cringing at yet another blow to Staten Island’s reputation.
New York magazine characterized his threats as “Staten Island–y” — as if everyone knows that Staten Island is the NYC borough where men are men (and boys are broken in half.)
“I was wrong. I shouldn’t have allowed my emotions to get the better of me and lose my cool. I have apologized to Michael Scotto, which he graciously accepted, and will be scheduling a lunch soon.”
(Some related video, after the fold…) (more…)
February 4, 2014
First thing I noticed about the package design for the new Medtronic/Minimed 530G insulin pump is that they’ve moved away from the somewhat CPG style of their earlier pump packaging. (see: “Diabetics: let them eat cake”)
Now more like one of Apple’s spare white boxes with a single “hero shot” of electronic eye candy.
In this year’s Fortune 500 issue, this question was asked: Is Medtronic the Apple of medical technology?
Medtronic’s CEO, Bill Hawkins, response was: “I’d say Apple is the Medtronic of computing.”
A more subtle surprise: a spot varnish star burst (not that evident until you remove the shrink wrap) meant to represent the device’s wireless communication features.
January 31, 2014
Maybe it’s because of Monty Python’s leering mockery of “randy” as a frisky adjective. Or because of “Randy Marsh” (Stan’s stupid father on South Park).
Or, for a more recent example, see Tina Fey’s adult son from a previous relationship: Randy.
Whatever the reason, it’s obvious to anyone named Randy, that our brand has suffered some serious setbacks over the years.
That’s why I was so happy to learn about the Randolph Rubber Company’s multitude of Randy-based trademarks and logo designs. Above, the sneaker maker’s seal of quality—“Quality by Randy”—applied to their products without irony. Here, at last, is archival proof that, before an unfortunate comedic/cultural shift, being “Randy” was nothing to be embarrassed about or ashamed of.
The Randolph Rubber Company (also known as Randolph Manufacturing Company and Randy Manufacturing) is, perhaps best remembered for being the first company to come out with a skateboard shoe—The Randy 720 (with “Randyprene”) was introduced in 1965. The Randolph Rubber Company was also where Paul Van Doren (founder of the aforementioned Vans) got his start, but we’re getting ahead ourselves, chronology-wise.
The Randolph company was not named for its founder, but for its location in Randolph, Massachusetts. Someone there, sensing correctly that the nickname “Randy” was in its ascendancy, began giving their shoes trademarked “Randy” names in the 1950s and continued the practice for twenty years.
In 1958, three of their trademarks were opposed by the International Shoe Company, who claimed a likelihood of consumer confusion with their trademark: “The Rand Shoe”— a men’s dress shoe brand.
In the fall of 1949 or 1950, (the record is not too clear), Randolph adopted and first used RANDY on basketball shoes, and use of RANDY alone and in combination with other words has continued since that time. As the line expanded to include shoes for tennis, bowling, yachting, gym and other sports, casual shoes, and snow boots, the following were used: TWO GUN RANDY, RANDY HI-TOP, RANDY ARCH KING,RANDY KORT KING, RANDY COWBOY, RANDY LEISURE KINGS, RANDY LEISURE QUEENS, RANDY LITTLE FIFERS, RANDY GOLF KINGS, RANDY BOATSHU, RANDY YACHTSHU, RANDY WINTER QUEEN and RANDY WEATHER QUEEN.
… International used its various “RAND” marks on leather shoes before Randolph used its various “RANDY” marks on its canvas and other fabric footwear and that each enjoys a substantial business goodwill symbolized by the respective marks. The record contains no evidence of confusion in the past. The only question for determination is whether or not there is likelihood of confusion in the future with the inference that International will be damaged by Randolph’s registrations of “TWO GUN RANDY,” with design, “RANDY HI-TOP” and “RANDY GOOFIES.”
The Trademark Reporter, 1966
The list above is still incomplete. There was also Randy Athlete, Randy-Pedic, Randy Playground King and probably more. Plus, there were a number licensed properties—Elvis Presley Sneakers by Randy, Batman Sneakers by Randy and Peter Max Sneakers by Randy. I wonder, did so many “Randy” trademarks dilute the brand?
A lot of these “Randy” brand sneakers were manufactured for kids and, judging from the trademark dates, they were in stores during my childhood. Strangely, I don’t remember anyone ever thinking to buy me a pair!
I’ve read that “Randys” were, for a time, the third largest sneakers brand. How cool might it have been to wear my own pair of “Randy Hi-Tops” or “Randy Kort Kings?”
(More archival Randy branding, after the fold…) (more…)
January 28, 2014
And speaking of Fold-Pak, its trademark with the puzzle-like, interlocking letters, really struck me as the kind of logo you’d see in the sixties. (Even though, it was first used in 1977.)
