Author Archives: Richard Shear

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.

Parents aren’t babies, and “cute” isn’t a design strategy

This recent post on, containing ideas for the Johnson’s baby packaging from a Peruvian designer, is really disturbing. Let me count the ways. First let’s start with full disclosure. We will be forever thankful that Johnson & Johnson was … Continue reading

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The tail end of technology, and how we choose

We are in the midst of a very rough flu season in the New York area, and lots of suffering people are wandering the drug store aisles in search of relief. These days it comes in many forms. But apparently … Continue reading

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The Last Coca Cola

The last glass returnable bottle of Coca Cola ran off the line on Tuesday. And was immediately sold to a collector for $2,000. That bottle, cast for the Minneapolis Coke bottling works in 1948 and filled at the Winona Coca-Cola … Continue reading

Posted in Beverages, Design Criticism, Environmental Packaging, Packages Yesterday | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

E*Trade finds a new use for packaging

So you think product packages in the aisles of Target or CVS are just for shopping, think again. Now you can check out investment information on publicly traded companies while wandering through the store. Or while sitting in your kitchen … Continue reading

Posted in Design Criticism, Packaging Technology, Retail Technology | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Absolut Unique, Gutenberg would be proud

In 1440 Guttenberg celebrated moveable type, in 2012 Absolut Vodka celebrates moveable design! It only took 572 years for the folks at Absolut to find a way to go beyond the holy grail of the printing and design industries . … Continue reading

Posted in Beverages, Design Criticism, Packages Today, Wine, Beer, & Spirits | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Andy Warhol, Target, and new Campbell’s Soup cans

50 years ago this month, Andy Warhol began his life-long exploration of the boundary between art and commerce (as if there ever was one), with the exhibition of “32 Campbell’s Soup Cans” at the Ferus Gallery in Los Angeles. In … Continue reading

Posted in Design Criticism, Design Practice, Food, Packages Yesterday | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

The Image of Christ and Goldenberg’s Peanut Chews

This week, two articles in the NY Times caught my attention. The first was about the image of a candy package, the second about the image of Christ, and both are lessons about good intentions gone really bad. And while … Continue reading

Posted in Architecture, Candy, Design Criticism, Design Practice, Packages in Art, SVA Masters in Branding | Tagged , , , , , , , | 20 Comments

IBM, Google, Augmented Reality and a Retail Revolution

My sense is that 2012 will be remembered as the transition from the second wave of mass retailing to the third wave. And some retailer is about to step up and own it, by creating a truly new retail format … Continue reading

Posted in Design Criticism, Design Practice, Packages Tomorrow, Packages Yesterday, Packaging Technology, Retail Technology | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Estroven, Relief Reimagined

iHealth, Inc., a division of DSM Nutritional Products, is a consumer health and wellness company that recently asked us to reimagine the shelf presence of Estroven, the number one selling brand of OTC products for the relief of menopausal symptoms. … Continue reading

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Dee Dee’s Dieline Discussion on Co-Creation

Just back from the Dieline Conference, and again amazed at what Andrew Gibbs has accomplished in a few short years. The number one global package design resource with 3.5 million hits a month! Yikes! On Sunday Dee Dee Gordon, President of … Continue reading

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