Despite the howls of protests from the sales guys who, as I said, wanted to write all over the packages -- words like New! and all the stuff that everyone else says -- they finally came around to liking what they saw at point of sale. Even the dimmest bulb in the photo department of the schlockiest discount outlet could see that he could stack these boxes in almost any way and draw floor traffic to Polaroid products.
I wish I had something better than a 35mm slide of this, but that's the way we showed our work in the 1960s and 1970s, with Kodak Carousel Projectors. Below the film boxes is the family of one-piece molded plastic cameras that saturated the market for inexpensive photo equipment. The package design was deliberate. We wanted our retailers to stack pyramids of product and create a Polaroid island to attract instore traffic. The designs were also very visible in store windows throughout Western Europe. The silhouette drawing of the camera identified each model instantly, since the camera model names were not descriptive.
I'm sorry but this is another small scan from a 35mm Kodachrome. It shows the aforementioned Colorpack camera boxes along with their more expensive folding camera brethren and related accessories.
The film box, right, and the folding camera model box, below, that was the high end of the product price line. The sleeve held both camera and flash attachment. In my opinion, these cameras – all clones of the original Model 100 – took the very best Polaroid instant color photos.
This is the book, below, that I did using only an off-the-shelf Polaroid camera, so to speak. The cover photo is of my son, who was five years old at the time the photo was taken. Peter Wensberg had said one day at lunch that he would spend a million dollars to get customers to take the camera off the shelf in their hall closets and shoot a couple of rolls of film. Remembering those wonderful books in the Kodak libraries available at most camera stores, I proposed doing a similar program for Polaroid. The concept was that they be sold as products, similar to what Eastman Kodak did, and the cost be self-liquidated, if I can remember the buzz word. Wensberg was elated at the results when I brought in the photos, dummy and script. Calderwood was equally enthusiastic. Sounds good, but the euphoria didn't last. Wensberg's assistant, Ted Voss, insisted that the customers would be best served if the book was given away as a premium. I argued against that concept but to no avail. At that point, Stan Calderwood had already decided to leave Polaroid, Wensberg was busy preparing to take over Stan's job, and the entire book project just died on the vine. More's the pity because I sold a trade book edition to Doubleday anticipating some promotional effort by Polaroid which never materialized.
This was another curve thrown at us. First there were the Polaroid Colorpacks, cameras that used rectangular format film. Then in an economy move, the Polaroid Square Shooters, which used less expensive (and smaller) square format film. Now, we were told, the engineers had come up with a camera that used BOTH film formats. A great concept, but what will work to create product identity? Above is my solution. I think it solved the problem and created a very striking image, especially when stacked in any number of configurations. This product came after the Polaroid SX-70 (1972). I place it here to continue with the evolution of the color stripes and god's-eye product identity. Click on image for enlargement.