late night surprise

i understand that i should probably work on getting out more or finding some new hobbies because this package made my pretty happy.

picture it, 1:30am and i am entering my hotel room for the night.  i enter the bathroom and am thrilled by the new and innovative packaging for the soap – it has a vertical orientation!


philadelphia, 2.2014

it is possible that this soap package isn’t that new but i am more of a Starwood gal and this was a Marriott.  honestly, bathroom products at hotels just aren’t like they used to be.  remember the days of Molton Brown? shampoo, conditioner, soap, and lotion at Westin’s?  ahh….

back to the soap.  i immediately opened the package because i just had to experience the soap shape (at 1:30am) and it was pretty awesome.  It didn’t have the fun massaging bumps/texture (which just feels fancier) but definitely different.


ultimately, this just shows how a little innovation can go a long way with a packaging junkie like me…


thank you tory burch

so it isn’t too often that i have the pleasure of ordering something online and find myself needing to sit down while opening the snail mail box because it is so well done.  in preparation of an Indian wedding i was attending, i ordered the most ornate sandals i could find.  Tory Burch helped make the magic happen.

upon opening the box i was greeted with Tory Burch branding on the inside of the main shipping box and an orange paper wrap around the box itself with a greeting from Tory, thanking me for my purchase and her hopes that I love my new purchase.



chicago, 2013

well done Tory.  i am yours.  (and keep in mind that at this point, i still have not even seen the shoes yet!)

i then carefully unstuck the gold sticker so i could get to the shoes.  i was greeted then by a beautiful box and a well thought out/unique envelope (that even included a sample of her perfume [brilliant]) with my receipt.  finally, at the base of the shoe box was a high quality shoe bag.


i am so impressed with how she has created such a complete brand experience from a simple online order.  many many thanks!

ohh and of note, the shoes were perfection!


lost in translation

one of my favorite things to look for, especially in asia, is the way they use the english language on packaging, shirts, or just anything that can be printed!

example #1: mint package


shanghai, china 9.2013

pure gold!  why?  well, because it is….

–       fashionable

–       minty

–       healthy

–       delicious

kidding aside, it is amazing to see the influence of the english language.

and here is another example that i had to own: a cd case that says on the front “Don’t pay attention to all the static.”  seems totally normal-ish right?  the plot thickens…  on the side where it looks like it has the item number and such (that little bit of orange on the right edge of the case) it continues to say… “HAPPY MUSIC, BER15120, A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.”  this appears to be a very very deep cd case.


tokyo, japan 2002

and yes, of course i have more.  the topic choices and mixing of messages never gets old. enjoy these beauties…


chinatown, singapore 11.2013

in case you cannot read them…

– Good good study   day day up

– Sleep whenever he woke up / Count the money a few hand cramps



– (and one not included in this batch..) DO IT AND I RELAX


little packages

full disclosure, i really really enjoy little packages.  (wait till i share my condiment collection.  yep, i’m that cool.)


auburn, alabama 2014 *** any westin anytime *** manila, philippines 7.2009

they are brilliant!  in the US we are accustomed to using these sorts of things for travel or trial but in lots of other countries, they are sold like this because people are paid daily and therefore can only afford to buy day to day.  i have seen this in Brazil, Mexico, India, and the Philippines to name a few.  the types of products range from shampoo to candies to spices for cooking.  seeing how the traditional trade shop keepers integrate them into their store takes space efficiency to a new level.



udaipur, india 11.2013

one thing we do a bit more in the US with our little packages, is try to maintain the brand experience in its cute miniature package structure.  i have a Maker’s Mark package in my office that just makes me smile!


baltimore, maryland 2009


wine on-the-go

sold.  beautiful.  functional.  magic.  thank you.

this most wonderful package can (hopefully) be located at the airport when you need it.  plastic cup of sorts with a foil seal and a nifty Pringles type lid.


miami airport, 2013

and of note, great to re-use on the plane if you are enjoying an additional glass of vino (so much classier than the airplane cup, right?).

i have not yet had the pleasure of enjoying this invention yet but observed it being properly utilized by a friend/client…who was kind to let me keep the package.  final tidbit, this cup is not dishwasher safe.

science is progress?

for some years now people talk about making a turducken for the holidays.  little did I know that is now so mainstream that you can get this same taste combination for your pets!


washington dc, 2013

ginger-pup, the receiver of this tasty blend, seems like a pretty lucky dog.

this next part is a bit gratuitous but I think you will be glad you stuck with me…

in September of 2010, I joined some friends, actually the proud parents of ginger-pup, for my first Minnesota state fair experience.  It was life changing and I am convinced that my body is still struggling to recover.

beyond the wide range of amazing culinary delicacies, they also have live animals that you can visit with and learn from.  candidly, when Sarah said we were going to explore the poultry barn, I had some concerns about how they “fair.”

but to my amazement, it was one of my highlights!  two pictures capture this magic, one a bit more germane to the post at hand than the other, but again, I think you will be glad to have seen it.

first, we have a turken.  nope, you read that right.  sure, I am missing the duck for a full turducken experience but this feathery delight is alive and walking around and checks 2 of 3 boxes!!  good enough for me…for now at least.


minnesota state fair, 9.2010

finally, a duck.  while this may not seem like a big deal to you now or ever realistically but there is so much that makes this picture wonderful.

not sure why this is so special?  please consider the following….

  1. “Ducks, Any other duck, old duck” (quite a category name right?)
  2. 1st place (suggesting there were more old ducks competing)
  3. owner’s name is Donald (low lying fruit…sorry…)
  4. please note the egg beside said old duck (well done duck!  way to show them!)

and yes, there was so much more about the Minnesota state fair that made it magical, even in the poultry barn, but i figure i won’t push my luck…for now!


creative merchandising

creativity in merchandising can be driven by different motivations.  for this post i want to focus on merchandising as a means of reinforcing brand character and as a creative approach to make a package do as it was not intended.

just imagine my excitement when i saw this haribo bear in the vancouver airport! an awesome example of reinforcing your fun brand personality/character.  just so fun.


vancouver, canada 9.2013

however, sometimes you have to get creative.  these are bags hanging that originally were not intended to hang.  but with some folded tape and a hole punch…voila!! a lay down bag now hangs! feels like a successful tim gunn “make it work moment” to me.  well played!


cancun airport 4.2012