Structural Package Designs

Reviews by Stuart Bailey
222 words2 min read

Amid the heavyweight competition, this 150mm square block charms through a directness of purpose and unassuming form. Other than a few supplementary sections, each page describes a unique packaging form by single flat template diagram, 3D line drawing, and title. More zen in its simplicity than the ‘minimalism’ affected by current arts publishing, this book exemplifies how a good idea designs itself. It would be nice to imagine this kind of publication replacing the ubiquitous hardback annuals, awards and other catalogues of ‘inspiration’ in classrooms and studios as a true reference work, demonstrating how to articulate an idea without the usual obscuring veneer of style. The lessons are numerous: the clarity of the illustrations; the no-nonsense 3-paragraph introduction repeated in 7 languages; the genuinely useful appendices (details such as ‘typical limit for printing’); the thriftiness of format and colour that ensure its bargain price. The book’s general portrayal of the potential in design recalls the more specifically-typographic tour-de-force handbooks of Bosshard (‘Technische Grundlagen zur Satzherstellung’) and Gerstner (‘Kompendium für Alphabeten’). These books also share symbiosis of form and content, providing a sense that the ideas arrived as fully-formed objects; it is difficult to imagine them existing in any other way. As a current surprise arts bookshop bestseller, this antidote to coffee table fatigue is well-positioned to quietly promote intelligent design.


  • Born York, UK, 1973. Studied graphic design, Reading, UK, 1991-95. Part of the first group of participants at the Werkplaats Typografie, Arnhem, NL, 1998-2000. Dot Dot Dot magazine editing with Peter Biľak from 2000. Currently leading double life between New York and L.A. Also currently a failed musician.