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Total Package: The Evolution and Secret Meanings of Boxes, Bottles, Cans, and Tubes

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In the average half-hour trip to the supermarket, 30,000 products vie for the shopper's attention, and those that get noticed have only a sixth of a second to make their sales pitch. Today's marketers know they have to trigger desire instantly - and they do so, visually, by creating packages that make exactly the right promises. Packages understand you better than you understand packages, and The Total Package tells why. It is a delightful and erudite exploration of the way modern packages play on our deepest ...
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1995-04-01 Hardcover New New Condition. Clean crisp tight copy, no marks or tears. Email Notification. Satisfaction Guaranteed.

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1st Edition, Fine/Fine Clean, tight & bright. No ink names, tears, chips, foxing etc. Price unclipped. ISBN 0316364800

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Overview

In the average half-hour trip to the supermarket, 30,000 products vie for the shopper's attention, and those that get noticed have only a sixth of a second to make their sales pitch. Today's marketers know they have to trigger desire instantly - and they do so, visually, by creating packages that make exactly the right promises. Packages understand you better than you understand packages, and The Total Package tells why. It is a delightful and erudite exploration of the way modern packages play on our deepest fears and desires to sell us germ-killing soap or high-profile vodka. Ranging from ancient Mesopotamia to Madison Avenue, from Aunt Jemima to Madonna, from Marlboros to McDonald's,Thomas Hine surveys packaging throughout history, exploring how advances in bottles, cans, and boxes have remade products, stores, and modern life. A package is a protector, a friend, and, ultimately, a piece of trash. Packages as small as a pillbox or as large as Walt Disney World play on the emotions, even as they promise predictable satisfactions. With an eye for the profound and the absurd, The Total Package describes the exploits of the oatmeal barons, medicine hucksters, psychologists, engineers, and marketing wizards who have made the art of packaging one of America's dominant contributions to world culture. The Total Package is a fascinating look at the unexpected meanings hidden in the most familiar boxes, bottles, cans, and tubes found in every home. Thomas Hine decodes their secret language in a lively narrative revealing the way we sell our products and ourselves, and changing forever the way we see our increasingly packaged world.

With an eye for the profound and the absurd, the author of Populuxe describes the exploits of the oatmeal barons, the medicine hucksters, the university psychologists, and the engineers who have made the modern American package the dominant form of commercial communication in the world today. Color and b&w photos.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Cahners\\Publishers_Weekly
In this wise survey, Philadelphia Inquirer design critic Hine (Populuxe) describes and decodes the history and effects of packages, "an inescapable part of modern life." He reflects on packages in nature (the orange, the egg) and tracks the growth of modern packaging from 17th-century London (elixirs, etc.) through the first practical folding box (Brooklyn, 1879) and other advances in technology and transportation. Urbanization produced the Uneeda biscuit and Campbell's soup, as well as the supermarket. Hine broadens his lens to cover the "contemporary packaged landscape" of drive-ins and malls and intriguingly tracks the psychology-and international cultural differences-behind package research. A final chapter considers "empties": the question of garbage and its future. We all know what's in a box of Tide, but read on to find out why the box is orange and its lettering is blue.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
In this wise survey, Philadelphia Inquirer design critic Hine (Populuxe) describes and decodes the history and effects of packages, ``an inescapable part of modern life.'' He reflects on packages in nature (the orange, the egg) and tracks the growth of modern packaging from 17th-century London (elixirs, etc.) through the first practical folding box (Brooklyn, 1879) and other advances in technology and transportation. Urbanization produced the Uneeda biscuit and Campbell's soup, as well as the supermarket. Hine broadens his lens to cover the ``contemporary packaged landscape'' of drive-ins and malls and intriguingly tracks the psychology-and international cultural differences-behind package research. A final chapter considers ``empties'': the question of garbage and its future. We all know what's in a box of Tide, but read on to find out why the box is orange and its lettering is blue. Illustrations not seen by PW. (Apr.)
Donna Seaman
Hine's lively and insightful overview of the development of modern packaging, an "important and often unacknowledged" aspect of our lives, touches on a surprising number of subjects, from what and how we eat to the trance induced by a long visit to a supermarket. Hine analyzes all that packaging does, from preserving and protecting the contents to making foodstuffs and products consistent and reliable to providing useful or comforting information. As he tracks the evolution of packaging, Hine draws connections between such corollary developments as transportation, the mass production of paper, and the invention of the flat-bottomed paper bag, folded box, color printing, cellophane, and refrigeration. The establishment of brand recognition is, of course, the whole point of packaging and its offshoot, advertising, and Hine has a field day relating success stories of specific products. His far-reaching discussion embraces everything from the psychology of impulse buying to environmental issues, fast food, and the appeal of certain designs. A captivating and timely work in light of the fact that we've just seen an unprecedented change in package design in the wake of new FDA labeling regulations.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780316364805
  • Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
  • Publication date: 4/28/1995
  • Edition description: 1st ed
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 289
  • Product dimensions: 6.44 (w) x 9.60 (h) x 1.02 (d)

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