Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Packaging Trompe-l'Oeil

Trompe-l'oeil is an art technique that uses extreme realism to create an opticial illusion that the objects depicted actually exist in space. Today it usually refers to decorative murals in restuarants or homes that depict fake scenery or windows. But I think these examples of trompe-l'oeil in packaging are far more interesting.

Of course this cup wouldn't fool the eye so convincingly if the person drinking from it wasn't a white woman, but I still love the idea. People are surprsingly vulnerable when they're taking a sip, and this cup seems to expose that just as it seems to expose a nose and upper lip.

Again, this bag wouldn't create such a convincing illusion in any other photograph, but what an illusion! This plays into our voyeuristic and exhibitionist fantasies. In fact, I'm not sure whose having more fun, the person viewing the bag or the woman carrying it.

These bags combine realist images of people with actual rope to create a striking illusion, but the best part is how they take advantage of a bag's own essential construction.

Many thanks to Eva for sending me these images. Do you have an example of great packaging or trompe-l'oeil? Let me know! Post a comment or send an email to

1 comment:

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