Thursday, July 27, 2006

original packaging 2

I have always loved Tiger Balm's packaging but over the weekend in Hong Kong I have to say that Po Sum may have taken its place in my affections:

Traditional Chinese ointment packaging usually includes a portrait of founder, Po Sum is no exception:

Even though the founder was Nosferatu...

Actually that's a cheap shot as I do like his photo as he looks so jolly - the founder photos are usually a little somber, and closer to a funeral headstone or stele photo rather than one that makes you feel like you are in good medicinal hands.

And look at the accompanying product information sheet, a work of art.

and finally the actual bottle.

But there are quite a number of 'heritage' ointment brands and just look at the on-shelf effect...


Makes you look forward to pulling a muscle.

This 'White flower ointment' is looking quite plain in comparision but the whole box is only the size of a postage stamp. And its embossed, which is a really nice touch.

I love how much effort has gone into these designs (not forgetting a whole heap of compulsory auspicious symbols; chubby babies, dragons, tigers, imperial colours et al). They are packaging time-warps. But they still manage to convey credibility in spite of breaking every pharmaceutical/medicinal rule of today's category packaging. What could you call this? The 'Ancient Wisdom' design route? Either way I think there is some sort of intristic connection between the intricacy of the design and the packaging and the intricacy of the product itself here that can still be appreciated today.

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