I’m backtracking again – this post would’ve been for the week of the 3rd of Novemeber, the week after our half-term. But for the month of October we spent a lot of time on a packaging brief – something that I’ve been meaning and wanting to talk about for a while; I was actually quite bummed out that I missed the critique for this brief (which was on the 4th of November) due to what could only be described as morbidly-mortal Man Flu.
The actual name of the brief was ‘Within and Without,’ but I could’ve done without the title because the day we got it was one of the rare days I was actually in college early enough to see the tutor prepare a bunch of crap (or just things, rather) to inspire us along with a bunch of boxes and, well, packaging. Once it was all explained to us I picked up what I still assume to be a small case for sewing needles – either that of a chess piece.
The first thing we had to do was take one of the objects and create a small package based on it or inspired by it, so I grabbed a pen and practiced my cursive script for half the day before preparing the nice package in the image above with a small brown envelope and some thread. I’ll be honest with you guys – I have no idea what possessed me to make something that small and delicate – I just felt like it – but the fancy cursive script translated over to the rest of the work in the brief. I made the leap from this delicate envelope to a bunch of Willy Wonka-styled crap based on an image I once saw on the internet, and then the following interview with Jimmy Fallon. I’ll add a link to the bottom for anyone interested.
Second piece: I transferred some print onto a cardboard box (which originally used to be Vitamin B tablets) and then wrote the cursive on the outside. The idea was to create a small line of products which noone would ever want or need and just make them look classy as hell – that’s it, that was the idea: I wanted a parody.
The Honduran Mahogany Matches were based on a conversation I overheard about some woman (I think) burning a mahogany piano, or something along those lines. Mahogany is one of those endagered trees that people love so much, and I found the idea of some opulent, high-class prick just buying a set of matches made out of mahogany wood to just burn. As for the Cyanide-Free Hemorroid Paste I just wanted to put something digusting which you’d rather not thing about and put some class into it. Hemorrhoid Cream buts the “ass” in “class,” after all. The colour on both of these boxes were applied through the use of acetone and other printouts. In fact, the print on the matchbox is a photograph of a William Blake print from Penrhyn Castle’s keep taken during a visit in conjunction with the National Trust… The Hemorrhoid Paste isn’t nearly so awesome – it’s basically just a red block with an orange border, one of the colour schemes I always manage to come back to.
Finally, the last piece, I did via selo-tape transfer – I measured the size of the bottle, made something on photoshop, printed and then covered it with tape, rubbing off the excess paper in water. The caption on the bottle reads “May contain traces of cryptosporidium,” a form of bacteria that found its way into our local water supply a few years back – there was a huge fuss about it while people sprayed diarrhea everywhere. The entire project had a very constructivist feel to it – just using the crap I could find and turning it into something else – every single piece here was made out of an old box or even a used Fentiman’s Dandelion & Burdock bottle that I’d drank the day before, although this didn’t occur to me until after I’d done the work.
-L.A. (Liam Morgan)