Packaging Innovation
September 5, 2014

How popular culture inspires packaging designers

Popular culture has always been a vast source of inspiration for packaging designers. TV characters, series, cartoons, celebrities, … They all pop up regularly during our grocery shopping. We have selected some of the most creative packaging designs that use popular culture to their advantage. These are all illustrations of how merchandise can be done creatively.

Popeye, the energy drink

Let’s not beat around the bush: merchandising is a very lucrative business that any brand is happy to engage in. Put an image of a popular cartoon character on your box of breakfast cereal and chances are your sales numbers will go through the roof. The trick is to choose your TV show or character wisely. Take this Popeye-themed energy drink, for instance. It works because Popeye, a cartoon character known for his incredible strength after eating a can of spinach, is a good propagator of energy drinks.

The Simpsons bottles

The world’s most famous cartoon family, The Simpsons, has inspired many a packaging designer but there is one we find particularly successful. Designed by Constantin Bolimond, this concept bottle design (see above) – aptly called Homer and Marge, after the series two main protagonists – was inspired by the work of painter Pieter Mondrian and seamlessly blends high art and popular culture. Truly, a work of genius! In case you’re wondering what’s inside, the packaging designer reveals: “The drink was brought to life together with the cartoon characters in 1987. Maybe it’s wine, maybe not. We are inviting you to find out for yourselves.”

McDonald’s Disney fries

McDonald’s regularly make use of famous characters to cheer up their fast food packaging boxes. Here they let Disney characters with a twist bring some magic to their French fries cartons.

What do you think of these packaging designs inspired by popular culture? Let us know in the comments!