Apr 23

What has jazz to do with creative packaging design?

Posted by Packaging Sense in Design | Uncategorized

Easy to answer for a long-time jazz fan as I am. I grew up in the 50ies with Basie, Ellington, Armstrong, Miles Davis, etc. To make a long story short, the answer is: both jazz and package design need constant  creativity to be interesting.

Let us start with today’s real problem: the client! If the client were like an Ellington band, it would allow creativity within the melody as well as the orchestra ensemble. But most clients, i.e. big organizations, today play as a symphony orchestra according to set rules and charts. It is safer that way and safety and no-risk taking is part of today’s society.

In a jazz band, however, you play the melody more or less according to the charts, but then you add great soloists who render the music new every time, thus as interesting as a daily newspaper.

My belief is that the food packaging industry is today very performing technically with constant improvements as to material, filling speeds, efficiency, etc. while on the marketing side, i.e. what we print on the package we are ‘stuck’ in the charts like a symphony orchestra! What we need to do to render package design more interesting is to play, maybe not as sophisticated and creative as Charlie Parker, but simply and with emotion like Louis Armstrong or Stan Getz to mention just two of the jazz giants.

This means that each package design will have a slightly different story to tell, just like the Arla packages in Sweden or the back of a Kelloggs Special K. If we play the game of package design like this, consumers will look at what’s on the package and maybe learn something as they do from the morning newspaper.

Could we not put at least part of the standard information such as a lot of nutrition facts, net weight, ecology symbols, etc. on the website for those who are really interested in this type of information?

And then for those who are curious to know something of special interest about the product or how it is produced, etc. we would need a package designer like Miles Davies who constantly gives new sounds, i.e. information.

As you may see there is a link between package design and a creative jazz musician. Therefore, let us ‘jazz it up’ and make package design more interesting!

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One Response

  • Dear Lars,

    Great to find you on the WWW and welcome!
    A sentence that we musicians use a lot too is “we just wrapped this tune beautifully!”
    Anyway, Jazz is about Focus and Freedom, togetherness and individuality? What can be drawn metaphorically from these extremes?
    Best regards.

    Your favourite Belgian bass playser.


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