A Passage to the Printed Package Graphics of Bengal

By Shatarupa Thakurta Roy and Amarendra Kumar Das.

Published by The Design Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Packaging is the art and technology of enclosing products for distribution and storage. Indian products are long recognised for its palpable package graphics. It often stands apart for its loud imageries. They are brightly coloured and generally made contrasted with bold and obvious contour lines. The style comprises of a mixture of traditional, popular, eclectic and kitsch representations of imageries.

Between the mid sixteenth century and the end of the eighteenth century printing activities were already in vogue in different parts of the country. But it only flourished after the new system of education covered the middle class majority.

The implementation and practice of printing added a flavour of modernity to the way of living. The common mass developed an attachment to the printed almanacs, advertisement pamphlets and product levels as an integrated part of modern life.

These graphical representations were meant to capture the regional sentiments and made an industry closely associated to daily ritualistic practices. The rise of nationalistic movements in early 20th century caused the common people to be particularly aware of the separate identity for indigenous and foreign merchandise through the graphical representations.

After the independence, the new experience brought in every Indian mind a keenness to get the taste and feel of an indigenous aesthetics. The images flagged a blend of folk and urban flamboyance, which was as well established as a path to reach the common mind to go for their own products.

The paper makes observation as how the trend of image-making reacted to the technological empowerment at the later stage, as they also countered the change in many a cases to keep up with the trusted reputation closely associated to the identity of a particular brand. The paper thereafter, covers a few case studies in the relevant area in support.

Keywords: Packaging, Package Graphics, Imageries, Image-making, Graphical Representations, Traditional, Popular, Eclectic, Kitsch, Printing, Ritualistic Practices, Nationalistic, Indigenous

Design Principles and Practices: An International Journal, Volume 5, Issue 5, pp.149-154. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 744.859KB).

Dr Shatarupa Thakurta Roy

Lecturer, Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, Discipline of Fine Arts, Design Programme, Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur, Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh, India

Presently a lecturer jointly with the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences and Design Programme, Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur, India. Developed and taught several courses in Art and Design. Current areas of research and teaching are History of Art, Art Appreciation and Criticism and Design Theory. I am also a practicing artist with several national and international exhibitions to my credit.

Dr. Amarendra Kumar Das

Professor, Department of Design, Indian Institute of Technology Guwahati, Guwahati, Assam, India

Dr. Amarendra K. Das is the Head of the Department, Department of Design, Indian Institute of Technology, Guwahati. He has done Master of Design from IIT Bombay, Mumbai and Ph.D, from IIT Guwahati. His research interests are, Modular Partitioning System for Work Place, Rapid Prototyping and tooling, Research in Space Design relevant to Product form generation, Appropriate Technology based on design of Transportation System and Design Management.


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