Since the bar code first appeared on the scene, most designers have viewed it as an eyesore—and, as a graphic element, quite out of the question. Thus, this useful icon of industry has spent most of its life sprawled like a disfiguring scar across otherwise pristine packaging. However, as we all know, necessity can be the mother of invention. Here at last is a design that allows the bar code to function as a major graphic element.
New York grocery/drug chain Duane Read sought to strengthen its customer relationships and its brand image. With 250 outlets in the Big Apple and the surrounding boroughs, the brand is fundamentally tied to the city. These packaging designs featuring New York architectural icons—the Statue of Liberty, the Brooklyn Bridge, the Manhattan skyline—both reinforce the brand identity and speak to the NY consumer. As you can see, the architectural designs—rendered in bar codes that add a clean, industrial touch—are simple, understated, and elegant… and anything but an eyesore.