I was struck by the idea that I should save the packaging which would otherwise surely disappear forever. The collection offers evidence of a dynamic commercial system that delivers thousands of desirable items from all corners of the world, a feat arguably more complex than sending man to the Moon, but one still taken for granted. – Robert Opie (2017)
The Museum of brands, packaging & advertising was founded in 1984 by consumer historian Robert Opie. Inside the museum, the exhibition can be divided into two parts: on one side there is a ‘Time Tunnel’ with different products displayed in chronological order, on the other side there is a small theatre showing video leading to a larger room with shelves exhibiting some classic brands’ packaging.
In the Time Tunnel, I found different products from the Victoria period to the 2000s, ranging from posters, toys, magazines, to musical instruments, radio, or even motorbikes. In the packaging innovation room, products are categorised according to their brands.
Seeing how a brand changes the packaging over time is very interesting. Overall, I found the size of packaging of daily necessities is becoming smaller, the only exception is the tea. The materials of packaging also changed from aluminium and glass to paper and plastic except for alcohols. In terms of the graphic on packaging, most of the brands started from simple bold text on packaging, which may be limited by the available printing technology at the time, and later on changed to brighter or more colourful pictures.
I noticed historical events, such as wars and the royal wedding, have been used a lot in packaging, even the museum shop itself uses this kind of elements to promote products. Branding can make a product become more than a functional object by attaching a story to it.
Opie, R. (2017) Museum of Brands. Available at: http://www.museumofbrands.com/aboutus/robert-opie.html (Accessed: 12/03/2017)