After watching Sharon Steuer's fabulous Lynda.com tutorial, Artistic Painting with Illustrator: Natural Media Brushes, I couldn't wait to try my hand at a little naturalistic digital painting. I loved Sharon's loose and free style that combined the granular control of Illustrator with totally organic lines. Enter Pocket Coffee: potentially the most striking packaging I've found so far in my adventures here in Germany, and today's inspiration.
What I like about the Pocket Coffee package design is that it's the height of uncool. But does it care? No way. Orange and brown, it looks like it's straight from the 70s. But not the fabulous, nostalgia-fied era of our movies and memories. This is packaging is a tried-and-true blast from the past — and not necessarily in a good way. That's what makes it so distinctive.
In a CPG world full of cooler-than-thou designs, Pocket Coffee offers a refreshing attitude of authenticity and atypical aesthetics. What's better than vintage-style package design? An actual vintage design that has obviously not been updated since it went to market in Italy in 1968.
(Is it possible for a design to be so outdated that it becomes relevant again? I'd say not usually, but definitely here.)
In my humble ode to this wonderful European pick-me-up, I used a combination of brushes and the pen tool so the finished piece would be recognizable, but have a casual, laid-back feel. I had a marvelous time emulating the ultra-mod typography by hand. Perhaps my favorite part of the packaging and my drawing both is the dark river of espresso rushing out from the chocolate and into the dainty cup. If anything evokes the idea of liquid center, this is it! (Though it doesn't prepare you for its oddly grainy — but not unpleasant — texture.)
Coffee fans, I can't recommend the product enough. But I'll leave it up to you whether to love or loathe the undeniably distinct packaging.