Much like design and medicine get influenced by real processes and real biology in nature, packaging design can get influenced by behaviours among humans with corresponding objects and shapes in society. To illustrate this point, I recently stumbled on a beer Brand from Australia whose packaging was influenced by the squatter scene in NYC.
The “hobo-influenced” packaging is produced by Melbourne-based East Ninth Brewing Company. The lager’s appearance is designed to evoke an underground sub-culture of art, music and partying. As such, each bottle comes wrapped in a brown paper bag (traditionally used to hide a bottle’s alcoholic contents from the police), and the name “Doss Blockos” is a reference to the Dos Blockos building in New York, which was a focal point for the New York squat scene in the 90’s. The lager’s flavor is also meant to be reminiscent of the stripped-back approach to brewing that was prevalent in the squats, with a malty flavor, all natural ingredients and 4.6% ABV.
I love this type of creativity in pack-design because it gives the Brand an immediate strong and defined personality and also has incredible talk-value. Granted this approach has massive limitations and carries huge risk. However, for small Brands whose ambition is a very defined audience this can be the perfect approach, or for limited-time packs this can also be a very fun approach to inject an authentic and interesting perspective to a Brand. Have a look at their website – http://e9thbrewing.com/