It's in the bag

July 12, 2011

Tuesday, July 12 is Paper Bag Day. I'd like to think of it as shopping bag day. And we can thank Margaret E. Knight, who, while toiling away in a cotton mill, invented a machine to give paper bags flat bottoms. She patented it in 1873 and went on to establish the Eastern Paper Bag Co. She was an inventor and entrepreneur before women even had the right to vote in the U.S.! I know what you're thinking, we should all have Tuesday off to have our annual paper bag lunch picnics and float our paper bag balloons into the sky. But until that glorious day I figured I could do my part by seeking out the best examples I could find of glorified versions of the humble paper bag and share them with you.

Bags for Brooklyn Fare Gourmet Market by Mucca Design.

These bags need little more than a snappy, punny line to make them stand out.

Fred Segal shopping bags.

This bag and tissue were covered in a pattern made by taking the very distinctive "e" shape and turning it into a climbing vine (such as those on the exterior of the Fred Segal store).

Bags for West Elm, a home decor and furniture store.

One of my favorite furniture stores also happens to have a really snazzy bag.

Cut-out lettering bag.
Origami-like packaging and matching bag for Arts & Craft Jewelry, by Mari Grafsronningen.

A customizible bag for Kokoa Hut, by Thai firm.

The bag's exterior is covered with vents you can fold back to expose the yellow layer underneath allowing the user to create pictures or spell out words in a pixel-ish manner.

A fool-the-eye bag for Habitat Shoe Boutique

So brilliantly clever and effective: Habitat Shoe Boutique wants to introduce you to your new signature shoes. They even use the inside of their bag to reinforce how personal their connection is with their customers. The inside is covered in a pattern made from Polaroids from customers using their Habitat Shoe Boutique purchases. There's also a brand manifesto printed on the top edge.

The interior of the bag is just as distinctive as the exterior.

Not recent but still note-worthy for their bold graphic punchiness.

A very clever bag design for Lee.

Not to be outdone, this bag by Indian firm Happy for Lee Brand Jeans, is a reduce, reuse, recycle dream come true. Not to mention the fact that it's also eye-catching and tons of crafty fun. The bag is covered in pieces that can be cut out and/or assembled into useful and playful objects so that there's as little waste as possible.

Other side of the same bag.

Some of the pieces you can salvage from this bag include: a ruler, a game of chutes and ladders with dice, bookmarks, a do not disturb door hanger, a pencil cup, a storage tray, and a little black book.

All the objects that can be constructed from a single bag.

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About Rosana Mojica

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The PsPrint Blog is a resource for graphic designers, freelancers, small business owners and fans of print marketing. You'll find helpful techniques on printing everything there is to print, including business cards, postcards, brochures, stickers, invitations, greeting cards, door hangers, magnets and more. The PsPrint Blog shares creative ways to improve your design and layout skills, and useful tips for marketing your business in any medium. We also like to have a little fun, sharing design inspiration and spotlighting some our favorite customers' printed pieces in our "Hot Off the Press" series.