A table covered in white cloth with colourful packages displayed on top. Three banners showing the brand logo hang above.

timeline

October 2019–January 2020

details

Branding, Package Design

tools

Adobe Illustrator

Guilty Pleasures

During my time at Bauhaus University, we were encouraged to frame "everyday apocalypses" in new ways. I chose to focus on the inequitable distribution of benefits and harm in food production: specifically, the role of anesthetic packaging in concealing the real journey of our food products, in turn encouraging us to unknowingly contribute to the everyday apocalypse of unethical practices. Guilty Pleasures is a satirical line of upscale whole food products that confronts consumers with the weight of their choices beyond nutrition, through packaging that remains anesthetic yet hides nothing.

Be Loud, Be Proud

Traditional food packaging adds another degree of separation between consumers and the various unsustainable and unethical issues in food production by revealing only the desired, and sometimes even falsified, benefits of each item. Guilty Pleasures directly states the negative impacts of purchasing the products yet encourages consumers to do so solely for the health benefits for themselves.

Treat Yourself (and others)

I designed the package of the cashews and almonds without glue so that it can be opened in stages. The cashew box on the left shows the form meant for pouring, while the box on the right shows a bowl meant for sharing.

An orange box holding cashews is opened from one side so that the open flap acts as a spout to pour out the cashews.
An almond box is opened from all sides. It expands out in all directions to form a bowl-like shape.

Luxury vs. Everyday food

Guilty Pleasures began as a luxury food brand, stemming from the idea that the "guilt" in guilty pleasures usually comes from expensive, high quality items. I had the idea to take ordinary, healthy produce items and make the packaging as fancy and kitschy as possible to make people question why these foods would be guilty. Examples include packaging eggs like chocolates, and trail mix (various nuts + cranberries) in individual jars as caviar.

Sketches of different healthy foods placed into packaging typically for high end luxury foods. There is trail mix packed into tin jars and nestled in a box and eggs placed in little plastic wrappers like chocolates.

Research

The final line up of products was decided based on my research of the different products. I am aware that sustainable practices do exist, and so I specifically targeted foods by location, such as California almonds, in order to directly connect consumers to the food supply chain.

Designing the Packages

My idea shifted from luxury foods when I realized there were other ways to show novelty and kitschiness without simply copying existing packaging. This manifested best in the egg packaging, which is meant to look visually appealing and show off the aesthetic quality of the eggs, while being entirely impractical for transportation and storage due to the delicate eggs being completely exposed.

A prototype of the final egg package made out of a cereal box. The paper structure includes cutouts along the top and side which exposes the eggs to the air.

Building the Brand

To push the idea of an anesthetic package, I wanted Guilty Pleasures to be bright and abstract as to not be related to the raw ingredients inside. I built the logo using geometric shapes and represented each food through a simplified version of its form.

Variations of the Guilty Pleasures logo made out of circles. Various colour combinations are shown from left to right: yellow on neon pink, light green on teal, red-orange on blue, and light blue on purple. All are extremely saturated.

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© Benya Sutyanyong 2021