Canadian Packaging

Package building blocks for sheer fun

By Jeff May   

Design & Innovation Design Absolut vodka Bright Cheese & Butter MFG. Co. Ltd. Bright Cheese Curd Crayola Crayola LLC Great Outdoors Insect Repellent J. R. Watkins Co. Lego LEGO CITY Ambulance Helicopter Lego System A/S Silly Scents Zipit Wildings Pouch

A monthly look at some of the hits and misses in the packaging world from the viewpoint of Joe Public, Canadian Packaging magazine’s revolving columnists. From the March 2019 issue.

Just like the fabled Lego brand interlocking plastic bricks have never changed the original system used for interlocking the pieces, the evolution of product packaging for this ageless toy brand has been something of a natural slow burn, rather than outright disruption. And God bless Denmark’s Lego System A/S for sticking with what works best for countless diehard Lego enthusiasts of all age groups! The front of each Lego box typically comes with a picture of the completed kit in a full-action pose, which usually takes up the entire front panel of the cases. The front panel also provides all the practical consumer information on the kit, including the kit name, recommended age group, total number of pieces, a choking hazard warning, and the numerical code for the product’s sub-brand family—such as #60179 for the LEGO CITY Ambulance Helicopter featured here. This information is also displayed on the back of the box—enhanced with pictures of other alternate products that could be made from the pieces contained in this set with a little inspired imagination.



For nature-lovers among us, the Great Outdoors Insect Repellent brand of J. R. Watkins Co. is a compact travel-sized gem of a package that is a must-have for weekends at the cottage, camping, backpacking or road traveling. The sturdy 45-ml plastic container has a hole at the top for attaching it onto a carabineer. This allows the product to hang from a backpack strap, for example, so that it is always accessible, and the flip-top cap facilitates quick and easy dispensing and application of the magic potion inside to deter all those pesky insects from having a feast at your expense. The front label is simple and informative—providing all the essential product info, ingredients and warnings—while the back label incorporates a clever peel-off outsert that contains all the useful details on the directions of use, precautions, disposal, First Aid tips and, of course, all the ‘Toxicological Information’ you ever wanted to know.

Produced by a proud local Ontario dairy Bright Cheese & Butter MFG. Co. Ltd., the thermoformed package for the company’s Bright Cheese Curd is a classic textbook play of letting the product’s natural wholesomeness speak for itself. Enveloped in clear barrier plastic film, the simple package allows the shopper to clearly examine the contents to see just how fresh and wet the curds are, which is made easier when the pack is displayed in the aisle vertically suspended from a centered peg hole at the top of the package. The product label itself—a quaint graphic of a milking cow inside a round cheese wheel—is not only easy on the eyes, but is also extremely functional in its other role as a resealable peel-off opening. With the cheery blue-cow graphic asserting its credentials as 100-percent Canadian product, the Bright Cheese Curd package is a very tasteful testament to the marketing virtues of consumer convenience.

There’s something about the Crayola brand markers that always triggers a flood of happy childhood memories, and the brand’s new Silly Scents washable markers keep that subliminal connection alive and well. Packed snug and tight
inside a bright 12-pack folding carton adorned with happy and colorful fruit cartoon characters, the brand’s traditional yellow-and-green background vividly comes to life with this highly animated display—good for a smile of chuckle every time your reach for a new marker or put one back in for storage. Speaking of which, kudos to Crayola for launching a new recycling program for the return of used markers, with many schools now making good use of the special marker return containers in their school offices to collect and ship used markers back to Crayola LLC.

The Absolut Vodka brand has built up a solid legacy over the years as a spirits packaging pioneer, and it has done its reputation no harm with its recent Holiday-Edition release of 750-ml sequin bottle that, according to the company, was inspired by the star-lit sparkle of holiday nights. Still displaying its classic muscular profile, the trademarked bottle is covered in a sequin that can be flipped between two colors—in this case blue to silver—as a way to add a little festive cheer to the product’s enjoyment. Even the clear plastic wraparound product label attached to the bottle seamlessly blends into the colorful backdrop, with the brand’s white logo providing a perfect contrast to all the sparkling razzle-dazzle of the festive sequin dressing.

As a product that is essentially a package all in and of itself, the Zipit Wildings Pouch is a fun and joyful pen/pencil carrying case that actually seems to have a real personality to it. Mostly thanks to the friendly eyeballs and a full-length zipper mouth incorporated into a sturdy polyester structure capable of surviving through most typical hazards of childhood. With packaging a package naturally being a nonstarter, the simple product label tag attached to the top
of the case—featuring a punched-in peg hole for effective retail display—makes a perfect add-on to the child-friendly contraption promising to really“Put a Smile on Your Case!”


Jeff May is owner and proprietor of Scallywags, a popular midtown Toronto sports pub specializing in live coverage of major international sporting events. For information and broadcast schedule, go to:


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