I’m a sucker for great product packaging.  Probably because I spent the better part of 2 years working on the packaging team at General Mills and attended more packaging related conferences and forums than I care to admit.  I was even asked to speak as a panel member at one conference alongside such industry giants as Starbucks and Smurfit-Stone.  I digress.  As a result of the countless hours I spent researching and critiquing boxes and other product vessels, I have become what we in the biz lovingly refer to as a packaging nerd.  I pay far too much attention to packaging and when I see something I like I can’t help but sing its praises.

Too often packaging is written off as nothing more than a container for the real product.  This type of thinking is shallow and fails to capitalize on a great opportunity to reinforce brand essence and offer the consumer an unexpected delight.  Believe it or not, brand loyalty isn’t built by offering a good product alone.  It is earned through a series of personal connections that articulate not only product excellence but confidence in brand identity and willingness to go the extra mile.  The devil is in the details and consumers can always tell those that are making the effort and those that are faking it.

One of my favorite kinds of packaging is the unexpected kind.  This leads me to the recent find that really sparked my interest.  How often have we all received our monthly magazine subscription with name sticker slapped on haphazardly and thoroughly beat up by the postal gauntlet it has just run?  I know I have.  Well enter Creative Future.  A new publication and art project that features some of the industry’s most innovative designers.  The goal was to create a finely crafted publication that not only featured art and design but was a work of art in itself.

Mission accomplished.

I am sure the magazine is amazing although I have to say I’ve never read it.  What I do know is that instead of just dropping this thing in the mail, the brilliant designers at Creative Future found a way to both protect the publication and add another element of design that reinforces the pedigree of the brand.  Plus, who doesn’t like to open a package?!

Check it out:

So perfect.  I love the brown paper and twine tied up in a bow.  Its the perfect blend of simplicity, utility, and rugged elegance.  I also love how the white wrap adds an additional aesthetic layer that also serves the purpose providing a quick glimpse of the contents.

I would almost hate to open it.

If I ever have a business peddling products of some sort you better believe the packaging will look a lot like this.

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