On one weekend morning, having a breakfast I started reading what was printed on the sides of an oat milk carton. It tells their brand stories, how they ethically source ingredients, and every other detail that food packaging has to carry. I read through them and realised I had not done this for a long time — “reading”a package. That gave me a nostalgic feeling. As a kid I found a joy in reading what was on snack bags or fruit juice cartons (my mother is also an enthusiastic “package reader”; she reads thoroughly until she learns how much salt it contains). There were stories about producers, how much they have been loved for decades, what is so special about the recipe, printed on sides of packaging. Some of them go beyond brand stories—small quizzes and even “haiku”(Japanese short form poetry) just for fun.
Packaging design has to grab attention, especially for consumer goods — packaging has less than two seconds to catch shoppers’ attention. Naturally, it has to be an effective communicator. If that is the case for “the face” of packaging, I would like to call those on the sides as humble communicators. I doubt they will get read by many. It is sad but we are busy catching up with the things happening in the world (or in a phone). But still, I want them to be there. They are humble but engaging especially for bookworms who cannot help their eyes following any written stories. On that weekend morning, after reading every side of the carton, I felt like I consumed a genuine story.