Buried Treasure

Package design is not a particularly ancient profession, and yet occasionally we are reminded that some pretty old stuff can be found in old foundations, landfills, and in one case off the coast of Aland Island in the Baltic Ocean.

Apparently last summer a fellow named Christian Ekstrom was diving on a wreck he had known about for years and came upon a cache of champagne . . . 172 bottles, some approaching 200 years old.

These bottles are far older than any other champagne known, and since the labels were gone the bottles were identified only by the brands burned into their corks. They were determined to be Veuve Clicquot from the 1830s and Juglar (now called Jacquesson) from the late 1820s.

I am one who believes strongly in the strength of brands, and naturally the long-term value built with a well-crafted package design strategy. But in a world that often measures the success of a marketing initiative in weeks, days, or now even hours . . . it is refreshing to be reminded that this value occasionally stretches over the centuries.

Here is a link to an article about the find in the NY TImes.

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About Richard Shear

designer, husband, teacher, blogger, father, athlete, author, historian Richard has over 25 years of brand identity and package design experience, with a wide range of clients such as Ahold, Coca-Cola, Hasbro, IBM, Johnson & Johnson, Pernod Ricard and Procter & Gamble. He began his career working with the legendary advertising art director, and AIGA Medalist, George Lois and the British design manager Clive Chajet. In his next design management position at Lippincott & Margulies, he worked with Walter Margulies learning the complex skills of global corporate identity. He then became Creative Director and Partner at Peterson & Blyth, one of the premier brand identity and package design firms of the time. He is a founding faculty member of the Masters in Branding Program at New York’s School of Visual Arts. He publishes the blog The Package Unseen, and has been a guest lecturer at colleges including FIT, Trinity College and Tyler School of Art. He is a graduate of the Tyler School of Art at Temple University. Richard is a Board member of the AIGA MetroNorth Chapter, past President of AIGA‘s Brand Design Association, President of the Package Design Council and a member of its Board of Directors. He is a member of USA Cycling and US Rowing, a nationally ranked masters bicycle racer, and a member of The Saugatuck Rowing Club, the 2010 Masters Club National Champion.
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