I’m not normally a fan of SF Gate columnist Mark Morford, but his October 2003 piece about Apple’s focus on design and packaging really nailed it. Coincidentally, I ran across it right after I’d told a friend about how Apple had even made the act of opening the box for my new iPod exciting. It was like watching the opening credits of a movie I’d been awaiting for years.
You can’t help but handle the package with something approaching astonishment and even a trace of reverence. Could this actually be something interesting and reasonably cool? Could this be something tactile and lovely and graceful that flies in the face of normal mediocre dumbed-down consumer design and tepid IKEA kit furniture and bland Windows chyme?
Could this be, in short, something that actually adds a modicum of refined grace and simplicity and aesthetic warmth to the world, instead of sucking it away like so many disposable DVD players and garish LED-spasming boom boxes and 10-gallon drums of spaghetti sauce from Costco? Nah.