Pack and the City

January - February 2010

Sharing knowledge and knowhow is the first step towards multiplying the effects of the same, particularly but unfortunately not only its benefits. Speaking of things, sharing them with others, sending an email, copying the same, putting it on ones message board, including it in a manual and so on are all useful devices.

October 2009

An eraser used on a dirty wall cleans both itself and the wall. Only the most precipitous would think that this is a consideration limited purely to erasers or drawing instruments. Our self- ironic mindset leads us further, because at times smaller (or less pertinent) objects lead us without knowing it to make considerations of a higher nature.

September 2009

Preserving food has been a fight between man and nature ever since Neolithic man realized it was more convenient to stop roaming around and settle down, and to store some food for lean times instead of hunting and gathering food only when he felt hungry. There were lean times then too.

June 2009

We are not the only ones certainly and we didn’t invent the idea, but we like to reiterate (and with this give a good example) that we do a lot to leave the world a better place than how we found it, or at least no worse. At least as far as we are concerned.

May 2009

We love visions and excesses. In the City of Packaging we often hear talk of packaging. On the other hand, how can we get away from it? However, it is also useful to look beyond today’s box in order to glimpse what will replace it in the future. And, as it is up to us to shoulder the burden of the wager we can divulge that the pack of the future is the absence of the pack. Of course we are willing to be proved wrong but we are also ready to assert that the future we were talking about is even further ahead in the future.

April 2009

1) Beginning by denying the evidence and ending up by producing (that is making real) an idea are two extremes between which “the brute force of reason blended with method” lies. Precision and order are the instruments which, along with raw creativity, contribute towards a definition of real solutions.

March 2009

1)We are not just bored with those who talk about innovation, creativity and talent. We are also bored with those who talk about real innovation, real creativity and real talent. Even though it seems they want to do the exact opposite it leads to a lot of talk and very few results.

January/February 2009

1) Microsoft Power Point has perpetrated the belief that graphic design is something anyone can do, purely because it enables you to add images, to enlarge or to shrink them, to create pretty frames and to access a whole library of arrows and connectors. Like the card game of patience it should be uninstalled immediately, as soon as you gain possession of your computer. Off the cuff presentations, hand drawings and no silly games!We were invited to fill 6 minutes and 40 seconds at the Pecha Kucha Night in Florence.

November/December 2008

This month Pack and the City, a regular feature on people and packaging, becomes a column offering the readers its first (mini) investigative report.
Mind, we are something to read on a Saturday evening and the variety pages of the packaging trade press, so this is a blunt edged report which won’t harm anyone. It isn’t that we don’t have a cutting edge but we are simply not very interested in pointing a finger (or a knife) at anyone. Let’s start. Apart from TV, what is it that (from the economic boom onwards) has united Italians geographically and sentimentally? We say it is the motorway.

September 2008

1) Up to the 2003 version of office, the preset character type (called default typeface font) was the terrible Times New Roman: dignified, graceful (that is: the letters being graced by small feet), but decidedly poor (for Excel the default character was Arial, the simplest of the ungainly characters). With Office 2007 Calibri was introduced, a sans serif (this too meaning “graceless”) much more suited to a thesis or a menu in a pizzeria. Among other things similar to the much-loved Verdana.

July/August 2008

1) Yes indeed, it is Kantianly possible, no doubt about it: if it is made of paper and you can’t write on it (or at least not using a pen while leaning on a table), then it can be considered packaging. Better said (and coming to the crunch): could it be that everything made out of material deriving from a substance common to packaging and on machines used in packaging could be considered packaging itself? Yes we said...

June 2008

1) The point is a primitive concept which describes with precision a place with no spatial extension, and its position. A geometrically insubstantial figure, it is indeed a tautology not without points but so much so that it makes the concept vanish so that it is hardly a shape: round, we maintain, but without having any right to be round.

May 2008

1) The exercise of labeling a piece of furniture, a song or an item of clothing as hailing from a former decade is an amusing way of tracing any new form of creativity (or an attempt at it) to a more easily comprehensible déjà vu. It serves to define, to limit the effects of the new or simply to understand how to use it in the most appropriate way…

April 2008

1) Zen and the art of packaging. Zen Buddhism is the Japanese form of Buddhism. It is the result of a subsequent reworking through different cultural traditions: the Indian tradition, where it began to take form in the sixth century before Christ; the Chinese tradition, where it was influenced by Confucianism and Taoism seven hundred years later; and the Japanese tradition, where from the thirteenth century to the present day it has taken on a more recognizable and modern form…

March 2008

1) Everyone knows what slow means. In Italy one mother in three knows this English word. Slow does not mean accurate, well-made, quality, efficiency. We have to be clear on this point. Let’s not allow any more mistakes, otherwise we might be led to believe that fast means botched, shoddy, sloppy. Slow means that it takes a long time to do it or that one should chat while doing it, telling each other what a wonderful world it is and why bother to work at all.

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