Pack of the Month: We Loved This Fishy Concept From Linsanity Design

by Bill McCool on 11/30/2020 | 4 Minute Read

Canned fish packaging—be it kippers, sardines, or tuna—sports some of the best design in the grocery store. Whether it’s a heritage brand that hasn’t touched their packaging in the last 100 years, or it’s something from the far reaches of the world, those fishy treats are downright intriguing.

So, even when we see a concept—if you can really call it that—we can’t turn our eyes away. Linsanity Design (which sadly is not named after NBA star Jeremy Lin) crafted the packaging by not only using exquisite geometric patterns but brilliantly placing the pull tab over the eye of the fish.

We spoke with Lindsay Megan Silveira of Linsanity Design about how she created the visual identity of the mysterious brand for our November 2020 Pack of the Month.

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Are you a fan of canned sardine packaging? There's definitely a following of folks who love the packaging!

To be honest, I'm not a big fan of sardines, nor am I a fan of its packaging counterparts in India. I love tuna, though! It was a childhood favorite of mine that I now use as an ingredient in my meals. I have some fond memories of eating these delicious tuna cutlets that Ma would make for us back when we were growing up in Kuwait.

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Walk us through the design process that you went through for this project.

An intermediary between the client and myself approached me. Funny how the whole thing was so mysterious! I didn't know who I was designing for, and I still don't. Since the client decided to remain anonymous, even after the work was done, I consider this project still a 'concept.' The client (intermediary) had insisted that the label "must stand out wherever it is placed." Whether it was being sold online or on a shelf, one must "stop and stare." I had absolute freedom in the design process, and this gave me the opportunity for creative experimentation.

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What motivated you to support local fisheries?

Since Covid-19 hit us all, it has been particularly hard on local businesses, let alone fisheries, that were badly hit due to reduced workers, delays in production, transportation, and marketing of inland fisheries. Restrictions on marine capture fisheries, seed supply, and seafood export continue to have a major impact on the industry. Many were forced to pivot their businesses or risk closure.

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What was one of the biggest goals you set out to achieve with the canned fish packaging, and how did you accomplish it? 

For me, it was about being part of something integral that would ultimately bring a moment of glee or intrigue to quarantined customers who needed convenient canned food solutions. It feels like I'm partly helping them keep stock of essentials while the fear and uncertainty of another lockdown looms in the air. By using minimal yet striking visuals, I hope to achieve that sentiment and sense of need when it hits shelves. So far, the response has been very positive, even though they haven’t been launched in stores yet.

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What was the most challenging part of this project?

Dispelling the idea that local produce is tainted with added chemicals to preserve them for longer and proving that they can be original, natural, and of premium quality.

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Why did you choose to use geometric patterns to represent the fish?

I was inspired by the bold Bauhaus geometric style that is just so timeless and distinct. It remains influential in modern design, even after 100 years. The idea of projecting the maximum injection of art into the mass production of everyday things, using simplicity, functionality, and rationale, was the perfect fodder to fuel my inspiration. 

I incorporated this particular style in my packaging to not only make it stand out amongst the competition but also draw customers who consciously (or even unconsciously) select local products with an imported aesthetic.

If you could pick one aspect of the finished design that you like the most or feel proud of, what would it be and why?

I especially like the ring-pull feature of the tins; they sit well on the eye of the fish displayed on the packaging. It also showcases a great balance of form and function. More importantly, this product range is part of a pivotal business idea that contributes to positive change while breaking traditional norms in the canned seafood packaging industry. 

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Any chance of this concept becoming a reality?

"Fin"gers crossed.

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