Why is authenticity important in package design?

I am fascinated by traditional goods, by high-quality artisanal foods, by products crafted with passion, as part of a tradition kept in a family/community for ages. When I stumble upon a packaging at the same level of value and visual complexity, with a brand’s history/reputation and at the same level with the product’s quality, then I can say I’ve reached …nirvana! When that product screams authenticity through the package design, then…I’m in love!

Let’s study the case of this tin box of amarettini (amaretto biscuits), which I’ve found in a local Italian deli shop. Lazzaroni is the first Italian company to produce biscuits industrially. What initially started as an artisanal small family business, in 1888, producing confectionery goods, expanded pretty rapidly into an industrial production and nowadays is a big brand,  a part of an international food conglomerate. What I find truly intriguing, is that my first impulse to get my hands on this box of biscuits, was due the charming allure of  the packaging, due to the impression that this packaging represents a small sized business. The nostalgic aura, the visual hints, the red appetizing packaging, captured my attention. Such wonderful details. A tin box, vintage ornaments and vignettes, sophisticated etching-like illustration and a crest. All these elements, carefully-placed in a symmetrical design. The overall look, marked by bold lettering and the vintage chromatic scheme, was  sending me straight to Italy’s 19th hundreds, to the origin of the company, to it’s starter point.

Many small companies try to act big in order to attract clients and more sales. In this case, we’re experiencing a reversed process: a big brand manifest itself as a small entity, through it’s packaging and branding, in order to appeal to customers with a nostalgic affinity. Even if this brand is now representing a huge company, they’ve kept their original legacy of artisanal goods, transmitted subliminally through their package design.

A strong business and a strong brand always carries authenticity, history and culture through attentive branding and design.



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Text & Photography © Narcis Lupou