Monday, September 26, 2011

Student Work: Tim Sumner

Tim Sumner's work is clean, modern, and lovely.  I especially like this cheese packaging:

His self-created brief was to create packaging based on a myth.

Taking inspiration from the children's fable of the Moon being made up of Green Cheese, the idea is using the surface and cycles of the moon to replicate the strength of the Green Cheese.

The overall unique look of the packaging will set itself away from the modern day supermarket brands.  (via Tim's personal website)

Super fun and clever concept for both the design and the fictional product.

Also seen on Lovely Package.

Monday, September 19, 2011


When I got an email in my inbox this morning that said, in the first line, "I've messed up," I thought it was going to be that long-awaited mea culpa from an ex who had broken my heart long ago.  But no, it was a message from Reed Hastings, CEO of Netflix, on how he could have communicated better about the price hike.

Well.  Okay.

But still, prices went up for a service I was happy with.  I stuck with the DVDs and got rid of streaming because honestly, Netflix's offerings for streaming are pretty weak.  And so it surprised me when Hastings announced that the direction of Netflix was to move more into the streaming sector, and portion off the mail-order DVD sector into a new business called... Qwikster.

Yeah, it's a bit of a headscratcher for me.  For one thing, the name makes me think of this:

But also, it's pretty much brand suicide to take a beloved service and raise the price, while making it more complicated.  You've botched your brand promise.  Now you're seen as unreliable, expensive, and untrustworthy.

I feel for Netflix.  They spend a lot on postage to deliver us our DVDs.  Plus, there's been a lot of buzz about online video, streaming TV, and all the rest, so it makes sense for the business to go this direction.  However, I think the transition is reading as haphazard at best.  It would have made sense to hold off on this particular bent until they had more to offer on the streaming channel.  Right now it looks like they want to get out of the DVD by mail business altogether, and that's going to alienate a lot of brand evangelists who got into Netflix in the first place because they liked that model.  They run the risk of severing off their bread and butter consumer, and that's problematic to say the least.

CNN Money points out that their stock has already taken quite a dip.  They face some stiff competition from Amazon, Google, and Apple—even more so if one of those companies acquires Hulu. 

Even after last week's huge sell-off, Netflix remains a very pricey stock that has room to fall. Shares trade at about 35 times 2011 earnings estimates and nearly 25 times profit forecasts for 2012.  If you are willing to pay that much for Netflix, you can't afford mishaps like lowering subscriber targets by a million. (Paul R. La Monica for CNN Money)
 So bad timing, not a great idea for a split, a kooky name... is Netflix doomed?

Weigh in.

Other coverage:
Angry Netflix Customers React to Qwikster
Qwikster: Let's Make Fun of Netflix's New Service
Qwikster: the new name for something that takes several days 

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Chiki's Kettle Roasted Popcorn

Fatpack is a South African design and packaging blog.  I love seeing the design that comes from the other side of the world.  This packaging from Chiki's popcorn strikes a balance between modern (black, modular, sleek) and retro (typeface, illustration).

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Student Work: Orbit Toothpaste

Love this design of Orbit toothpaste and whitener packaging from Veronica Clauss via Lovely Package.  There's a toothpaste you use in the morning and a whitener for nighttime.

This is a great fit with the Orbit brand, which has a spacey, 60s feel. It's retro and modern at the same time. Plus, the colors really pop.

Someone wondered in the original post how these products would fit on the shelf.  The unique design might take a little tinkering to fit on the shelf, it's true.  However, most of these get their own pallet display, so I'm less concerned about the shape.  I do think the main font could be changed to reflect something a little more 60s and space-age.  As it currently stands, it feels more 50s to me.  I love that, but it might fit better with Orbit's brand.  The colors, however, are bang on.