First time I gave any thought to this type of typography, was in the mid 1960s when a classmate of my mom’s gave me a hand-lettered birthday card with goofy interlocking letters. The kind of lettering, I now know, they call casual.
“Casual lettering’s spontaneous quirks often help letters interact with their neighbors. Bouncy letters create a rhythm that guides the eye through an otherwise unbalanced word. Interlocking letters poke at and bump around each other, fitting together like a jigsaw puzzle.”
Bruce Willen & Nolen Strals,
Lettering & Type: Creating Letters and Designing Typefaces
In those days, I associated this style of lettering with Ed Roth’s “Rat Fink” characters.
In retrospect, I now realize that this was a part of a much wider trend which included the work of another Ed — Ed Benguiat whose penchant for interlocking typography has been duly noted and more recently monetized by House Industries:
“Ed Interlock makes the creation of unique word marks and headlines as easy as typing on your computer keyboard. Ed Interlock utilizes Artificial Ed-telligence (patent pending) to auto-magically juggle around otherwise similarly arranged letter combos for a more hand-done appearance—and it happens right before your eyes as you type!”
(Shoes, TV shows, toys and a “mystery logo,” after the fold…) (more…)
January 23, 2014
The “SmartServ” container by Fold-Pak is a remarkable shape. Simultaneously round and square, it was designed by Liming Cai in 1995 for Dopaco, Inc.
This type of take out food container or “food pail” has a sealed round base and a folded square top.
Like the the classic Fold-pak® container, the SmartServ was also originally used as container for Chinese takeout.
But where Fold-Pak now specifically means Chinese takeout —(in the minds of most Americans)— the SmartServ container is promoted by Fold-Pak as a suitable container for other cuisines.
For example: pasta.
I’m guessing, since Fold-Pak does not appear to offer SmartServ food pails in natural brown kraft, that perhaps the Kasa Joe’s container came from another supplier.
Meanwhile, Kasa Joe’s pasta is not yet widely available for public consumption…
“Kasa Joe’s Pasta Boxes were available to buy at Copenhagen Airport for 2 weeks of trial, during which we received lots of good feedback from both customers and samplers! We’re now working on the next step.”
(More Fold-Pak containers, after the fold…) (more…)
January 21, 2014
… a round peg fills up about 78.54% of a square hole, whereas a square peg only fills up about 63.66% of a round hole.
Maybe that’s why we sometimes see round tins in rectangular boxes, but square bottles … are rarely packed in cylindrical boxes, since the latter is a less economical use of space.”
The implications for structural package designers is pretty clear, but it also makes me want to look for those (rare) instances of square stuff contained in cylindrical boxes.
This 2009 package redesign of the Jenga box by Dunn and Rice is one example.
Amazon’s consumer reviews of Jenga’s cylindrical packaging were mixed. Some praised the package for easier storage since one could just dump in the blocks without neatly stacking them. Other criticized the over-sized package for no longer enabling them to store the blocks, neatly stacked and ready for the next game.
At any rate, the Jenga package appears to have been redesigned again last year as a rectangular container, this time by BXC.
(One other square pack / round container example, after the fold…) (more…)
January 17, 2014
I recently wrote about artist, Leo Fitzmaurice’s “detexted” packaging sculptures, in which all typography had been removed. One of the brands that he subjected to this makeover was Marlboro cigarettes in his 2005 “Misconstruct.”
In 2006 Marlboro began selling their familiar cigarette pack in Canada with all of its familiar graphic design elements (Philip Morris crest, red roof shape, etc.) — but without the brand name, Marlboro. This was because, in Canada, the Marlboro brand name belongs to another tobacco company. Removing their brand name was an effective workaround.
This case concerns the world’s top-selling cigarette product, which is sold in Canada by the Plaintiffs in association with certain design and word marks also associated with the product elsewhere in the world. Internationally, this product is called “Marlboro”. In Canada, the Plaintiffs do not use the word mark MARLBORO in association with their product because that word mark is registered in the name of a competitor, one of the Defendants. Rather, in Canada, the Plaintiffs call their product “Rooftop”, in reference to the design elements used on the package. However, the word mark ROOFTOP does not appear on the individual cigarette packages. This appears to be the first time that a cigarette product has been sold in Canada (and, quite possibly, in the world) without any brand name appearing on the package.
…It is also interesting to note that the word MARLBORO printed on the Philip Morris’ Marlboro cigarettes close to the filter has been replaced by the rooftop design on the cigarettes sold in the no-name ROOFTOP packages.