I love pack since 1947: the innovations that have "packed us"...


It's a exhibition organized by the French Institute of Design which values innovations - and breakthrough innovations - from the period of Reconstruction to the present day, to celebrate the 40th edition of the Emballage trade fair which is currently being held in Villepinte until 22 November 2012. "We buy with our eyes" was the motto of the Technès firm created by Jacques Viénot: packaging speaks to the eyes, hands and hearts! Without the discoveries of men - scientists, artists, designers,...- we would still have amphoras and jars...

"Packaging is a mirror of its time and an agent of change. It deserves, like the amphora, to have its "Louvre", the "Louvre" of brands, those, the true ones, that contribute to writing the history of society and humanity" declares Jean Watin-Augouard, Brand Historian, Editor-in-Chief of the Revue des marques and editor of the book "Ces emballages qui changent nos vies" (Packaging that changes our lives).

"The packaging born with the brand at the beginning of the 19th century when the product was no longer sold in bulk but packaged with the name of the creator (Example, Lesieur), also deserve our admiration. They accompany the brand in its destiny and are, like the brand, sometimes the fruit of chance, often of necessity, always of challenge".

cocacola1Who's the "sheath lady"? 

The exhibition is organised in different periods, tracing the evolution of packaging over the years. Timeless brands are represented here, telling their stories of packaging that have changed our lives.

The first Coca-Cola bottles manufactured in 1894 by Biedenharn in Mississippi are straight. The current shape of the bottle is that of a silhouette of a woman dressed in a sheath dress that can be recognized with closed eyes. Created in 1915 by Alexandre Samuel, master glassmaker, the "Lady with a sheath" was, a very rare fact, registered by the American Patent Office as a trademark on January 1, 1916. It remains a reference today since its shape is used for its PET plastic version. 

Why not enjoy unlimited reading of UP'? Subscribe from €1.90 per week.

John Pemberton has just created Coca-Cola and Pepsi-Cola is coming to market. Would these two brands have entered the pantheon of iconic brands without the invention of William Painter and his metal cap, crown cork, designed in 1892 in Baltimore to package soft drinks without contamination? 

lajaunieThe famous little black and yellow metallic case with a rotating opening, designed by Mr Cairo, a watchmaker in L'Isle-Jourdain, in the image of a pocket watch, was born in 1880 in the pharmacy of Léon Lajaunie, a pharmacist in Toulouse. Sold exclusively in pharmacies, cachoux watches were distributed in tobacco shops in the 1950s, then in supermarkets. Until 1985, everything was done by hand, including canning! The greatest poster artists of the beginning of the century, Cappiello, Tamagno, Mucha, made the brand a legend.

The 1950s...

Spirit of Resistance..., Reconstruction, urbanization... " Et Dieu...créa la femme" by Roger Vadim,...BN le goûter tout prêt,... "Buvez du lait" by Pierre Mendès-France,... Moulinex libère la femme,... création du SMIG,... Abbé Pierre, la communauté Emmaüs, "des sans-abri meurent de froid, aidez-les",...Salut les copains,...Union fédérale de la consommation UFC-Que choisir?...Self-service,... On the road to hygiene: "Ladies, you smell bad" by Françoise Giroud,...

mascara2And here is the barcode, born in 1948 on a beach in Miami: Norman Joseph Woodland draws with his fingers vertical lines in the sand and suddenly appears the walrus in two dimensions! The tube mascara, replacing the bread or cake that women had to wet with a brush before applying it to their lashes, revolutionizes makeup. It was while observing his wife filling a rosary of sausages that Dr Ruben Rausing had the idea of the Berlingot packaging in 1951: Tetra Pak was born and it was thanks to the action of Pierre Mendès-France, nicknamed "Tetra Pak" (Tetra Pak). "Mendès lolo", The proponent of milk consumption by children in schools, that the "berlingot" will become widespread from the 1960s and the cardboard packaging will invade the food world.

The 1960s...

The emancipation of women: Courrèges and Brigitte Bardot, the mini-skirt, the monokini,... "A small step for man, a big step for humanity" Neil Armstrong,... Consumer society,... Play Time by Jacques Tati,... Concorde breaks the sound barrier,... May 1968 "under the cobblestones, the beach",... Plastic is fantastic!... The Bonux gift,... The contraceptive pill arrives in Europe,...

basdimDim (formerly the stockings "Sunday") or stockings in rosary: in 1962 Bernard Gilberstein, a hosiery maker in Troyes, invented a revolutionary stocking, the seamless stocking, and offered stockings sold individually in rosary, ten stockings for ten francs. In order to avoid women having to buy back a pair when spinning a single stocking, this innovation made it possible to slip an emergency stocking into their bag.

In 1958, L'Oréal's revolutionary Elnett lacquer was launched. Revolutionary because women could use at home a professional product used by their hairdresser. Revolutionary also because of its technology, as it allows hair styles to be held in place other than with shine or shellac. 

