Pringles

I see Pringles as a Christmas treat. It’s strange, I know.  But every Christmas my in-laws have them out and I get stuck in. And just like Christmas, they’re gone before you know it and the 364 day wait begins anew.

Tonight I made an impulse buy for those tasty stacked crisps. I began to consider and question the world of Pringles, eventually realising how well designed they are!

For starters the advertising line of Once you Pop, You Can’t Stop is embedded in my brain forever, well done Pringles for a rhyme that is a subconscious command for me to finish the tin in one sitting.

At first, the stacked crisps made me wonder about their place in the crisp scene. Other vendors showcase the irregular nature and the importance of the potato, perhaps with an image of a farmer outstanding in his field ( love that pun!). Here however, conformity of shape lends itself to thoughts of manufactured production lines with potatoes being reformed into false versions of themselves.  While all crisps are junk, these seem to make it overly apparent. Their shape says steer clear, but then, viewing it from a design perspective, they are a marvel.

It must have been an exciting time to create Pringles. They threw out the notion that all crisps should come in a bag which needs more air than product to protect them. I, like others I know, feel short changed by the air to product ratio. Pringles comes through on that one.  The resealable canister scoffs at the tearable bags with their rolled down tops pinched shut with a clothes peg.

I see a tin I can later use to hold brushes or art supplies. But a tall tin also means its easy to stack on the shelf, to grab, to stick in a section of a backpack and so on.  Really, the more I ate I began to wonder why their style hasn’t become the model for all crisps! But then it happens, the point of despair. Perhaps a different point for each of us, but eventually it becomes impossible to pick a crisp out and turning the tin upside down becomes a necessity.

Could it be that this is the sole reason? That bags on the whole allow for full range of snacking motion? That the uninterrupted compulsion to snack allows for profit? I must say, I reached the mid point of the tin and put it down. That must be the last thing board meetings want to hear, that a user takes a break from the product or even walks away.

I like you Pringles, I really do. You don’t always win but as a piece of design you got me thinking and appreciating your unique approach. Till next Christmas when we shall meet again, stand tall my moustached friend.