Could Ferrari ever be successful in the pasta aisle? And would Jonathan Ive’s penchant for stark packaging work in the dairy aisle?
In the work of Israel-based designer Peddy Mergui, the design language of some of the world’s most fashionable brands—Tiffany, Versace, Dolce Gabbana, Bulgari, and more—is applied to the grocery aisle, with fascinating results.
Sometimes the results are grotesque: in Mergui’s imagination, olive oil sold by United Colors of Benetton brings new meaning to the word “oleaginous” with the label’s ghastly, close-ups of sweaty models. Other concepts don’t look too far removed from novelty products sold by the brands themselves: surely Prada, at some point, has sold coffee by the pound? If not, get to it, guys.
And yet some are surprisingly tasteful, even great. Mergui’s packaging for an orange sold by Nike is such a natural extension of the Oregon-based athletic wear’s branding, it’ll make you wonder why Nike doesn’t break into the fruit aisle. But should they?
That, Mergui says, is the question. “As a designer myself, I am always asking myself what the ethical boundary is when it comes to a design’s ability to influence consumption,” Mergui tells me. If they so chose, Apple might be able to sell you some iMilk for $10 a gallon, or Nike a branded orange for $5 a pop. And if they could, what does it say about us?