Polaroid Sunglasses package by Paul Giambarba, 1962.
The Branding of Polaroid will continue to deal with design and branding issues and analog photographic images will be displayed on the Analog blog. Instant Summer 2012 photos are now shown on Analog Photography at its Best.
It's time to confess. I just came across these sketches that I did for my package designs for the ill-fated Polaroid Polavision line of products and to be honest about them, I must admit that I didn't spend weeks or even days thinking about them. The year was 1977 and I had designed hundreds of boxes by then, so it had become second nature.
I found that I liked laying out the front of the box and a flap on a sheet from a pad of graph paper and coloring within the lines with felt-nib markers.
The tape covers up copy that was not going to be used.
The studio where I did all of this work was a converted two-car garage measuring 20 x 24 feet. that I built with the help of a stone mason and a carpenter in 1961. We put in the skylight and the north-facing windows and it was never never used as a garage.
This is an inside view, showing all the clutter. In the background on the left is a rack for silk-screen prints with some prints hanging on the overhead door, and on the extreme right, a Lacey Luci enlargement camera that designers and illustrators used in those days.
These were the finished products. For the printer I prepared camera-ready mechanicals in the old-fashioned paste-up way. For twenty years I produced hundreds of Polaroid package designs, as well as other material in this setting, with occasional free-lance help.
Beginning at the top is the Polaroid mark I did in 1958, its application to package design and corporate identity, which is the bottom panel just above the date, 1958. Somewhere in the lower right of the photo is the corporate sign POLAROID, identical to the mark above. On the left are package designs for Polaroid Sunglasses, 1962, Polaroid Colorpack and black-and-white filmpacks, package design for a Polaroid Colorpack camera, and to the far left, package design and product identity for Polavision, 1977. At the bottom of the row is a package design and product identity for a Polaroid Square Shooter camera. In the row on the right are package designs and product identity for Polaroid SX-70 cameras and accessories, dating from 1972, and just below is a photo of package design for Polaroid Pronto! Kudos As announced in the brilliant UK publication Grafik for August 2005, The Branding of Polaroid, 1957-1977 was published in book form. For an Adobe Acrobat .pdf file of the article, click on this link: Download G131_Polaroid.pdf Quotes from the article by John Weich, Grafik, August 2005 -- "Like Apple today, Polaroid supplemented its superior product with superior branding. . . ." "In 1958 the company decided to hire freelance designer Paul Giambarba with a view to revitalizing the brand. This was the start of a relationship that was to last an amazing twenty-five years—Giambarba changed the face of Polaroid. He was responsible for creating packaging for Polaroid's Colorpacks, its SX-70, Square Shooter and Square Shooter 2 and the OneSteps. Giambarba's first initiative was to transform the logo into an uppercase News Gothic, and his second was to give the company's B&W film shelf distinction by way of black end panels, which were easily discernible in its TV spots (which, of course, were black and white). "The first round of rebranding lent Polaroid some design credibility, but its second, more significant evolution elevated the brand to design icon. . . ." Thank you, John and thank you, Grafik Editor Caroline Roberts. Grafik is the UK's only magazine dedicated entirely to showcasing the most exciting new graphic design work every month. It's also an essential tool for a designer in search of information and inspiration.
To quote from The Independent's article by Emily Dugan:
"If all goes to plan, the Polaroid factory in Enschede, Amsterdam, will soon be making film again thanks to its new owner, an eccentric Austrian artist and businessman named Florian Kaps. Mr [sic] Kaps, 39, has dedicated the past five years to instant photography. He set up Polanoid.net, the biggest Polaroid gallery on the web, and the first ever Polaroid-only art gallery in Vienna, called Polanoir.
Now he plans to save the film. "The project is more than a business plan; it's a fight against the idea that everything has to die when it doesn't create turnover," said [Dr] Kaps."
[Little did I know when I posted this that I would be meeting with Doc Kaps in five months and designing his first line of packaging for products he called the Paul Giambarba Edition.]
Poster for a regatta commissioned by the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda in 1972. I took a six-month contract to do print and production for H.H. Aga Khan's hotels and consortiums on Sardinia while Polaroid was developing SX-70. Click on image to enlarge.
A quick watercolor sketch of my wife, Ruth, for a personal greeting card, 1957.
A proposed book cover for a second edition of my book "Lighthouses," originally published in 1969.
A small watercolor of New York Harbor. Click on image to enlarge.
A portion of a watercolor of Newport, Rhode Island, 1958. Click on image to enlarge.
An original silk screen print made and printed in its entirety by the artist (me), 1971. You can see more silk screen prints that I did in these years at http://giambarba.com/prints.html
A portion of an original silk screen print that I first ran in 1962 but resurrected as a poster for peace in 2002. Click image to enlarge.
I'll get back to Polaroid stuff after Labor Day. Consider this a brief interlude or a way of understanding my thought processes as I tried to solve the design challenges I had to deal with every time Polaroid came up with a new product or family of products. This print is the result of the same thinking as the design solution for the first Polaroid sunglass product identity, also 1962.