mg drive which will pick up the consumer's interest in the newspaper
or magazine advertisement and carry it directly to the package.
That is the function of the store window; not to sell the
radio program but to use the interest the radio program has aroused
to pull the consumer into the store. Inside the store the counter
display serves as another arrow to guide the customer to the package.
The total sales drive may be conceived as a "Follow the Green Line,"
with radio at one end and the package at the other. Design as dec
oration has a job to do in 1932 in strengthening the weakest spot in
What about those aspects of design which are admittedly out
side of the "pretty picture" designation? Design is primarily func
tional, structural, material, and this fact has been submerged by the
emphasis put upon its pictorial and display uses. But only momen
tarily. When the current effervescence of exploitation of the adver
tising value of the package and the display card and container has
made the rounds and brought all products up-to-date, the emphasis will
shift back to more fundamental design factors.
The plain simple underlying fact is that all packaging mate
rials are not interchangeable. There is a certain amount of sense in
their application not only to protection and preservation but to at
tention-getting and selling that cannot be disregarded if net profits
are still to be collected. The categories of packaging materials down
from glass and plastics through metal and foil to chipboard and paper
are fundamentally rooted in production costs. Research and new pro
duction methods give them flexibility but it is simply due to surface
effervescence and primarily unsound designing that these primary pack
aging materials are competing with each other today.
The eyes" still "have it," and visibility has done won
ders for many products. Meanwhile the state of the national pocket-
book and the utility of opaque materials have been forgotten. Foil is
still treated as if it were merely paper, when it is actually metal.
Tin is slowly becoming humanized with vacuum packing and key winding
but the designer has not yet begun his work on metal containers. Cel
lophane is one of the most temperamental materials in general use.
Its transparency has given it a wide market but the next few years
will make our present product seem crude and unwieldy. Beetleware and
celluloid and all the moulded plastics are overlooking logical oppor
tunities and often going after fields in which their use is thoroughly
superfluous and uneconomic. Paper and cardboard are at last making
use of an ingenuity which might have been their heritage years ago.
Particularly the glassines and waxed papers are remarkable for their
recent improvements, but parchment seems to be unconscious of its
potential use as a packaging medium.
Coincident with this state of things and inherent in a sit
uation where 1928 thinking lags into 1932 actualities, there are wide
spread extravagances in package wastes. Recently department stores