Go judge a book by its cover

While you can’t judge a book by its cover, we often judge food by its packaging. One dollars worth of spaghetti sure looks a million dollars with a bit of fancy pants wrapping doesn’t it…Never underestimate the importance of appearance when it comes to food, or anything for that matter…

Why do pet care companies always put an animal on the front of their pet food? The dog can’t read but the owner can. Why are we packaging pet food for the pet? They know what dogs look like, talk to them in their own language.

I’d take a premium supermarket pet food brand & stick it in a stylish black tin with silver labeling & discrete branding with no visual reference to animals. Risky you say? I doubt it.

And another thing… why do washing detergents all use bright colours & show water or clean clothes? We make our decisions on what detergent to buy on the perceived quality of the brand. In the absence of any
laundry powders which don’t present pictures of clouds or water gushing through logos, let’s be honest, we pick the one we think looks more sophisticated or innovative or expensive than the rest.

Why not take washing powder & stick it in a metal canister that sits proudly on the laundry shelf instead of embarrassingly in the cupboard? Or better still, cook some good looking detergent granules &
put the stuff in a stylish transparent container.

For a fresh spin on packaging, make it design-orientated not product-orientated. Just because you’re selling pasta doesn’t mean you need a fat Italian & a bunch of tomatoes on the front. Lord, this is 2008.


A curious design-focused human with an insatiable appetite for learning driven by the endless desire to make things.

5 thoughts on “Go judge a book by its cover

  1. Charles, Interesting point but we’re not necessarily talking about excessive packaging but rather, just interesting packaging. Packaging which makes the eyes happy instead of the visual eyesores you see on most grocery shelves. As we move toward higher oil prices and increased eco-friendly consumer sentiment no doubt packaging will shift towards less-is-more, and then comes the real challenge….

  2. If the company can’t even afford attractive and effective packaging, it just seems like their food would be shoddy as well. That’s just w hat I think though.

  3. Interesting take on contemporary packaging. But as we hit peak oil don’t you think that packaging being extraneous might be one of the first victims for a supertax or just subject to the high costs of oil transport/movement?

    Thanks for the link 🙂

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.