"Mini Mir, mini price, but he's doing the best he can! " : registered at the INPI in 1962, the brand becomes legendary. It was the first "multi-purpose" liquid detergent marketed in a 1-litre glass bottle, which became plastic in 1958. This "all in one" before its time revolutionized the market again in 1961 with the plastic berlingot. 

To fight against disinformation and to favour analyses that decipher the news, join the circle of UP' subscribers.

The 1970s...

No future, ..." Fraicheur de vivre " Hollywood chewing gum,...Centre Georges Pompidou,...Sony invents the Walkman,...Intel puts the first microprocessors on sale,...Birth of Greempeace,...1972: creation of electronic mail,... 

kinderThe flakes Flo-Pak are invented by Arthur Graham to secure, protect and safely ship products around the world. In 1968, in Italy, the Kinder brand invented an egg, the Kinder Surprise: 135 million eggs are sold in France every year with 12,000 different surprises. The first cylindrical barrel of detergent comes on the market with the detergent. Dash in 1964 and Ariel in 1971. It became a must-have item in the home by associating second life packaging and creative leisure activities!

The years 2010...

1980, 1990, 2000... innovations, upheavals, and here we are in our time: the crisis,... Generation Z, ... Deindustrialization, ... Immediacy, ubiquity, zapping, ... The indignant, ... Top Chef, Master Chef, ... Lady Gaga, ... The return of the artisan, of the home-made, ... 

enhanced realiteeaugmenteeDassault Systèmes, the virtual at the service of packaging: the time is ripe for the convergence of skills. The Florette resealable pouch which, thanks to its ""... Zip This "allows for a longer shelf life and avoids waste. Shiseido's refillable packaging: Lipstick sold in the form of a pen that offers an ingenious, residue-free refill system. Take-away packaging Ty Lichous« The Smartsy smartphone application that gives objects a voice and makes packaging interactive: by visualizing the packaging with the smartphone's camera, you can obtain information corresponding to the contents. A real innovation that radically changes the daily life of consumers. 

What about tomorrow?.

wikicellNo more plastic! Long live the natural and edible shell. WikiCell, imagined by the American professor of biomedical engineering at Harvard, Dave Edwards, and the designer François Azambourg, "WikiCell" can be compared to a grain of grape surrounded by its skin". It was designed with the desire to reduce waste associated with over-packaging and to make full use of the natural resources at our disposal. 

"Waste management is one of the major environmental challenges of the 21st century. Packaging is both the symbol of a consumer society and the means to supply a constantly growing and urbanized population: millions of people have to be fed every day while limiting waste, food wastage and environmental impact" analyses Eric Brac de la Perrière, General Manager of Eco-Emballages. 

"In these areas, companies are investing and innovating. They use new materials, optimise processes, etc. Making packaging a resource means taking concrete action, day after day, to build a circular and truly sustainable economy. »

The place of design

According to Gérard Caron, Admirable, the life of a product is regulated according to a chain of five values: product, technology, design, service and personalized service. By observing this chain, we notice that design is omnipresent: the product must be conceived and the concepts that integrate design; technology can be visible, so it takes shape...; design is the essential tool, it models the product and gives it its identity; graphic design and web design,... The objective of design is and will remain essentially to open up a territory of desires in the consumer's imagination : sensations, instinct, archetypes, preconceived ideas,... The irrational mingles with the rational with dosages that vary according to the nature of the product and the circumstances of the purchase, knowing that modern neurology shows that it is the emotional that prevails over the rational when faced with a choice!

Is the packaging still useful?

Olivier Saguez, President of Saguez&Partners, states that "consumers no longer believe in over-promises, they want packaging to be honest in its messages, honest in its ease of use, honest in its recycling and honest in its durability". "To preserve a product, to carry it away, to inform about the product are the basic functions of packaging. These functions evolve as our lifestyles change. Let's dream of tomorrow's packaging: it will have to be more modest, simpler to save our garbage, simpler to use for a world that is increasingly complex in its new lifestyle behaviours, simpler in its information, more timeless in its lifespan because, after all, new packaging does not make a new product; on the contrary, the opposite is true".

The book, "Packaging That Changes Our Lives,"

Gathered in this book by Anne-Marie Sargueil and Jean Watin-Augouard, the packaging that has changed our lives through its attractive shape, its ease of use, its lighter material, its recyclability ...

The creative spark is sometimes born from chance, often from necessity, always from challenge. This is borne out by the words of the experts gathered here, who, through their eclecticism, testify to the broad spectrum of packaging.

To buy the book: 01 45 63 90 90


The exhibition "I love pack since 1947" was conceived with the help of the Dragon Rouge agency, around Patrick Veyssière; with the help of Jean Watin-Augouard and Véronique Sestrières, director of the Emballage exhibition.


{Jacuzzi on}

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Next article

Creation of the International School of Innovation and Sustainable Design

Latest articles from Design - Société de la création



Already registered? I'm connecting

Inscrivez-vous et lisez three articles for free. Recevez aussi notre newsletter pour être informé des dernières infos publiées.

→ Register for free to continue reading.



You have received 3 free articles to discover UP'.

Enjoy unlimited access to our content!

From $1.99 per week only.